I taught three different high school math subjects and saw my students face numerous challenges while learning the material. Many of the problems they encountered with learning Algebra concepts stemmed from not having basic math fact recall and number sense.
When I first saw MIND Research Institute’s ST Math, I was very excited about the possibilities the software has for supporting teachers in teaching math conceptually. ST Math effectively teaches students with visual models and connects those visual models to symbols as students move through the math topic. The program has had amazing success in elementary schools.
For the last two years that I have been at MIND Research, we’ve been developing conceptual math content for middle and high school students as part of our quest to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems.
That’s why I’m so excited that for the 2014-15 school year, we are releasing a program for middle schools and another program for high schools that are able to reach students based on their math proficiency levels.
MIND Research wants to ensure that all students from pre-k through Algebra, and eventually beyond, have access to challenging, intrinsically motivating content that increases their desire to learn math and builds confidence through mistake-making. A major milestone was completing the elementary school offering (6th grade) and entering the middle school market, while keeping in mind the next monumental milestone. That is, to develop an entirely new way for students to learn Algebra, through hands-on learning experiences — embedded in instructional software — that engage and challenge students to problem solve and learn by doing. Providing programs for middle schools and developing Algebra continues to strengthen MIND Research’s ability to transform math education for all students through visual learning.
The new programs for the middle school offering includes ST Math: Grade 6, ST Math: Middle School Supplement, and ST Math: High School Intervention. ST Math: Middle School Supplement will be diagnostic based by grade level, addressing both remedial content as well as on-grade-level material based on a student’s proficiency level. ST Math: High School Intervention will also be diagnostic based, and will address math concepts from middle school and select Algebra concepts.
These programs are designed to engage all middle school and high school students in deep conceptual math learning that will challenge them while making learning math fun — and while building their confidence and perseverance. Students who use these ST Math programs will be better prepared to excel when exposed to the abstract concepts of Algebra 1.
We are excited to begin receiving feedback from the field as teachers begin implementing these programs.
About the Author
Dana Luther is a former math teacher and was Associate Product Manager at MIND Research Institute, where she facilitated collaboration between engineering and other departments for releases and program launches.