Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider (MI)

July 8, 2009

Math camp adds up for students
MARIA ALLARD C & G Staff Writer  

ROSEVILLE - Initially, Michael Fisher was disappointed when he learned he'd be attending a five-week math camp offered in Roseville Community Schools this summer.
"My mom wanted me to go so I could get better in math," said Fisher, who will be a freshman at Roseville High School this fall.

After the first day, Fisher admitted he "kind of liked it." He soon took to the class.

"I like learning new stuff," he said.

The math camp is offered June 22 through July 23 at Eastland Junior High School. It is open to students going into eighth-and ninth-grades this fall who would like or need more help in mathematics.

The camp, which contains plenty of hands-on assignments, meets from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.

The Macomb Intermediate School District funds the program.

There are four teachers manning four classrooms. Through grant money, RCS officials have supplied five math coaches to assist the students.

The camp is open to EJHS and Roseville Junior High School students.

The students spend 50 percent of their time working on computers using the Carnegie Learning Program, and the other 50 percent in a classroom setting. This is the second summer the camp has been offered.

Math teacher Jason Lacy said the camp is primarily for students who scored low on this year's Michigan Educational Assessment Program test. Some students who attended last year's camp came back this year.

According to Lacy, many students who enrolled in last summer's program improved their MEAP scores this year. Educators also saw improvements in their math grades during the past school year. Lacy believes many students who struggle in math do so because they lack confidence in the subject.

"We try to focus on building their confidence in math and making them feel like they can believe in themselves," Lacy said. "They get discouraged in a traditional classroom setting. In a smaller setting, everyone is kind of at the same level." The smaller class sizes not only give students more individualized attention, but also allow teachers the opportunity to identify the students'talents.

"You can focus on what they can do," Lacy said.

Teacher Tiffany Pomaville said she already saw an improvement in scores since the first week of class.

This summer, the eighth-grade students are working on fractions, decimals, ratios and percentages.

The incoming ninth-graders are focusing on positive and negative numbers, linear equations and algebra.

"I like it," Eastland eighthgrade student Jeremy Radway said of the program. "We work on multiplication, subtraction and fractions. I like the classroom and the computer lab. I like the work.

I like doing fractions." Radway wasn't too thrilled at first at the thought of attending school in the summer, but said the program will help him a lot and because of it he "will do better in school." Last Wednesday morning, incoming Eastland eighth-grader Jessica Lacey worked on equivalent fractions. She wanted to enroll in the math camp.

"I want to learn more about math so I can get into eighthgrade," she said. She said she received a C-plus this past year in math, and wants to bring that grade up to a B.

You can reach Staff Writer Maria Allard at or at (586) 498-1045.