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The Method

“My first half of that battle was to get the kids to come to school and to come to my class. Once I had them in class and not on the streets, then maybe I could make a difference in their day.”

Sam "Cal" Calavitta

Recognized as one of America’s foremost math teachers for nearly two decades, Sam “Cal” Calavitta was awarded the Prestigious Siemen's Award for Advanced Placement in 2009. Cal developed his own unique method of teaching called the Cal Method while in the trenches of high school remedial math classes where lack of purpose, lack of interest, and lack of hope permeated the classrooms.

The Cal Method is a personal approach to teaching. The ideology being that where there is nothing, we, as teachers, have the opportunity to create sparks, ignite fires, and stir up hailstorms, when we walk through the classroom door each day. It stresses the academics, but not the academics first.

The Cal Method is the philosophy of investing in the individual student first; making each individual student feel special and important in his or her own significant way, and then letting the academics follow through the careful implementation of a fun, dynamic, interesting, and meaningful classroom atmosphere. It is an atmosphere saturated in optimism where each student is challenged to stretch their skills through the use of careful curriculum integration and an entire array of fun drills, activities, quizzes, real life problems, and tests which constantly saturate their minds – never letting them forget anything!

As Cal says in his book: “The students will give back exactly what you put into them. If nothing is given, then nothing will be received. Kids are very responsive to investment. If you invest in them, they are going to respond in a positive way. They cannot help it. It is an innate and natural feeling. When you show an interest in them, they naturally gravitate to you. Kids want a reason to perform, a reason to work hard, a reason to reach beyond their circumstances and excel. In many cases, they just need a reason to get up in the morning. It is often simply a need to do the right thing or even a reason not to do the wrong thing.”