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Lisbon looks to encourage students in math

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LISBON – A new program is set to roll out next week at Lisbon Central School aimed at encouraging students to engage in and enjoy math.

“The objective is to generate as much excitement among the students as the [Fun Reading of Good Stories] FROGS program does,” Board of Education President Blake P. Gendebien said.

The FROGS program encourages students to read by rewarding them with points at periodic assemblies where they are recognized for their achievements. Top scorers are from time to time rewarded with prizes. The First in Math program is an online exercise that uses games and incremental tests to help students master mathematical skills.

It will be available for students in first through sixth grade.

Elementary math teacher David K. Woodside, who is heading up the program, said, “It could be handled as both remediation and enrichment.”

Mr. Woodside said starting Monday, 266 students in 16 elementary classrooms will be plugged into the program.

“Once they are afforded a password they can basically access it everywhere,” Mr. Woodside said.

He said the program allows students to work at their own pace and wherever they are comfortable.

“It’s just going to be an ongoing snowball effect where building the confidence will encourage the kids to continue,” he said.

Mr. Gendebien pointed to the success of the FROGS program and said, “It would be great to have a similar response in math.”

Lisbon will be able to try the program, for free, until the end of the school year.

After that the school would have to subscribe to the program, run by Suntex International, to continue.

Mr. Gendebien said he isn’t sure when that conversation will take place, but the first step is to see if the program attracts students.

“I don’t have any doubts about the program,” Mr. Gendebien said.

Mr. Woodside said the program makes a lot of sense today because, “A lot of students are plugged into computers.”

As the program grows, Mr. Woodside said he wants to design awards and give students special recognition for their success the same way the FROGS program does.

“I like math so well myself that I hope this [enthusiasm] spills over to the students,” Mr. Woodside said.

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