David Sparks

Ashland

David Sparks

Ashland
david.sparks2@ashland.kyschools.us

Biography

Programming a Better Understanding of Mathematics

Over the past several years, the students at Ashland Middle School (AMS) have failed to perform at a proficient level in mathematics, as determined by the Kentucky K-Prep end-of-year mathematics assessment. Since 2013, a mere 45.2% of students at AMS scored proficient or higher on the K-Prep math assessment. This is especially disparaging since 21st century careers increasingly rely on a proficiency in mathematics. In order to meet the current and future needs of students at AMS, additional steps must be taken to help bridge this achievement gap. One approach that research has shown helps increase student performance in mathematics involves an increased emphasis on computer science (CS). In a CS course, students must use the “same critical thinking, visualization and sequencing” skills required to “solve algebraic equations, calculate area or perimeter, and many other important math skills (Priyev, 2016).” By giving students additional opportunities to develop these skills, students should be able to perform at a higher level. Fortunately, this idea of CS curriculum increasing student performance in math is not just based on wishful thinking. A 2018 Code.org study shows that integrating CS activities into the curriculum increases student performance in mathematics. Furthermore, the best results were achieved by the teachers that taught “extra” CS beyond the required minimum coursework (Partovi, 2018). In an effort to duplicate the positive results of this study, AMS is adding 2 computer science courses to their current curriculum offerings, starting with the 2018-2019 school year. These courses and their effects on student performance in mathematics will be the focus of this action research project.

All sessions by David Sparks

Concourse A – Breakout Segment C

24 Oct 2018
1:05 am-2:15 am
Concourse A