For the first 7 years, our program was offered in-person in Oak Brook, IL. In the last 3 years, all classes were virtual (via Zoom). We are considering bringing back a limited number of in-person classes to be hosted at the Community House in Hinsdale, IL. In a recent survey, parents of our current students predominantly showed preference for virtual classes, even among those who originally preferred in-person sessions. So, it is quite possible that there will not be enough demand to fill in-person 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).