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Nevada Schools See Improved Math Scores | News

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Nevada Schools See Improved Math Scores
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Clark County schools have something to celebrate. Nevada was just one of four states that improved in both 4th and 8th grade math this year.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, Nevada showed slight improvements this year compared to two years ago and major improvement from 13 years ago. One local school credits a special teaching method used.

At Richard Bryan Elementary School, Mrs. Crew's reputation speaks for itself.

"Mrs. Crew makes it really fun, she has a lot of games that we do in here," said Megan Burns, student.

Crew is known for helping kids master math, so it's the only subject she teaches. Her school ditched the traditional model where one teacher teaches every subject. At Richard Bryan, students rotate between teachers and subjects. This allows Crew to teach math to every 4th grader.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity because my administration allows me to learn as much as I can about teaching math to 4th graders and then apply it in the classroom. I am able to really dig deep and hopefully apply it and see results in the kids," said Tilson Crew, 4th grade math teacher.

And results are exactly what the school is seeing. The principal says the number of 4th graders who meet or exceed state standards in math keeps getting better.

"The trend has been gains of about 10 percent roughly each year over the last three years. From 61 percent to 72 percent to 80 percent last year," said Steve Piccininni, principal.

While the school can't prove their unique model is behind the improvements, Crew says she learns what works. Sometimes the students even learn simple songs to help them remember the rules of math.

"Look next door, five or more, add one more," said Ben Perdono, student, who explains how he uses a song to learn when to round up.

And sometimes it's just making sure students are focused and engaged.

"We wouldn't have the whole day and maybe do reading for a little bit more or another subject for a little bit more. That whole hour was just for math," said Laura Ryerson, student.

The teaching model of rotating students through different teachers is uncommon in elementary schools, but they say students are responding well to it.

Teachers say there are lots of different methods and programs that could be behind the state's recent math improvements.

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