Extending Learning Time to Improve Math Achievement
The students that I work with in Title I Math are behind in their math skills and come to me for additional math instruction. I recently completed a literature review on the effect of math fact fluency, and there is a strong correlation between basic fact fluency and math achievement. Therefore, it is critical that these students continue to practice their math facts outside of school. XtraMath is the main tool I recommend to parents for at home math practice, but we also use the program in class quite regularly as well. Students may also enjoy practicing math facts with apps such as Sushi Monster, Front Row, and Math vs. Zombies.
In addition to basic math fact practice, students need additional time to practice and develop their foundational math skills and number sense. Two effective programs for providing individualized instruction and improving math achievement are Khan Academy and IXL.
These math tools that I have shared are critical for my students because they help to individualize the instruction to ensure they are learning math at their level. In this recent Star Tribune article the authors stated, “We have evidence from various projects around the Twin Cities that low-income and racially diverse students achieve improved results when given the same (increased) digital access commonly afforded white and/or economically privileged students. This is especially true when teachers individualize instruction so that students have access to learning at the appropriate level and when parents are actively involved” (Anderson, Beaver, and Schwartz, 2015). XtraMath, Khan Academy, and IXL are all excellent tools to individualize instruction that meet the diverse needs of students.
There are also many other digital tools available that help stretch students thinking and provide opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of various math concepts. While these types of tools are useful in the regular classroom, they are difficult for me to implement in my Title I setting because the students do not receive grades from me, nor am I able to assign required homework.
Anderon, S., Beaverson, S., & Schwartz, T. (2015). How digital tools can help all students. Star Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/how-digital-tools-can-help-all-students/291774391/