MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

April 7, 2014

Grants aid students: New keypads help elementary pupils learn math

Fort Gibson Education Foundation and Parent Teacher Organization funds help throughout district

New keypads designed like calculators could help Intermediate Elementary School students zip through math quizzes and tests.

The school recently received approximately 115 SoftSeven numeric keypads with funding from the Fort Gibson Education Foundation and the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.

IES students participate in a statewide math quiz competition through the SoftSeven educational software company, based in Stigler.

Fourth-grade teacher Kelly Cook said the keypads will help students respond more quickly to the online math questions. She said the laptop computers students use do not have numerals in a 10-key format, like those on calculators.

Principal Sherry Rybolt said the SoftSeven math competition makes it more fun for kids to learn their math facts. Students not only must know the right answer, they must answer quickly.

“When they don’t have the 10-key on the side and they’re trying to compete against other schools or other students, it’s really hard to compete using that top row (of numbers on a computer keyboard),” Rybolt said.

“This also could help with our math tests,” Cook said. “We’re now taking the state math tests online.”

Some kids hold the keypads as if they are texting, Cook said.

Fourth-grader Gage Ragsdale held his keypad in both hands. His thumbs flit over numbers as he answered the questions. Others, such as Sydney Terry, preferred keeping the pads beside their keyboards.

Fort Gibson Education Foundation grants also paid for more projects.  

Early Learning Center kindergartners learned about living in cold climates through their World of Winter Project, funded by a $977 foundation grant.

Foundation grants also enabled the high school to buy copies of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Baby Think-it-Over infant simulators. Fort Gibson Middle School received a grant for science equipment.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee

phoenix.com.

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