What’s Right With Our Schools: Online program strengthens students’ math skills, motivates them to learn


HOUSTON COUNTY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Houston County school has a computer program that is so popular with kids, that they’re starting to use it in their spare time.

“This is a way the teachers really like to see their students reinforce the math that they are teaching them in the classroom,” says William Ray who is the principal at Kings Chapel Elementary School.

Second through fifth graders are learning math through technology. An online educational program called “sum dog” gives students a chance to drop the books and learn more with a click of a mouse.

Ray adds, “Students aren’t engaged by worksheets like they were years ago. Now students live in a more interactive world.”

The teachers set the skill level and content for students as they practice math and become more fluent with it. Once they get the answers correct for each problem, they earn coins and are able to play games.

Second grade teacher Ashley McConnell says, “To them it’s like a video game and I even send home to the parents their codes and they even play it home. I mean, that’s how much they love it.”

The program makes students motivated to learn.

“I feel like I need to get every answer right,” says 2nd grader Melody Phillips.

“I am ready to get all of the answers right to get more games,” 2nd grader Kayla Gaines adds.

Last year the school saw an increase in math scores on the Georgia Milestone tests.




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(478) 745-4141 ext. 303 Karlisha Booze joined the 41NBC news team in October 2013 as the producer for 41 TODAY. A year later, reporting for Channel 17, the Bibb County School District channel, was added to her responsibilities. Born and raised in Macon, Karlisha is proud to be in her hometown doing what she loves to do. Karlisha's passion for news began in elementary school where she anchored the school's morning news and got an opportunity to try out for the Junior Journalists at WMAZ. She also performed in commercials with Kids Voting Georgia, for Bibb County and Cox Communications. Prior to working at 41NBC, she was a news intern at WGXA and was later hired as a production assistant and worked as a fill-in anchor/producer for the station's morning news broadcast. Karlisha graduated from Middle Georgia College in 2009 with an Associate of Arts (Communications), from Fort Valley State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communications), and from Ashford University in 2014 with a Master of Arts (Organizational Management). She is currently pursuing a Doctorate focusing on Business Administration. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and spending time with family and friends, especially her son, Ka'Dence. If you have any story ideas, please pass them along!