Historical Society donates money for math software program

Laura Freeman
Kent Weeklies
Third grader Philomena Novelli in Mrs. Anne Knutty's class uses the new math software program purchases with a donation from the Tallmadge Historical Society.

TALLMADGE – Every year third graders tour the Historic Town Hall and church on the Tallmadge Circle but not this year because of COVID-19.

“We always go to the Town Hall to tour the museum, and we have the Historical Society speak to the children about the 1800s,” said third grade teacher Anne Knutty. “They have donated Chromebooks to the third graders the last few years.”

Third graders tour Tallmadge Town Hall:Tallmadge third-grade students tour historic Town Hall in annual lesson on history.

The Historical Society used to give a scholarship to one student, but wanted to help more students, said Rick Bochert, vice president of the Historical Society.

“We gave Chromebooks to them,” Bockert said. “Instead of doing a scholarship for one person, we could get more kids involved.”

The third grade usually has 175 students and the donations help more of them, Bochert said.

“The kids won’t come down this year,” Bochert said. “We asked Anne what they needed for school early in the year, but they shut the schools down. She came down a month ago and asked if we’d do something with math, and we looked into the program and it was a great program. My daughters are teachers and they love the program and thought it was great for the kids.”

The $2,500 donation from the Historical Society will be used to purchase a math software program for grades 1 through 4 this year, Knutty said. The Computer Reflex program helps children master math addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. It provides teachers with data on each child’s fact progress such as which facts they are missing and can practice.

Knutty said Reflex was not included in other software the students are using and it was the program they wanted.

Third graders in Mrs. Malinda Webb's class, from the left: Vanja Boromisa, Bryce Griffith, and Rowan Memmer use new math software program purchased with a donation from the Tallmadge Historical Society.

Third grade teacher Malinda Webb said when students start a new operation, they are pre-assessed to see what math operations they’ve mastered. In every grade level the teachers can assign math operations to work through and master the facts. They play kid-friendly games to increase fluency with math facts and know from memory what those facts are.

“The teachers get great data and recordings from it and we can see their growth,” Webb said. “I use it at conferences with parents, and parents can access it from home and see the progress.”

In addition to the actual program, teachers have a webinar to train them on the program, Webb said.

“That was included in the purchase,” Webb said. “That’s really helpful for teachers.”

A grant last year allowed the third-grade team to use the software in the spring and try it out, Webb said. The donation from the Historical Society allowed everyone in grades 1-4 to use the software. 

The program is available for teachers instructing students online, Webb said. It’s good for both face to face learning and online learners.

“OnlineTho students have an option to come back to school for face to face learning, and they would get the Reflex math program as well,” Webb said.

Bochert said president Chris Grimm and members of the Historical Society have been busy making improvements to the Historic Town Hall, including eight new window sets to replace windows that were falling apart so badly that glass was falling out of the wooden frames.

The Tallmadge Historical Society couldn't invite third graders to tour the Town Hall like it does every year but donated money for math software instead.

The Historical Society also has given money to historic homes and donated to food programs when the schools shut down, Bochert said.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com