happens to mathematical achievement scores when
fifth grade students and their parents interact
in an after school web- enhanced tutorial program?
is no denying that computer technology is here to
stay. It is one of the innovations that creates
interactive learning activities and gives educators
some additional help in reaching individual students.
Accessing the appropriate websites for the purpose
of practicing specific skills and strategies can
be beneficial to both student and teacher.
Several fifth grade, low achieving math students
only become engaged in learning mathematical skills
and strategies while using computer based tutorial
programs with limited adult guidance. As educators
we constantly seek new ideas to empower and encourage
children’s educational process, and with many of
these targeted students having computers at home
it is likely that parents and child can also utilize
the tutorial program to practice important mathematical
skills. Furthermore, while the students interact
with the web enhanced subject area in an entertaining
mode, the educator has the capabilities of peering
into the students’ achievement files which keep
accurate records of students’ scores as they continuously
move from one activity to another.
elementary school is located in a low-medium income
community, where many parents are working professionals.
Some of these parents have expressed their desire
to become more involved in helping their children,
but do not know where to begin.
Our school administrators, and the media specialist
have addressed this problem through written communication,
informing parents about various, approved learning
websites that can be accessed from a home computer.
to Dade County Schools’ Department of Instructional
Technology, it is mandated that students in K- 6
be given a prescribed amount of computer learning
time. The time allotted can be anywhere from, ten
to ninety minutes, with some teacher interaction.
In reference to the use of computer technology in
the classroom, there is a mindset that commitment
is a critical component for the process to be beneficial.
In an article for Childhood Education,
Lilia C. Dibello (2005) mentioned that: “All of
the parties involved in the process must make a
commitment to provide better technology access to
all populations. Administrators must emphasize the
benefits of employing technology. Teachers must
understand the need for incorporating technology
into their daily experiences in meaningful ways.
Students must commit to learning and employing technology
in appropriate ways. Parents must be willing to
support the changes and the need for access to technology
at home as well.” My action research really went
into full force when the parents returned their
surveys and permission slips for their children’s
participation in the after school tutorial. Some
parents showed commitment when they took their children
to the local public library or family member’s home
(to use the computer) on days when their home computer
It was imperative that the educator monitors the
students to prevent them from wandering into inappropriate
cyberspace areas. The parents were also advised
to monitor the students at home, and to interact
by asking how each math skill can be used to enhance
their home learning and classroom assignments. The
program used in this study, required the teacher
to show the students how to access the site with
their names and password. The students are guided
to the mathematical challenge segment of the program;
they complete this segment, and then utilize the
mathematical tutorial where they practice special
skills and strategies.
survey revealed that about 60% of the parents do
not like math. This could offer some indications
about their children’s lack of success in mathematics
and would warrant further studies. Even though the
parents responded that they do not like math, 100%
of them responded favorably to a question about
willingness to learn a computer enhanced math program.
Their responses strengthen the belief that parents
have an innate desire to help their children in
their educational endeavors. This researcher will
definitely take this into consideration as the program
the student’s mathematical achievement is the basis
of this research project it was important to review
the students’ various math scores. This was done
by analyzing their Quarterly grade level math test,
and their FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Achievement
Test) scores in mathematics. The Quarterly grade
level math test is administered at the beginning
of every nine weeks to give the district and the
classroom teacher an indicator of students’ improvement
in math skills and the use of math strategies. The
FCAT is a test used to assess the achievement of
the students within each school district and across
the state of Florida. The web-based tutorial began
for only a brief period before the FCAT, but it
will be interested to note any increase in the math
scores for the targeted students.
math attitude survey revealed that many of the students
like math and realize that it is very important.
They are also very conscious of the fact that they
are not very good in the subject and are very receptive
to the idea of participating in the after school
web enhanced tutorial program.
Data collection was based on the students’ scores
achieved on their quarterly math grades. The graph
shows the improvement of each student’s math scores.
Student A was transferred to my classroom from another
school district and student F was transferred from
another fifth grade class within my school. Therefore,
there were no second grading period grades for these
two students. Overall there was an average gain
of about 9.2% for the students’ fourth grading period
In this analysis it is very important to stress
how similar the web-based tutorials were to the
exercises that are used in the classroom. They provided
the tools that are needed to help the students achieve
academically. The programs were both student and
teacher friendly, easily accessible and provided
skills that meet state educational standards. The
program did not require 100% parental involvement,
but their input was vital, as they sent information
on how the student performed on their math home
learning assignments. All students involved showed
great interest in learning and practicing new math
skills and strategies.
There was one very important set back during the
progression of the program, and that was the limited
amount of computers in the classroom. Each student
was required to do individual work requiring approximately
forty-five minutes of uninterrupted computer time.
It is very important that administrators and classroom
teachers continue the dialogue with the district
officials to increase the number of computers in
the classroom, and also database for student tutorial.
The web-based tutorial can be very beneficial to
the educator, who needs extra help in reaching the
students that are failing mathematics.