Ask a student's favorite subject at Good Shepherd School and you may be surprised to hear it's math. But these students found when you combine it with computer games and competition, math becomes more manageable, and a lot more exciting.
Fifth and sixth-graders at Good Shepherd School have something to be excited about. The young mathematicians were recognized Wednesday as Kentucky's highest-achieving team in the online math competition, "First in Math," sponsored by McDonald's.
Principal Jeff Stamper said First in Math makes math more fun for students while teaching kids computer skills and helping them successfully apply what they learn in the classroom.
"As a group it's like a basket ball game," he said Wednesday at the awards ceremony in the school's gymnasium. "They compete with other schools and it is exciting."
The online program, based on the educational card game 24, is designed to strengthen computation, problem-solving, number sense and recognition, according to the First in Math Web site, and allows children to work as a team with other classmates or individually. The students compete with other schools who have also subscribed to the First in Math program.
The students are assigned identification numbers and passwords so they can work as a team or individually wherever they have Internet access. When students pass a mathematical task or skill level they receive incentive awards and "virtual stickers" or points for their accomplishments.
Good Shepherd has three 50-member First in Math teams, including third, fourth, fifth and some sixth-graders, but it was the fifth-grade Decal 9 team that racked up nearly 17,000 points to take top spot in the state beating out nearly 100 participating Kentucky schools, including Yates Elementary, which won highest-achieving public school.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.