Caddo schools implementing new curriculum for math in elementary schools

New tool teaches math to kids

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There's a new tool to help students in Caddo Parish elementary schools learn math — it's called Zearn.

At Queensborough Elementary School, all students in all grades are learning math with the Zearn curriculum.

Zearn is a tool used to enhance math instruction in the classroom. Students learn through digital lessons at their own pace as well as through targeted lessons with their teacher and peers.

"It has an alignment to Common Core and all the standards that are needed for the state of Louisiana. This is the only piece of curriculum that we use for mathematics. We try not to pull anything else outside of this particular curriculum," said Marco French, the Principal at Queensborough Elementary.

Teachers can see daily which children are struggling and where.

"Teacher can use this part of the reports to figure out where the remediation needs to take place, who they need to put into small groups, or even if they need to buddy - or peer teach in the classrooms," said French.

If a student does not pass a digital lesson, Zearn will take the child back through and repeats the lesson with a different approach.

Students say that's helping them comprehend their math skills better.

"It was hard because I didn't understand the way the teacher was doing it," said Omariah Sparks, a 4th grader at Queensborough. "So once we get on Zearn, once we get on Tower of Power, if we get it wrong twice, it takes us back down it takes back and we have to re-do it."

Queensborough was one of the first schools in the district to start using Zearn — they started at the beginning of the school year.

Queensborough received an "F" letter grade for the 2016-2017 school year, it's a transformation zone school. Part of the plan to improve and transform the school was to use this new tool to help improve the learning experience.

"The teachers have grown, tremendously, as well as the students have. I'm looking for great results at the end of the year for state testing, and I think we're going to be fine," French said.

Students at Queensborough say they like the new way they're learning math. Caddo Parish schools are currently working on implementing Zearn into elementary classrooms across the district.

"I feel like I like math now," Sparks said confidently.

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