Thanks to a generous $500,000 federal grant, administered by the New York State Education Department, Bronx Better Learning is sharing 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. The third and final year of the grant is underway.
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 has been influenced by feedback we’ve solicited from our partner schools’teachers, as they and their students have tried out increasingly complete versions of iCountBetter.
An independent evaluator has completed her assessment of our progress through the second year of the grant period. Her report is available in the Dissemination Grant drop-down menu, under “Findings and Reports.”
Here is an excerpt:
Information obtained from teachers and BBL’s PD staff indicate that BBL has made significant progress toward reaching their overall goals for their Dissemination Project. The iCountBetter app has undergone considerable development and teachers were able to use it in their classrooms this past year. While usage rates varied, most teachers did attempt to have students use the app, while others were successful in regularly integrating it as one of their instructional strategies. Classroom observations findings show that students were highly engaged with the app and enjoyed learning from it. While the design of iCountBetter may be a bit 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 PD that they received and are looking forward to building on what they have learned. There is some evidence based upon feedback from the PD consultant, teacher logs and the teachers’ self-reports that the PD has had an impact on teachers’ instruction.