HISD Expands Web Based Early Math Program

If you want kids to do well in mathematics in high school you've got to give them a solid background in elementary school. Houston schools are getting 1.2-million dollars toward that goal from the ExxonMobil Foundation. Rod Rice reports.

The program the money will support and help expand is called Reasoning Mind. Amber Feight is a 5th grade math teacher at Burnet Elementary School on Canal Street. Says it's an individualized program available on the web to any student with a computer.

"Artificial intelligence gauges the child where they are and brings them through a curriculum on their level.  It adjusts fro their ability as far as hard and easy questions. It probes in deeper for more understanding.  It's very problem solving based, very algebraically based."

Feight she can see everything a student has done and offer individual help while other students move along on their own.

"Right now basically I'm just writing down theory about what I'm learning about long division."

5th grader Angel Turrubiartes likes it and thinks math is fun.

"It's going to tell me about all the stuff that has to go in long division and what you're supposed to do inside of it."

Gerald McElvy is President of the ExxonMobil Foundation and says Reasoning Minds also helps those teachers who have not had specific training in teaching math in elementary grades.

"We're funding programs and working with school districts and teachers and students to try an increase the interest in math and science and increase substantially the number of students pursuing stem disciplines."

Reasoning Minds seems to be working with teachers.

"It's a teacher's best friend."

...and students.

"It's really good"

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...