East Hickman High School, Hickman County School District, Tennessee

eMATHinstruction Supports Rural Students Through Standards Aligned Curricula

Alice Guardo is a mathematics teacher with 23 years of classroom experience, including 16 years at East Hickman High School, a rural school in Tennessee. She started using eMATHinstruction (eMATH) curricula more than four years ago based on the recommendation of a colleague and says the materials have helped her teach Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry courses. Several of the other math teachers at the school use eMATH materials to varying extents as well, which provides some opportunities for collaboration.

Alice uses eMATH almost exclusively in her classroom, which she believes has directly contributed to her students’ improved test scores. The lessons are aligned to the state standards in Tennessee and are easy to teach, according to Alice. She says the students find eMATH challenging, but they do well with it.

[My rural students] are smart kids and they want to understand things, but they don’t want to spend endless hours practicing. The curriculum is made so they get a concrete understanding of how math works. And then they don’t need hours of practice on fluency because they better understand the underlying concepts.

Alice Guardo, Mathematics Teacher

eMATH Implementation

Rural kids from a very young age are taking care of themselves, taking care of their brothers and sisters, [and] they know how to get things done. They don’t have time for a huge amount of homework. [With eMATH], there’s usually only 8-10 problems, but they are problems [the students] have to think about, not just use some algorithm to solve.

Alice Guardo, Mathematics Teacher
East Hickman High School Demographics Chart
527 Students in Grades 9-12

eMATH Curricula Provides a Conceptual Foundation

Alice says that eMATH has helped meet the unique needs of her rural students, whom she describes as independent and self-sufficient with limited time for homework and extensive practice. The students in her classroom want to understand the practical applications of what they’re learning and the reasoning behind it, which eMATH provides. The lessons focus on providing a conceptual foundation for students rather than being overly focused on fluency, which appeals to Alice and her students. She says that the problems presented require thinking rather than rote memorization. Additionally, many students in the school do not have internet access at home, so it can be difficult for them to get additional assistance with math homework. As such, Alice says it’s critical that students learn in the classroom how math works, and not just simply how to use an algorithm to solve a problem.

Focus on Supporting Teacher Needs

eMATH works to ensure that teachers have the resources and support they need to teach engaging standards-aligned math lessons. Alice says that she appreciates the customer service she receives from eMATH, especially when she needed support finding creative solutions for how her students could access the video lessons offline.

In an effort to continuously improve its curricula and support teachers, eMATH releases updates and additional materials every month for each course and Alice says that she especially enjoys getting access to multiple versions of tests as well as extra activities and problem sets.

Results After Adopting eMATH

I think [eMATH] gets the kids to start thinking on that next level. It’s a change of gears. It really develops their mind and their understanding. But it’s not too hard.

Alice Guardo, Mathematics Teacher

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