Birmingham City Schools announced the launch of a pilot program with Suntex, makers of the online math skills portal First in Math. The project gives some 19,000 BCS students, grades K-8, access to the First In Math tool, a self-paced program that motivates students to excel and take ownership of their own learning process through focused practice and instant feedback.
The Birmingham City School System is using First In Math as a supplemental tool to help students keep up with the rigorous standards established by the Common Core States Standards Initiative. Because Alabama is one of the 45 U.S. states that have adopted the new national standards, the Birmingham City School System has introduced this program to help accelerate students' learning to meet the new Common Core benchmarks. These benchmarks were set by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
"Through the First In Math pilot program, we have the opportunity to bring an exciting game-based supplemental tool into the classrooms of Birmingham City Schools," Beverly K. Kimes, mathematics program specialist for the district. "First In Math provides rigorous content in a gaming format that is familiar to our students. I am already getting great feedback about how much our students are enjoying and benefiting from the program."
The program has a friendly competition component that gets students even more enthusiastic about mathematics and wanting to practice math at school, at home and with friends. Currently within the Birmingham City School System, Green Acres Middle School, Huffman Middle School and Lewis Elementary School rank as the top schools in the First In Math pilot since its launch at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.