Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Math Pilot Program aka onMath


Each week The Hamilton Spectator presents a page of news from local schools. It’s a page for students by students. Today, we feature the OnMATH program, a joint project between the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB).

Frank Ciancone
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Phone: 905 525-2930, Ext. 2870

Judy Langsner, Principal Highland Secondary, eLearning
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Phone: 905 628-2203

The Math Pilot Program (titled onMATH – online Math Assistance throughout Hamilton-Wentworth) started in February 2008 as a joint project between the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB). The Pilot is now in its second semester of operation. This website provides students in both boards an outstanding extra resource for students who are in need of personalized help in the area of grade 9 mathematics. The public board has recently expanded to Grade 7 and 8.

For the HWCDSB secondary school teachers and experts in their fields, Sandra Tigani and Rosemary Buckley, welcome students on-line during the day for one on one tutoring.

At the HWDSB four teachers, Tracey Angelini, Rebecca Southern, Melinda Lula and Gary Hewitt, provide interactive individual or small group assistance through the use of chat, common whiteboards, and file sharing.

You can access the website by clicking this link and entering your name, OEN number and school. You must be in the Hamilton region to use this site. The teacher will ask what the problem is or the required tasks are and you respond accordingly.

Put with High praise for high tech helpers

"When I was in Elementary school, my teacher suggested that I should take an academic math course. When I got to grade nine, math was a little harder than I had expected it to be. When I heard there was online math tutoring, I decided to try it out, and I am very glad I did. My teacher was very understanding and patient with me, and she answered all of the questions I had. Now I am able to apply the new skills I have learned into the math I am learning today. I’m thankful to my teachers for being patient with me and helping me understand math. Now I can complete my math courses without much misunderstanding thanks to the online math tutoring program."
~ Bree Borsellino, Grade 10, St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School

"I had a test the next day in Math and I didn't understand a question so I went to onMATH and they helped me. I aced the test."
~ Josephine Taiello, Grade 10, St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School

"Ever since onMATH helped me, math class has been a breeze! Thank you so much. The way you explained it convinced me that math is just a couple simple steps put together in a consistent pattern. Whoever designed the website is a genius! It's unbelievably easy to navigate. Amazing! Thanks for all your help."
~ Barbara Karpinski, Grade 10, St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School

"I like it when the teacher talks to me because it gives me a better understanding of the work and I also like how they can control your screen so that they show how to come up with the answer. I had a test today and it helped me a lot!"
~ Liam Whalen, Grade 7, Ancaster Senior

"Well the online Math should be for other grades in essential math. It was a lot of fun to learn math online and it was really easy to understand. I would say keep the program because every grade 9 student will need it!"
~ Audrey Eraz, Hill Park S.S.

"It was a lot of fun learning math and Mrs. Sheriff helped me and my best friend to get to the site. My friend and I went online to onMATH. We like math. It was soooo much fun! I would like to say don't shut down the online math program and keep it there because other grades need it too! Math is so much fun in grade nine. I love it and I wish I could stay in grade nine. Mrs. Sheriff is the best teacher!"
~ Nargis Yousufy,Hill Park S.S.

"Waterdown HS has a large variety in opportunities sports and clubs. But one thing that is not often looked at is all of the technology our school has. Waterdown has a large amount of technology available to every student. Coming from schools that the availability was not always there, the technology around us helps and gives different views and perspectives. For example, the CBR’s in math showed many of us a different understanding on what we were talking about with distance time graphs. Having this type of material around us to give better understanding of what is hard to understand makes school a bit more fun and easier."
~ Kyle, Grade 9, Waterdown DHS

"We use technology every single day at school. Most students don’t realize it but technology is as small as an announcement speaker to a computer. Technology is all around. All we have to do is look."
~ Krystal Wheeler, Grade 9, Waterdown DHS

Online learning a reality in local boards


Grade 8 students at St. Mary Catholic Elementary School access online Math assistance through the ILC “Homework Help” website.


"I used onMATH every day last semester. I really enjoyed getting proper help. It was fun, and I liked talking to the teacher through a headset. There was nothing I didn't like about using the online help. The teachers were very helpful and patient. I would use onMATH again if it were extended in other grades. I've already told all my friends about it."
~Jonathan Slote, Mountain Secondary School

OnMATH website gets top marks from students

Grade 8 students at the culturally diverse St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in central Hamilton have this to say:

"I like the ‘Ask a Teacher’ section because the tutorial might not have the information you’re looking for. The online teacher can help you with specific problems. For example, if you’ve answered a question but aren’t sure you did it right, you can get the online tutor to check your work."
~ Dalian Bleden

“If your parents don’t know English and can’t help you with your homework, you can go to this website for help.”
~ Brandon Gomes

“It shows you how to solve math problems step by step. It’s easy to understand.”
~ Melissa Gameiro

“With ‘Homework Help’, you have no more excuses. If you didn’t do your homework, the teacher will say ‘Why didn’t you go to the website?’”
~ Stacie Boniambet

“I like the “Ask a Teacher” section. If you’re home alone and need help with your homework, you have someone to go to.”
~ Leandro Melo

“If you have a test the next day, the online tutor can help you with problem areas.”
~ Valentina Perez-Vela

Getting started with onMath
Maddison Thompson, Grade 7 Mount Hope School

I am a Grade 7 student, and like many others, I sometimes have trouble with math homework. I ask my parents what to do, and sometimes they just don't get it either.
One of my teachers recommended onMath, so I tried it out. Once you sign in, it takes you to the main room and once there you talk to a teacher.
If a teacher is available, he or she will usually take you into one of their classrooms. There, you can type your messages to the teacher and even write questions and figure them out on a whiteboard.
I find onMATH helpful because the teachers are kind, patient, and very helpful and understanding, just like the teachers at my school.
It's just like working with the, only this is through the computer. I have been on the site about three times and I know I will be back.

Technology facilitates learning

"I really liked using the Smartboard and other technologies in onMATH. The one-on-one tutoring was just what I needed to boost my marks. It helped me understand the difficult parts of the curriculum, especially the word problems. OnMATH is a great resource."
~ Erin Buckley, Grade 10, St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School

"I really look forward this year to working with my classmates to brainstorm solutions to math problems electronically. We will be able to correspond through email and chat rooms, and also go back and review previous lessons recorded by the teacher, enabling us to work at our own pace."
~ Leah Hyslop, Grade 8, Balaclava

"Some people say that technology is not really getting developed as fast as it should be developing, but some people say that it is. I would have to agree with the people who are saying that technology is growing better and better and I have based my decision on this new technology I used in math class. This new technology is called a CBR and it plots a graph (Distance Time Graph) based on your motion (Distance versus Time). This technology hooks up with the highly sophisticated TI-82 or TI-83 calculator with a CBR cable. If you move in away and toward this device it will show how you are moving away and from your destination and how many seconds it takes you. It is really a great piece of technology because if you move slowly at a walking pace the line on your graph will show a moderate slope, but if you run the graph will show a steep slope because the distance is still the same, but you are completing that distance in a shorter amount of time. The CBR is a great addition to your materials because it is easy to use and will help you considerably when doing Distance Time Graphs. For example, if you had a question that you had to sketch a Distance Time Graph like, “The man walked for 15 seconds at a moderate walking speed, then stopped for 10 seconds, and then quickly ran home in 7 seconds because he forgot something.” You could act this out and then you would just have to sketch the lines onto a graph easy as that. In my opinion, this is an excellent piece of machinery and is definitely easier to use."
~ Kris Seed, Grade 9, Waterdown DHS

"Technology over the years has changed so much. There never were cell phones, computers, or calculators. It was all done by hand. We’re lucky because we have all this stuff. We use technology every single day. It’s fun to experiment with technology because you learn how to use it and understand things better. Technology is great and is always getting better."
~ Sandra Schotsman, Grade 9, Waterdown DHS

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