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Methodology

Background

Camelot Learning is a manipulative rich, hands-on Mathematics intervention program. Used during the school day, in Title 1 Math Intervention Programs, in RTI (Response to Intervention) programming, in 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and in summer programs, it is teacher friendly and motivational for students. Research based, Camelot Learning curriculum was shown to make a significant difference in acquisition of skills in rural and urban children in Maryland and Pennsylvania, in a control group study conducted by an independent researcher.

In 1997, school administrators had voiced a need for mathematics intervention that was different from traditional math education during the school day, in hopes of holding student interest. Based on this directive, the foundation for Camelot Learning’s mathematics intervention program is experiential learning.

Lessons present skills that are demonstrated and practiced through games, with daily vocabulary review as a key component of the forty minute sessions of academic programming. Camelot Learning holds a U.S. patent, attesting to its originality. Ongoing evaluation results in annual updates and changes to the lessons ensuring continued correlation to state and national standards.

Rationale

Camelot Learning’s curriculum is aligned with National Council of  Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and the Common Core Curriculum, so that the lessons taught correlate to curriculum school systems. It is the intent of Camelot for children to build the skills necessary to become successful in their school environment, but also to build confidence in their learning experiences. Camelot Learning’s lessons are designed to reach children of all learning styles, and developed in accordance with the multiple intelligences model of learning.

Camelot Learning was designed to help all students, especially reluctant learners, improve performance on standardized tests. In particular, math skills are targeted through experiential learning. Based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence model, the premise is that students who are not successful in traditional learning environments likely have dominant learning styles different from linguistic and logical intelligences which are the foundation of traditional educational. Focusing the curriculum on interpersonal, spatial, and kinesthetic learning styles, Camelot Learning reaches all students by building success into each lesson in the form of standards based assessments. Hands-on lessons not only help students learn essential skills needed to master math, but more importantly, students gain confidence in their ability to learn. Since traditional curriculum is based on linguistic and mathematical/logical intelligences, reluctant learners likely have alternate dominant learning styles. Those learning styles are the basis for instruction, connecting mastery of those skills to linguistic expression, bridging skill acquisition to improved performance on standardized tests.

Intended Learner Outcomes

  • The learner will acquire and demonstrate essential mathematical skills needed for classroom success.
  • The learner will demonstrate improved scores on standards-based tests by bridging mathematics skills acquired through alternate learning styles to linguistic and mathematical expression.
  • The learner will be able to recognize and apply vocabulary that is an essential to mastery of mathematics.
  • The learner will increase accuracy and speed in mathematics through mastery of mental math strategies and repetitive practice.
  • The learner will interact with other students to learn mathematical skills and also reinforce their skills by peer tutoring.
  • The learner will build self-confidence by increasing their abilities with mathematics.

Scope and Sequence

Camelot Learning Mathematics System uses experiential learning and teacher friendly strategies, with best practices and recommendations from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The recommendations from NCTM include:

  • Learning and practicing key skills to improve basic understandings in computation accuracy and mathematical competence;
  • Game formats to promote interesting and active student involvement;
  • Teacher scripts to reduce planning time and build in repetition and retention;
  • Motivation points and ideas to reward students for daily participation; and
  • Charts and workbooks to record student growth in number and fact acquisition.

Methodology

After developing Intended Learner Outcomes and reviewing the research and recommendations from NCTM, Camelot Learning’s lessons were created in alignment with the National Content Standards. All of Camelot Learning’s lessons are written using the same format. The lessons provide motivational activities that foster the learning of mathematics skills. A variety of skills and concepts are taught within each theme. The direct instruction and practice allow learners to engage in meaningful learning that enhances their knowledge, builds upon their skills, and prepares them to apply concepts in problem solving situations. Vocabulary is an integral part of developing the skills and concepts necessary to explain solutions to problems.

Lesson Format

Forty lessons per theme include odd numbered lessons introducing new knowledge, and even numbered lessons reviewing that basic skill, culminating in standards-based assessments. Scripted lessons are designed to take 40 minutes. The format is as follows:

  • Warm Up is a review of basic facts that also serves as a daily formative assessment.
  • Introduction and Lesson: A motivating question or activity engages students, followed by a short lesson that introduces new information.
  • Guided and Independent Practice follow the introduction of new material, where students apply the new information in solving word problems or a game format.
  • Activity: The hands-on activity incorporates strategies designed to enhance the understanding and practice of the targeted skill.
  • Daily Assessment ends the lesson, with students competing in a standards based task. Students also evaluate the accuracy of their classmate’s answers, and justify and support their thinking.
  • Vocabulary Review is 5 – 10 minutes of each lesson, reviewing words, operations, definitions, and symbols of operations.

Skills taught in Camelot Learning Themes

Number Friends

Number Concepts
  • Number recognition to 20
  • Writing numbers to 20
  • Counting to 20
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Comparing and ordering numbers
  • Reading and writing number words
  • Recognizing and using greater than and less than symbols
Computation
  • Basic addition
  • Basic subtraction
  • Recognizing addition symbols
  • Recognizing subtraction symbols
  • Writing number sentences
Algebraic Thinking
  • Repeating patterns
  • Numeric patterns
  • Recognizing mathematical symbols
  • Using pictures and objects to model addition and subtraction
Statistics and Probability
  • Recording data with tally marks
  • Creating bar graphs
  • Interpreting data in bar graphs
Measurement
  • Identifying length
  • Comparing length of objects
Communication
  • Explain mathematical thinking
  • Use mathematical vocabulary
Problem Solving
  • Variety of strategies to solve problems

Number Sense

Number Concepts
  • Basic Place Value (tens and ones)
  • Standard and expanded form
  • Number recognition
  • Counting
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Comparing and ordering numbers
  • Read and write fractions to fourths
Algebraic Thinking
  • Numeric and repeating patterns
Calculate money amounts
  • Estimation
Statistics and Probability
  • Read and interpret graphs
Communication
  • Express mathematical conclusions
  • Mathematical vocabulary
Problem Solving
  • Read, plan, and solve story problems
  • Identify key vocabulary
Measurement
  • Calendar
  • Telling time to the nearest half hour
  • Perimeter and area using counting skills

Computation

Number Concepts
  • Place value through millions
  • Comparing and ordering numbers
  • Mental Math Strategies
  • Determining the reasonableness of an answer
  • based on estimation and calculation
Algebraic Thinking
  • Patterns
  • Function tables
  • Generate rules for patterns and tables
  • Multiplication (3-digit by 2-digit)
  • Division (3-digit by 2-digit)
  • Estimation
  • Rounding numbers and money amounts
  • Compatible numbers
Statistics and Probability
  • Coordinate graphing
  • Reading and interpreting graphs, tables and
  • charts of information
  • Calculating the mean of a set of data
Communication
  • Expression of mathematical conclusions
  • Mathematical vocabulary
Problem Solving
  • Making predictions
  • Determining appropriate methods for
  • solutions
  • Create a solve problems
Technology
  • Use of calculator

Geometry and Measurement

Number Concepts
  • Mental math
  • Estimation
Computation
  • Basic facts
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Estimation
Geometry
  • Identify polygons and quadrilaterals
  • Describe polygons
  • Identify solid figures
  • Describe solid figures
  • Identify nets based on edges, faces, and vertices
  • Recognize transformations – translations, reflection, and rotation
  • Determine congruent figures
  • Define equilateral polygons
  • Classify angles and lines
  • Construct and measure angles using a protractor
  • Identify and describe symmetrical figures
Communication
  • Explain mathematical thinking
  • Use mathematical expressions and vocabulary
Problem Solving
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Determine appropriate methods and operations to solve problems
Technology
  • Use of calculator

Fractions and Decimals

Number Concepts
  • Mental math
  • Identify fractional parts of a region or set
  • Uses benchmark fractions
  • Read and write decimals to hundredths
  • Compare fractions and decimal
  • Estimate sums and differences of decimals
Algebraic Thinking
  • Apply a rule or generalization to a chart or table
Computation
  • Basic facts
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Adds fractions with like denominators
  • Subtracts fractions with like denominators
  • Simplify fractions to lowest terms
  • Identify equivalent fractions
  • Covert improper fractions to mixed numbers
  • Express a fraction/decimal as a percent
  • Add and subtract decimals
  • Calculates money amounts (change)
Communication
  • Explain mathematical thinking
  • Use mathematical expressions and vocabulary
Problem Solving
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Determine appropriate methods and operations to solve problems
Technology
  • Use of calculator

Lesson Delivery

  • Prior to each lesson, teachers should read the quest and the lesson.
  • An optional scripted lesson plan is provided.
  • In the teacher guide, materials for each lesson are listed, as well as vocabulary words.
  • During the lesson, the script introduces the unit to the students by reading or asking one of the students to read, the quest. The teacher may follow the scripted lesson plan in the teacher guide or improvise. The script begins with a welcome for students, the warm-up activity, and then introduces the lesson.
  • The scripted lesson provides questions for active questioning, a technique that keeps student engaged.
  • The game format for guided and independent practice motivates students to engage, and continue to attend, the Camelot Learning program.
  • Based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence model of learning, students with kinesthetic, social, and spatial dominant styles of learning are targeted.
  • Formative assessments, including the warm up and tournament time, bridge concepts acquired through alternate learn ing styles to linguistic and logical/mathematical expression, necessary to succeed on standardized tests.
  • Standards-based assessments end each even numbered lesson, evaluating the acquisition of the skill introduced by the quest.
  • Vocabulary mastery is key to student confidence in mathematics, both in the classroom and in the testing environment.
  • Finally, summarize the lesson and ask the children to answer the quest.

Optional Assessments

  • Camelot’s pre and post tests are provided gratis with each teacher kit. If a system prefers, Camelot can score and analyze the assessments for a fee.
  • Standards based pre-tests are given before students begin each theme and post-tests are given after the theme has been completed.
  • Assessments are graded and returned to the school within ten working days of receipt. Once scored, the analysis is delivered to the school electronically, and via US mail. Immediate results greatly assist teachers and administrators in ensuring effective placement and instruction.
  • Group data analysis provides information to assist teachers and administrators in recognizing from the pretest which lessons or skills require more attention.
  • Individual student data analysis is available to demonstrate acquisition of skills over the course of the program; skills not mastered are listed with recommended lessons for review. In parent reports, individual student data is presented by skill mastery and deficits; specific lessons are recommended for remediation of necessary skills. Accountability reports can be used to justify fund expenditure.
  • Student workbooks include game boards and activities for review; backpacks include all materials and manipulatives for each lesson.

Conclusion

Camelot Learning has been shown by third party independent research to make a difference in the effective learning of students who participate. Students who participated in the program showed a 30% increase in skills taught, 15% greater than the control group. The teacher friendly lessons were developed understanding that preparation time is often limited in delivery of intervention programs. All materials are included in this manipulative rich curriculum, ensuring successful delivery of instruction. The game format ensures success for students, and so they are motivated to attend the program, and engage in the lessons.

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Implementing the Camelot Math program has been a pleasurable and rewarding experience, not only for me as the instructor, but for the students as well.