an innovative math experience for kids 10~12
numbers don't lie
VISITS FROM KIDS & ADULTS
Barry Hoffman is a math educator who is in his 18th year of teaching 6th grade mathematics at Weber Middle School (Red House) in Port Washington, NY. But it is not just about experience, it is about successful experience. His website, Hoffkids.com, has been visited more than 440,000 times since its inception in 2003. Hoffkids has become a favorite of students aged 10-12, teachers, educators, and families on Long Island and around the world. He has been awarded the distinction of “Highly Effective” Educator by both the NYS Department of Education and the Port Washington School District.
Barry was born on July 9, 1971 in NY. He attended Baldwin High School, and then majored in business, before graduating in 1999 from Hofstra University with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. He has 60 credits beyond this degree. He has a middle school extension degree in mathematics for grades 7-9 which has prepared him for the rigors set forth for 6th graders in New York State. He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
In 1998, he student taught at Denton Avenue School in Herricks, then had a 6th grade math/science leave replacement at Locust Valley Middle School, and was a 6th grade assistant at Clarke Middle School in East Meadow. It is here he found his passion for middle math education. Barry was a lead presenter from 1999-2002 at Family Math Day, where he created his Math Magic presentation for 5th graders.
In 2000, Barry had the idea of creating Hoffkids.com as a website where his students could work with math anywhere and anytime they wanted. It would take another 3 years to fully develop this special math/science site.
In the same summer, he landed his first classroom position teaching 7th grade math at Island Trees Middle School where he met his wife; a guidance counselor. Having a goal of teaching 6th grade, in December of 2000, he saw a 6th grade math/science opening at Weber in the NY Times. He left his position at year’s end to teach at Weber Middle School in 2001. Since 2001, Barry has worked with over 1,200 6th graders developing their math skills, confidence, and interest in math, with technology at every step. He has been doing the weekly 6th grade Homework Club for 14 years.
Needing a way to test out his math and technology ideas for whole class instruction, in 2002 he spent 100% of his teacher budget to purchase a projector. This would allow the Internet to be part of the student’s everyday experience. He predicted that every classroom would one day have this. Now anything was possible in his classroom.
Barry knew technology was going to be a large part of his teaching style. On February 25, 2003, Hoffkids.com was “born,” and supports its claim 15 years later, to be one of the most visited classroom teacher websites in the world. Hoffkids has become a leading website environment for young math learners and in 2018 has undergone its largest responsive renovation.
In 2005, Barry was one of the first classroom teachers in his school to be using the Smartnotebook software with his writing tablet before Smartboards were in classrooms. In 2008, he used a Wii remote and a $20 infrared pen from China to have his students virtually writing on the wall using all the Smartnotebook tools (without a real board). His students have led the way doing their math homework with their own virtual classroom so they can know if they are correct right away, and see answer screencasts made from Barry to learn from their homework which saves valuable class time the next day.
Originating out of a need from parents, Barry combined his extensive 6th grade math experience with his integration of technology, to create Hoffkids Online Math Tutoring in the summer of 2013. This is Long Island’s leading online math tutoring service for 6th grade math students. In a short amount of time, Hoffkids Online Math Tutoring has claimed its online niche as a winner being highly effective, warm, engaging, flexible, and truly innovative. Barry’s passion reflects how he truly loves what he does in the classroom and with online distance learning.
His math background combined with his integration of technology, passion, time spent preparing, and ability to relate to children ages 10-12, have attributed to his consistent successes. Barry's goals for working with students include; reducing math anxiety, raising their interest, increasing confidence, increasing critical thinking, and teaching the benefits of math strength. Barry’s expertise is in student motivation to achieve maximum inner desire to learn. This leads to an increase in student confidence, math understanding, and performance.
In 2017, Barry’s classroom teaching style transformed going “notebookless” while using “the most innovative educational application in years.” Classkick, combined with writing tablets and Chromebooks, led his class to be the first in America to use external writing tablets with Chromebooks to make the math classroom truly 100% engaging for all levels.
Barry has been inspired by teachers in the United States who are not afraid to take chances and implement effective technology and applications. He gives significant credit to the Port Washington School District and specifically Weber Middle School for fostering a climate of autonomy when it comes to teaching styles. “Because of the supportive environment, technological support, and freedom to try new ideas, I feel like the sky’s the limit with how I can reach math learners.” While thankful for the opportunities he has had and the support of the Port Washington families that are very special and dear to him, he never becomes complacent. “There are always more effective techniques to learn, and the students and the school climate always changes. There is much more to do.”
Barry lives on Long Island with his wife, daughter, and son. He plays weekly competitive tennis and enjoys spending time computing, working on Hoffkids, tutoring math online, hanging out at his neighborhood beach community, biking, and just relaxing with his family.