Hernando County Title I schools are using a program called Students Understanding Math and Science, or SUMS.
Parents have recently been learning how this program works in the classrooms through workshops, where their children showed them how they are learning math through games and activities.
The SUMS parent nights were held at Moton Elementary for Moton, Eastside and Brooksville elementary schools, at Pine Grove for that school and Spring Hill Elementary and at Deltona for Deltona and Westside elementary schools.
The district's lead math coach, Nancy Ingram, said SUMS is a professional development program for teachers that provides new strategies for teaching math. Using things like hands-on manipulatives and games, Ingram said, "the kids are learning math for conceptual learning."
The strategies show multiple ways of problem solving. Math support teacher Nathaniel Brown, a teacher on special assignment, gave the example of double digit multiplication as another way of multiplying besides traditional stacking. Different approaches to problems, he explained, help students understand the underlying concepts.
"It really helps teachers become more adept," he said. "The teacher can validate the child's understanding. They can then answer students' questions."
This multifaceted way of teaching allows teachers to become facilitators, Ingram explained, and the students teach each other.
"SUMS helps students understand the mathematics," Brown said, "helps students to explore and understand what they are asking,"