Frenship posts online math tutorials for all grade levels

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If such questions are perplexing, Frenship Independent School District has an easily accessible answer: the Frenship Connection.

As of mid-October, FISD’s new math tutorials are available on www.frenship.us, the district’s website. Students, parents, substitute teachers and even teachers seeking a way to present math to students can go through tutorials for each grade level.

Cassandra Slayton, Frenship ISD’s math coordinator, said she has not heard a lot of feedback from parents.

“I’m taking the stance of, ‘No news is good news,’ ” she said.

She said the site might not need a lot of publicity at the middle schools and Frenship High School, where web-savvy students will quickly figure out there is a way to review math lessons at home.

But those at the elementary school level might need a helpful hint, she said, among parents who would typically be helping younger students with their homework.

“We’re equipping them (the parents) to help their students,” Slaton said.

Ashlee Laycock, a Frenship Middle School algebra and math teacher, said she has her students use the tutorials at home. She also uses them sometimes in class.

Laycock said that students rarely use books anymore. She said no students have asked to use a book this semester because they have the tutorials available.

The middle school teacher said her students could watch the tutorials and not miss any instruction if the class had to be taught by a substitute.

Laycock said another teacher at FMS put together the math tutorials for eighth-graders. She likes that the lessons and wording used for math problems is the same that she uses in her classroom.

Slayton said that is a benefit of Frenship putting together its own tutorials: the vocabulary and main points of the lessons are the same as students will encounter in a classroom.

Laycock was worried that students searching the Internet for math help would come up with ways of solving problems that were different than what they are taught at school, she said.

“It’s a safe Internet solution as well,” Laycock said.

Darryl Flusche, assistant superintendent of instruction at Frenship, said administrators are trying to decide which subject will be next for tutorials to go on the website. Administrators will consider parent requests, student performance and teacher input.

Flusche said it is difficult to ask teachers to work a full week of school and then come in at night and during weekends to film tutorials. The administration would prefer to start the next round of recordings during next summer, he said, “so they don’t have to be worried about two jobs at once.”

Teachers do get a stipend for the extra work, he said. Alderson Auto Group donated about $30,000 last summer for the purchase of video equipment and math manipulatives, or tangible items used to teach math in a hands-on approach, as well as the teacher stipends, Flusche said.

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