Printed from Afterschool Curriculum Choice - Math
Location: http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/guide/math/


Curriculum Details for
Camelot Learning Mathematics Intervention Curriculum


Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
Camelot Learning Mathematics Intervention Curriculum
Publication Date: 1998
Grade Level: 1–6
Content Focus: Math
Costs: $219 per Teacher’s Resource Guide, $54 per Student Workbook
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
Camelot Learning
518 Virginia Ave #300
Baltimore, MD, 21286
410-825-2955
www.camelotlearning.com

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Program Description

Design Summary

Camelot Learning was designed specifically for afterschool, but has also been used before and during the school day.  The math curriculum includes four themes:  Number Sense, Computation, Fractions and Decimals, and Geometry and Measurement.  Camelot’s primary goals are to use alternative teaching methods to help students build their skills and confidence using games, mental math strategies, daily problem solving and test-taking skills.  The program is specifically designed to help motivate “reluctant learners.”  Overall, the curriculum is hands-on and includes physical activities that, in addition to math skills, teach listening skills and conflict resolution.  Each lesson focuses on a “daily quest” which the students will answer through completing the lesson activities and games.

Materials include a Teacher Resource Guide with lesson plans, teacher resource packets, extra games and manipulatives. Student Workbooks come in the form of a small backpack including all necessary materials for lessons and games.  If the optional assessment component is purchased, pre- and post-tests are included as well as forms for parents and for filling out individualized education plans (IEPs).

Costs and Staff Training

The cost per theme is $219 for the Teacher Resource Guide and $54 per Student Workbook.  Discounts are available for larger orders, and the company offers some assistance, such as templates for grant applications. The assessment tool costs $25 per student. Training is available but not required and costs around $500 for a 2-hour session.

Staff Qualifications

No formal teaching experience is needed to implement Camelot Learning Math.   However, some experience managing groups of students would be important.  Both practitioner and expert reviews agree, suggesting that the scripted nature of the program makes it easy to implement.

Standards Alignment

  • National: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and is an SES approved program under NCLB.
  • State: None specified.

Research Base

Camelot Learning Math is based on multiple intelligence model research.  It is designed using best practices teaching students whose dominant learning style is not linguistic or logical-mathematical.

Evaluation Details

This curriculum was evaluated independently by the Baltimore County Public Schools, showing a significant increase in scores on mathematics assessments for those students in Camelot as compared to the control group.  The full report can be found here: http://www.camelotlearning.com/resources/research-based-study

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Lessons may include some hands-on learning, using games and activities designed for different learning styles. 
  • Lessons are clearly structured and easy to use.
  • All materials for implementing lessons are included.
  • Appears to be fun and engaging for students.
Challenges
  • Lessons broadly cover five years’ worth of mathematical instruction and learning.
  • Curriculum is structured and prescribed.

Practitioner Expert Review

Practitioner Expert Background

This practitioner, an educator for ten years, has used Camelot Learning Math in a before and afterschool program as well as doing the school day.  She has used the math curriculum for four years.  In her work, she has touched on all math themes, but has had the most experience with the Computation theme.  She has used it with groups of middle school aged students who were often of different ages and abilities.

Logistics

Training
  • Attended a brief initial training.
  • Scripted lesson guides made it easy to implement.
  • Customer service was excellent and assistance was easily accessible by phone or email.
Set-up/preparation
  • Preparation time is very brief, maybe 10 minutes. 
  • Student workbooks come with materials already sorted and ready for use.

Student Engagement

  • Students love Camelot and are energetic to use it.
  • Draws in students who are not usually excited about learning.
  • Students find manipulatives and games particularly enjoyable.
  • Lessons are written such that the instructor is constantly in conversation with students and encouraging them to share their opinions.

Content

Adaptability to instructor needs
  • Camelot is very flexible, can be either a stand-alone curriculum or a supplement to a broader program.
  • Can easily break students up into smaller groups or pairs when using the curriculum.
  • Students practice skills through the use of games.
  •  Curriculum will review more basic math skills in later lessons.  These refreshers help ensure that skills and knowledge are retained. 
 General skills taught
  • Often older students are paired with younger students to help teach them skills and activities. 
  • Students may be divided into teams to play math games that teach teamwork and communication.
  • Appears to build social skills and self-esteem.
  • Students seem to be more confident in their abilities as learners, and often are more likely to participate in class.
Addressing diverse student needs
  • Content of curriculum can make any child feel proud and included.
  • Activity-based learning appeals to a range of student backgrounds.
  • Effective with students who struggle with doing math worksheets or sitting in front of the computer.

Strengths and Challenges

Strengths
  • All materials for implementing lessons are included.
  • Students have fun and are engaged.
  • Scripted and easy to use.
Challenges
  • This practitioner didn’t find Camelot to have any challenges or weaknesses.

Content Expert Review

Content Expert Reviewer

Maggie Myers
Dr. Maggie Myers is a lecturer at The University of Texas and a mathematics education consultant. As a mathematics content specialist with the SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool, she observes promising afterschool programs to identify effective practices, guides materials development for disseminating research-based supports, and conducts training. Maggie has a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics and extensive experiences in mathematics education, from developing educational materials for young children and their families to teaching high school through graduate-level mathematics. She was the site director for Family Math in Austin, Texas, a math coach, and the creator of materials for informal settings as well as materials for the implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics, the curriculum for the state of Texas. Recently, she led a writing team for revising the grades 3-5 Washington State Mathematics Standards.

Content

  • This is a math intervention curriculum with over 160 patented lesson plans, sorted into the following categories: Number Sense, Computation, Fractions and Decimals, and Geometry and Measurement.
  • This review is based on a sample of the Computation curriculum for grades 1-5.
  • The Computation Theme consists of 40 lessons, with a focus on topics that many students struggle with. 

Skills

Academic Skills
  • Computation: mental math strategies and problem solving skills for number operations.
  • Number Sense
  • Fractions and Decimals
  • Geometry and Measurement
Study Skills
  • Test-taking strategies
Non-Academic Skills
  • Taking turns and working together cooperatively.
  • Communicating ideas to solve problems.

Alignment to Standards

  • Based on the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) guidelines, and has been correlated, but not aligned, to state content standards. 
  • The curriculum is correlated to expectations for a range of grade levels (in the case of Computation, grades 1-5).

Assessment

  • Using the Camelot Assessment Program, schools submit the results of a pre-test to Camelot, and within five days Camelot returns three types of reports: group reports with strengths from each class, individual reports for each student with strengths and areas for growth, and parent reports summarizing students’ needs.
  • Post-tests are also administered following the program, with similar reports produced.
  • Graded worksheets
  • Class math competitions

Structure

  • The curriculum is entirely scripted, with a specific sequence of lessons.
  • The content is entirely defined through worksheets, vocabulary cards, etc.
  • Lessons are taught through direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practice.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

Adaptability
  • The curriculum is highly structured and prescribed. It can be challenging to adapt the curriculum to the learning or behavioral needs of individual students.
Developmental level
  • The skills targeted by the 40 lessons cover grades 1-5, but are not grade specific.
  • Content matches the general needs of students struggling in math.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • The curriculum consists of a variety of activity styles that may appeal to different learning styles.
  • Movement/spatial learning: Some activities require students to sit in different formations and use body language.
  • Interpersonal learning: Students work in large and small groups, so they must communicate and cooperate.
Multiculturalism
  • There are a variety of activities and games that might appeal to different students. 
  •  This curriculum doesn’t explicitly address students’ diverse backgrounds.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features
  • Lesson formats may include some hands-on learning through games and activities designed for different learning styles. 
  • Lessons are clearly structured and easy to use.
  • All materials are provided, decreasing preparation time.
Challenges and Drawbacks
  • Lessons broadly cover five years’ worth of mathematical instruction and learning.
  • Curriculum is structured and prescribed.
  • Many of the activities found in the Computation curriculum rely heavily on worksheets and vocabulary cards.

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