St. Joseph holds Summer Math Camp

Officials at St.  Joseph School  in Waconia helped sharpen students mathematics skills by holding a math camp earlier this month.  (Submitted photo)

Officials at St.
Joseph School
in Waconia helped sharpen students mathematics skills by holding a math camp earlier this month.
(Submitted photo)

Twenty elementary students participated in a math camp held at the St. Joseph School in Waconia the week of July 8. First through fourth graders had fun learning new concepts while playing math centered games and completing hands-on math activities, some of which were based on Singapore Math methods.
Yvonne Litfin, St. Joe’s first grade teacher, led the camp.
“Summer is a time when students typically lose some of what they had learned during the prior school year, especially math,” said Bruce Richards, St. Joseph’s new principal, himself a former 6th grade math teacher.
“The summer math camp and other tools such as a Study Island Summer Challenge that we have given to students and families keep this summer learning gap minimized and allow students to come back to school with sharpened skills,” Richards added.
The camp is part of an effort began last fall at St. Joseph to enhance the mathematics experience for all its students. Additions to the curriculum include MAP testing and increased accelerated placement opportunities based on a student’s preparedness rather than their grade level. To challenge students even further, the school’s 6-8th grade students competed in the Minnesota Junior High Math League and the school’s 3-5th grade students competed in the nation-wide Continental Math League.
Additionally, the school partnered with Northwestern University of Illinois to help identify academically gifted seventh and eighth graders and give those students the opportunity to take the SAT college entrance examination as middle school students.
St. Joseph officials report that the enhancements to the curriculum are helping to increase math performance at the school. As a result, many students from St Joseph’s recent 8th grade class will advance into geometry this fall as freshmen, including several at both Holy Family Catholic High School and Waconia High School.
“We are excited about the recent results from the high school placement tests and  the SAT examinations,” Richards said. “We have put some good things in place. Now we have the challenge of raising achievement even higher this upcoming school year.”

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