Thanks to a generous $500,000 federal grant, 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. We have completed the first year of the grant.
Our grant application allotted a substantial amount of the funding to complete what is presently 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 is being influenced by feedback we solicit from our partner schools’ teachers, as they try out increasingly complete versions of the current prototype and use other, fully completed and commercially available iPad apps that mirror some of the design elements we are considering for iCountBetter.
An independent evaluator has completed her assessment of our progress thus far. Her report is available in the Dissemination Grant drop-down menu, under “Findings and Reports.” Here is an excerpt:
Program documentation indicates that BBL has adequately completed its scope of work proposed for the first year of the project. The iCountBetter app has undergone considerable development over year one and some features will be implemented ahead of schedule. Overall, teachers made good use of the software provided to them through the dissemination grant. Although the focus of the dissemination grant is math academic achievement, teachers also received and learned to use digital resources for ELA. Through access to a variety of educational software, the teachers became more expert in selecting and utilizing digital resources that were most appropriate for their students. Based on their usage, teachers’ feedback has had an impact on the ultimate design of iCountBetter. The teachers responded very favorably to the PD that they received and they look forward to building on what they have learned.