Westport Public Schools, CT
HeyMath! & Westport Collaboration - Raising the bar...
Westport Public Schools, CT entered into a partnership with HeyMath! in 2007 with the objective of redefining their Math curriculum. The mission was to correct the mile-long, inch-deep problem that plagues school mathematics in the US by defining new standards benchmarked to the highest performing nations globally. The district sought the pedagogical expertise of HeyMath! in designing and creating mathematical lessons, tools, games and problems that drive deeper conceptual understanding.
Mathematicians and content creators from HeyMath! work closely with the educators in Westport to develop animated, interactive flash tutorials and tools mapped to the new curriculum. So far, complete courses have been co-developed for Pre-algebra, Algebra 1 & Algebra 2. Work on Pre-calculus and Geometry is in progress. The instructional material is projected using smartboards in the classrooms and the students also have 24x7 independent access to the program from home.
Some of the key features of HeyMath! are:
- Animated visuals that engage and motivate students as well as help in retention and recall.
- Interactive graphing tools that aid exploration and discovery.
- Real-life contextual problems that make the Math meaningful and relevant to the learners.
- Lessons that make students perform experiments, record observations, make inferences and communicate them using mathematical representations (graphs, pictures, tables, number lines, equations, words).
- Games that help master mathematical skills with instant feedback to students.
- Tutorials that foster self-learning and serve as a very effective after school support especially for test prep or prep before a major exam.
Replacing textbooks in Connecticut
Discussions between the Westport Math educators and HeyMath! content developers happens regularly via skype and email (in addition representatives from both teams have also traveled across continents for more intensive engagements). After understanding the requirements of the teachers in Westport, the team in India brainstorms and arrives at the 'best way' to teach a particular concept. The ideator (math expert) then writes down a script for the lesson. The script is reviewed by other math experts thoroughly to check - if the pedagogical approach is sound, the mathematics accurate, the context and language age appropriate, and whether the key questions and problems posed develop mathematical thinking and discovery of the concept. The reviewed script is then given to an animator and a flash programmer who bring the lesson to life with animations and interactive elements. The lesson then goes through a few rounds of review before it is presented to the Westport teachers for their sign off. Once that is done, the lesson is uploaded onto the website and teachers at Westport use the live version of the lesson in their classroom teaching. Student feedback and the classroom experience serve as inputs from Westport to further enrich the lesson. This type of collaborative innovation is at the heart of this partnership.
Feedback from Math Coordinator
HeyMath! has helped Westport to respond to the "mile wide, inch deep" criticism of traditional math programs. The Westport
experience with HeyMath! has been extremely positive. In summary, HeyMath! has helped us to enrich our curriculum, to deepen
student understanding, to increase the efficiency of instruction, & to provide constant availability of on-line tutoring.
- Frank Corbo, Mathematics Coordinator, Westport Public Schools, CT
In a recent update, Staples High School, Westport has achieved the highest scores in the state of CT in the CAPT assessment, with 100% participation and 86.2% of the students meeting the state goal. The success of the Westport school system is tied directly to having "parents supportive of kids" education and engaged in their educational activity.
HeyMath! meets curriculum criteria set by
- California Learning Resources Network (CLRN)
- Massachusetts Department of Education for Javits Gifted and Talented Education Grants
- British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta), U.K. for Curriculum Online
- Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE - O)
- Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India | Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE)