Friday, March 18, 2016

Teaching Middle School Math with the "Think Through Math" Program

By Christiane Guydish

With the change in the rigor in the curriculum yearly, it is important that we are finding new ways for students to learn inside of the classroom.  My classroom was lucky enough to be part of a pilot computer program this year.  The program, Think Through Math, is an alternative learning activity for students to complete independently on the computer on a daily or weekly basis, specifically used during small group instruction.

The Think Through Math Program (TTM) focuses on providing students with multiple pathways to learning.  Students are assessed at the beginning of the program and given a learning pathway that is specifically designed for them.  As an independent activity, students are encouraged to move past their comfort zone and persevere through various high-order thinking questions.  To support struggling students during the program, TTM provides students with live teachers, who they can use as a resource when difficulties arise.

Students who enjoy and find this program successful are motivated by multiple learning activities including a warm-up game, guided learning, practice questions, and a post-quiz to move to the next lesson.  While completing, these activities students are continuously earning “think points” that they can accumulate or give away to charities.

As a whole, TTM can provide another way for some students to learn and benefit from to help them with the more rigorous curriculum. 

Christiane Guydish is a teacher at John B. Stetson Charter School. She earned her degree in Middle Grades Education from Temple University before moving on to teach 5th grade math and science.