Program Description & Objective
SUPER STAR MATH (SSM) is a K-5 program designed as an enrichment opportunity for self-directed learners in mathematics. The program curriculum was provided by the district math department. Program coordination is maintained by the district’s volunteer department. All materials are aligned with Common Core Standards. This structured, 10 week program is not to replace any school curriculum. Participation is optional. Any student, regardless of academic performance, should be encouraged to participate.
On Monday student worksheets are distributed by volunteers or classroom teachers. Students have until Friday to complete problems, working entirely on their own. A brief problem-solving session, hosted by the classroom SSM volunteer, SSM coordinator, or classroom teacher may be held during the week. Students have the weekend to revisit problems. On Monday all worksheets are turned in and corrected by the volunteer. Students are rewarded with SUPER STARS or points on a chart. New worksheets are distributed and the cycle is repeated.
- To provide an enrichment opportunity for self-directed learners in math.
- To provide a structured program that does not impinge on normal classroom routine.
- To give assisting adults a well-defined role to play in the volunteer program.
- Participation in the program is optional.
- It is not to replace any school curriculum
- Any student (regardless of academic performance) should be encouraged to participate.
Variations of the Basic Model
- Same structure but the teacher involves the entire class in the problem-solving discussions. Teacher does parallel problems with the entire class. Students exhibit they learned the material by doing the worksheet over the weekend.
- Volunteers run the entire program, including the problem-solving session.
- Parent runs the program at home for their own child. Rewards may be special events with parent (books, movies).
The Players’ Responsibilities
- Should know philosophy and component parts.
- chooses coordinator(s) for the program.
- Encourages faculty and students to participate>
- Provides encouragement in school newsletters and/or on morning announcements.
- Might be able to provide some rewards (through internal funds, SAC funds, or PTA funds).
- Best if only a facilitator; allows volunteer to run the program. Monitors program.
- Understands components of the program and responsibilities of the volunteer, teacher, student, and parent.
- Hosts brief problem solving session once each week (if not provided by the classroom volunteer), ideally with worksheet but no pencils. Covers most difficult problems; those that require a strategy. 15 minutes maximum.
- Encourages students to finish completing problems during the weekend.
- Understands some students may drop out in the first month.
- Encourages those who stay, despite not achieving many SUPER STARs.
SUPER STAR MATH Coordinator...
- Make SUPER STAR MATH fun! The coordinator sets the tone for the school!
- Recruits/trains interested faculty.
- Recruits/trains volunteers, ideally one per class or grade level.
- Makes sure program rules are clear and concise.
- Plans timeline, schedules events.
- Prepares and distributes parent letter and student agreement to classroom volunteers.
- Orders new materials from Copy Center and destroys used worksheets.
- Plans grading method for school. Once a method is established, maintains consistency.
- Normal scoring: give 1-4 SUPER STARS for a correct answer as designated by the individual problem’s difficulty.
- Could give partial credit to problems with several parts, or if child understood the problem and how to proceed, but made a mistake.
- Obtains financial resources or donations for rewards.
- Prepares recognitions and awards.
Classroom or Grade Level Volunteer…
- Makes SUPER STAR MATH fun! Sets the tone for the class and the students will follow along!
- Collects agreements from parents and students.
- Distributes new worksheets. Leaves extra sheets for teacher when students are absent.
- Is familiar with the worksheets, answers, and problem-solving suggestions.
- Checks worksheets according to established method for school.
- Plans a system for displaying SUPER STARS in classroom, as on a “SUPER STAR MATH Chart.”
- Distributes extra incentives, rewards at certain milestones (50 points, 100 points, etc.).
- KEEPS ALL RETURNED WORKSHEETS and returns them to the SSM Coordinator to be destroyed.
- Is punctual and reliable. Maintains strict CONFIDENTIALITY regarding students’ abilities.
- Signs an agreement that says he/she will “do their own thinking.
- Develops processes of independent thinking.
- Remembers to put their name on their worksheets!
- Is notified that their child’s class will participate through an informational school letter.
- Encourages their child to participate in SUPER STAR MATH.
- May help their child read the problem.
- May suggest strategies; offer math counters or math manipulatives.
- DOES NOT give the answers.
- Allows their child to do their own thinking.
- Understands their child will not be able to solve every problem.