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      New program teaches elementary students a different way to think about math

      Students at Davis County Elementary have started to get excited about math.

      It's all because of a new program the district has implemented elementary-wide called Everyday Math. The program teaches students to think more about the process of solving a problem and getting an answer rather than just the end result.

      "Really this program is about how kids are thinking versus just the procedure steps of addition or subtraction or multiplication, it's really the thinking behind it," said Melinda Replogle, fourth-grade teacher at Davis County Elementary School.

      Everyday Math dedicates an extra 30 minutes in kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms, which allows the teachers more time to make sure every student is up to speed. It also incorporates hands-on activities, partner and group work and games that get the kids excited about what they're learning.

      The program is also very cohesive from grade-to-grade, so now teachers at one grade level will get new students who already know the concepts of Everyday Math from the year before.

      "We're really putting the focus on not so much getting the right answer or everybody having the same answer, but how you get to that answer and having the kids have a chance to explain their thinking and how they got to that point," said first-grade teacher Kelli Husted.

      The Everyday Math program was implemented at the beginning of this year, but both Replogle and Husted agree it doesn't require significantly more planning time, yet they can already see the benefits in their classrooms. The Davis County District purchased all the materials required for the program, which also aligns with the Iowa Core.