A new way to teach math to Tampa kids - WFLA News Channel 8

A new way to teach math to Tampa kids

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

It's a new way to teach math, and it's making the grade. University of South Florida researchers are using Liberty Middle School in Tampa as a lab for field research on a teaching method called "interleaving."

The basis of interleaving is that the students' homework consists of roughly half the questions from that day's concept. The other half of the homework can be questions on topics learned at any previous point in the school year.

"At first the students would turn the page over because we have front and back and say, 'What is this? We didn't do this today'," said 7th grade math teacher, Jen DeMik.  "Then, the more they do it, the more they get used to it,"

The teachers involved in this 3-year study provided USF researchers with assignments they traditionally give students on each concept.  The researchers divided those questions up and created the new homework assignments.

"So every student had the exact same questions, they just had them in a different order," said DeMik.

The constant review of topics makes it easier for students to build on concepts as they go through the year.

"It helps you remember it way better," said 8th grader Marigny Duga. 

Duga was part of the interleaving study when she was in 7th grade.

"I remembered it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year," said Duga.

"It's easier to connect in 8th grade when you're building off that math," 8th grader Guilia Falabella agrees.

The Liberty Middle School teachers notice the difference the most at test times.  They say the students are more relaxed and have more confidence. They also hope the textbook companies recognize its effectiveness and use interleaving in their material.

"Really get a hold of this and embrace it, and maybe start creating some materials that we would be able to use in the classroom," said 7th grade teacher Brendan Paul.

While this is a small study, interleaving has proven successful.  As part of the study, the students were given a pop quiz at the end of the year.  Some of the topics on that test had been taught in the traditional block format. The other concepts were taught through the interleaving method.

"They scored in the mid 70s on the test that they had interleaving, and on the topics they had the block they were in the 30s," said DeMik.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:14:45 GMT
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
  • Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:05:53 GMT
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those...
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those penalties...
  • Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:59:37 GMT
    One of the dogs left at the soldier's houseOne of the dogs left at the soldier's house
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.