Thanks to a generous $500,000 federal grant, administered by the New York State Education Department, Bronx Better Learning shares its highly successful approach to mathematics instruction with two nearby, regular public schools: PS 111, with whom we share a campus, and CS 112, just four blocks away.
Our grant application allotted a substantial amount of the funding to complete what was originally a prototype version of iCountBetter, an iPad app that replicates crucial elements of the challenges we provide our students at BBL, through an approach called Gattegno mathematics. BBL owns the rights to the app, the final shape of which was influenced by feedback we solicited from our partner schools’teachers, as they and their students tried out increasingly complete versions of iCountBetter.
Though the three-year grant period has expired, BBL continues to offer CS 112 and PS 111 teachers support in their using the app, available to all for no cost on Apple’s app store (iPad only).
An independent evaluator has completed her final assessment of our progress in accomplishing the grant activities. Her report is available in the Dissemination Grant drop-down menu, under “Findings and Reports.”
Here is an excerpt:
Teachers feel the app is easy to use, liked by their students, and useful in supporting their math instruction. While rates varied, most teachers are using the app as a math activity on a fairly regular basis. Classroom observations findings show that students were highly engaged with the app and enjoyed learning from it. While the design of iCountBetter may be more unfamiliar or complex in comparison to other educational games, students were able to grasp how to use the app in a relatively short period of time. The teachers responded very favorably to the professional development that they received and feel confident in using the iCountBetter app. Approaching next year, the teachers indicated that they intended to continue using the app as a math skill-building activity for their students.