In-Person vs. Virtual Classes

In-Person classes in 2022-2023: We planned to offer several in-person classes at the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove. However, for reasons beyond our control we were unable to do so. We definitely plan to offer both virtual and in-person classes next year and ask families that prefer the in-person mode to stick with the virtual mode for a year.

We offer both virtual (via Zoom) and in-person (in Downers Grove, IL) classes. Whether zooming or rooming with your teacher, students will join a community where Math is FUN. Parents with experience in both types of our classes indicate positive experience in both settings. A recent survey among parents of the current students shows an 80-20 split between families who prefer virtual vs in-person classes next year. Even those who live nearby have predominantly moved their preference towards virtual classes!

While in-person classes offer more social interaction, we have discovered that virtual classes provide the students with a delightfully interactive experience including a math lesson in classic presentation style, classwork in breakout rooms allowing for interaction with other students, the teacher and two Teachers Assistants, and banter using chat and emojis. Ultimately, many students enjoy both styles of classes equally, but for some children one or the other form is preferable depending on their personality.

Virtual classes might be the right choice for you for these reasons:

  • Students receive immediate and ongoing feedback through private chat, polling, and other interactive opportunities, and they can express their own answers without being influenced by other students.
  • Teachers use virtual manipulatives and other online tools to reinforce concepts and learnings.
  • Virtual classes help students develop mathematical communication skills without the fear of making mistakes.
  • Many students are more relaxed and more active in their own environment.
  • Virtual classes offer students an opportunity to meet others from around the country and develop many friendships with like-minded children.
  • Students can earn virtual rewards (gift cards) upon achieving exceptional practice targets and mastery of subjects.
  • Virtual math contests offer more flexibility.
  • Virtual classes eliminate the need for the weekly commute.
  • Students who missed a lesson have access to a recording of the session.

Traditional classroom settings might be the right choice for you for these reasons:

  • Teachers can better react to student’s body language.
  • Teacher proximity allows for necessary student re-engagement.
  • Teachers use physical manipulatives to provide tactile learning.
  • Physical activities, such as moving around the classroom or using music and motion, benefits younger students.
  • In-person classes help students develop social skills.
  • Face-to-face interaction allows to develop friendship with local children. Students often look forward to the weekly opportunity to meet their friends.
  • In-person math contests feel more exciting (with candies at the end).