Math scores for Ontario students remain below average, with summer learning programs meant to boost the building blocks of the important skill. (Pexels Photo)
Math scores in this province are not adding up to good results.
The Education Quality and Accountability Office or EQAO released its 2018 grade six student test scores and the results were not up to standard. Premier Doug Ford has vowed to return to a more basic math curriculum to get students back on track. More than half the grade six students tested earlier this year failed the math portion of the EQAO.
To find out some of the basic issues facing students in Ontario when it comes to mathematics My Muskoka Now newsroom contacted a private learning centre
Lise Boileau-Ness (Leeze Boy-Low-Ness) is the owner of Kumon learning centres in Bracebridge and Orillia. She says what is missing in the clients that come to her for help are the basic building blocks of math.
“They are lacking mental calculation skills,” Boileau-Ness starts off. “(Children) are using their fingers. If you don’t have your basic mental calculation skills it’s hard to build (math) skills.”
She says the key is to do the work.
“Sometimes it takes six months to get them up to school grade level, but all depending on the students and them doing the homework.”
Boileau-Ness does not understand the style of math being taught now, which is called Discovery Math. She says the approach for her students is almost to treat daily school work like taking your brain to the gym. The more you work it out the faster it becomes.
“It’s homework and practicing every day,” she says. “It’s a lot of basic skills they need to work. . . to get the results.”
Boileau-Ness says the other aspect is watching the child in a classroom-like environment.
“So we observe the way they work, the way they are thinking,” she explains. “We do goal setting so every month the goal will change to their skill and where they are going.”
The MyMuskokaNow newsroom contacted the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for comment on the provincial scores. Pauline Stevenson said the board will not receive the 2018 local board results until the third week of September so would reserve comment until then.
She did say, “we’ve been working for many years now to help our students and our teachers improve numeracy and programs that benefit students as they move through the grades.”
MyMuskokaNow.com and MyParrySound.com and MyHaliburtonNow.com all reached out to other boards in their respective areas, and have not heard back.