West Mifflin Area School District News Article

Ms. Rader named SpringMath Teacher of the Year

Maria Rader, a 3rd grade teacher at Homeville Elementary School, is a strong proponent of the importance of early Math skills, and its lasting impact throughout education.

“I think it’s just as important as reading skills. They’ll use these skills forever,” said Ms. Rader. “Third grade math really involves core math skills, so I think really having that fluency with simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, that’s really gonna help them throughout their years. Just having that confidence in the basics is going to help them.”

On May 7, Ms. Rader’s class was awarded the SpringMath Traveling Trophy, their third time receiving the award this year. Additionally, Ms. Rader was named the SpringMath teacher of the year. Classrooms earn the trophy based on their entering scores, growth, and how quickly they accelerate through their assigned skills.

Since last school year, the district began integrating SpringMath into its grades 3-5 classrooms. SpringMath is an evidence-based tool designed to promote growth in math for all learners. Teachers administer brief, timed assessments to their students and SpringMath uses the data to create customized classwide and/or individual instructional packets for students to boost mastery of math concepts.

Spring Math is implemented into the classroom for roughly 15 minutes a day, and is meant to supplement core math curriculum. The success of the program stems around collaboration, as students are given partners, testing each other before undergoing a timed, two-minute assessment. For each skill students are working on, there is a class-wide goal to reach. Ms. Rader said her class has been able to reach just about every goal it could at the 3rd grade level.

“It really focuses on teamwork and cheering each other on. You’re working together to reach that goal,” said Ms. Rader.

“It hits all of the skills that we work on all year, starting with that simple addition and subtraction and moving on. It worked well, especially when it lined up with what we were learning to just give us an extra push for that day.”

Oftentimes, SpringMath will pair students together who might be on different levels of learning. Ms. Rader said the pairings are quite helpful, as students use their own tips to keep their partner moving along.

“They would really use whatever helps them to kind of teach their friend to get them moving quicker and to get the skills down,” said Ms. Rader.

“It was really cool. The kids really enjoy moving up. It’s more like a game to them, to hit the skills and move up. It’s a really good program, and I’ve seen so much growth in my students.”

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1020 Lebanon Rd Suite 250 West Mifflin, PA 15122
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