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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

               

Algebra Nation


There's a new clique forming in the Grenada School District – a clique that teachers and parents encourage their children to join. It's the Algebra Nation, and it's spreading like wildfire through Mississippi!

Currently, 29 Mississippi schools serve as pilot districts for Algebra Nation, an online tutorial program that offers students assistance in the subject of Algebra. Since this subject area is tested by the state of Mississippi, mastery is crucial for students. The program coaches students in the different areas of algebra, directly aligning with the curriculum and standards of Mississippi. It's like having your very own personal algebra trainer 24-hours a day! Study experts (tutors) walk students through various types of algebra problems in the videos, explaining and demonstrating methods of completion. Videos from several different study experts are available for each type of problem, so students can choose which teaching style or method suits them best. Because different students respond to certain instructional methods better than others, Algebra Nation provides these options to meet their diverse needs. As students work through the program and become familiar with the different study experts, they can choose videos featuring the expert(s) whose style suits them best.

Here's how it works - students choose and watch a video for the area they need to improve. Students are provided with a study guide (notes) for the particular type of problem discussed in the video that they can refer to during the tutorial. After the video, students are directed to practice problems to complete on their own. Immediate feedback is provided for the practice problems, with redirection to the correct video tutorial for that area as well as a short video from a study expert explaining the best way to find the correct answer. Teachers and parents can access Algebra Nation to see their students' or children's progress and level of comprehension. Teachers can view individual student progress as well as class progress in order to determine what type of instruction or remediation is needed in the classroom.

A very special feature of Algebra Nation is the Algebra Wall. This is an online chat within the program that allows students to collaborate with other students, study experts, and teachers about areas they may not fully understand. Students can pose questions on the wall and receive answers from several different sources. Since the forum is online, questions can be asked at any time; help is available 24 hours per day. Incentives, called Karma Points, are available to students for posting questions and for assisting other students with questions on the Algebra Wall. Karma Points are displayed beside students' names, and students with the most points can earn prizes each month. Because Algebra Nation encourages collaboration between its members, each month, the student with the highest number of Karma Points wins an iPad. Other top students receive Algebra Nation t-shirts or other great prizes and awards.

Algebra Nation helps students succeed in a subject that some may find intimidating. The ability to choose a personal instructor that utilizes a style suited to an individual's own learning style is invaluable. Personalized practice in a one-on-one setting also removes the pressure of classroom performance and allows students to focus on the problem without all the distractions. Encourage your student to utilize the tools available in Algebra Nation. For more information on this new program, contact Grenada High School or Dr. Julie Riales at the Grenada School District Administrative Office.