WILMINGTON — The sky is the limit for students in Mr. Andrew Lefevre’s fifth-grade math class at Denver Place Elementary School as they work to master the fluency of their multiplication and division facts.
Using the Rocket Math program that empowers students to be successful from the start, students gradually learned all the facts in each operation — without even noticing.
As students work their way through the Rocket Math program, they progress from one level to the next, learning math facts in sequence and completing a series of 22 tests in multiplication and division. The goal is that upon completion of the program, students will know their facts well and no longer need to count on their fingers or stop to figure out problems. They will know their facts automatically and be prepared to move forward in learning math.
Lefevre created to charts track student progress and inspire students to work towards their goals. And in an effort to celebrate student success beyond the classroom and form community connections in education, Mr. Lefevre also reached out to Crystal and Victor Castillo, owners of the Fiesta Vera Cruz Mexican restaurant, who generously offered gift certificates for a free kids meal for students who had been vigilant in setting a goal, practicing in order to reach the goal, and performing in class to meet their goal.
Mr. Lefevre also allows his students to choose their own incentives to help keep them motivated. Earning the right to chew gum, kick off their shoes during class, and even require their teacher to dress up like a banana have proven to improve student focus and increase math fluency.
According to Mr. Lefevre, who has relocated from Columbus, it is people like the Castillo family and his WCS colleagues that make him confident in his decision to purchase a new house and call Wilmington home.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.