What is If I Had A Hammer?
If I Had A Hammer is an applied mathematics program that teaches math in a new way for elementary and middle school students. So far, over 500,000 children in the U.S., Canada & Puerto Rico have benefited from its methods. Hammer believes all children can learn; some simply learn differently.
Fractions are the key
The program is founded in the realization that if children do not succeed in mathematics during elementary and middle school it can be devastating to their educational future, especially for low- income children. The Hammer program starts with a strong focus on learning fractions. If students are not successful with fractions it limits their success in Algebra. And, we know that Algebra is the gateway to the sciences.
The Big Inch
The Big Inch (US Patent # 7,632,099) is the only math manipulative that combines measurement and fractions simultaneously. The Big Inch is the foundation of the If I Had A Hammer philosophy. By allowing children to physically apply the algorithms of the colored fraction blocks and markers in the Big Inch, fractions become real rather than abstract.
Hammer Education Website
HammerEducation.com is the Hammer Math Curriculum and The Big Inch instruction delivered online. This online component also includes professional development for teachers. It is a resource that gives step-by-step lesson plans, videos, pre and post-tests as well as evaluations, through the website.
With The Build students build a real house large enough for their entire class to get inside. Hosted on a college campus in their area, each build takes approximately two hours. This program helps students apply the concepts of math, create plans and set goals like attending college.
An independent third party evaluation of the Hammer program by The University of Memphis showed 116 students from eight Memphis City Schools averaged an increase of 64.4% in their math scores. The eight participating schools reported gains ranging from a low of 22.9% to a high of 118.8%.
60% were more confident that “I can learn math”
85% “had a better understanding of why math is important”
65% reported, “that understanding math in their regular class was easier”
95% agreed “other kids my age would like to be in the Hammer program”
65% thought they “would like to take more math courses because of the Hammer program”