Online Math Practice
 

Math Intervention Plan - RTI

If you have already chosen MathScore and want to skip ahead to our proposed schedule for using MathScore as a math intervention (RTI), click here.

Introduction

Our learning system, MathScore.com®, is an online math program that provides individualized practice and assessments for students, and progress monitoring for teachers. Developed by MIT graduates, MathScore motivates students to rigorously practice critical math skills with an intense "I have to beat this level" desire found in popular computer games but rarely seen in educational software. This unique balance of rigor and addictive fun produces an order of magnitude more math practice than paper-based approaches and has consistently produced impressive test score increases in math intervention classes. Using MathScore only one hour per week, teachers have often experienced test score improvement after only a few months of use. With minimal teacher training and no installation required, MathScore can immediately and measurably help your district achieve its math intervention objectives.

For a strong impression of how MathScore works, watch the introduction video below:

MathScore Intro Video
MathScore Introduction (2:22)

Common Problems in Math Interventions

Typically, middle school and high school math intervention students have the math skill level of a 3rd to 5th grader. They struggle with fraction manipulation, long division, and often basic math facts. These students are not ready for Algebra I and are at risk of failing to graduate from high school.

Math intervention teachers lack the time to individually remediate each of the students, particularly if the students are weak with something as simple as multiplication math facts.

The Solution Requires Prioritization of Critical Skills

In 2008, the National Math Panel released Benchmarks for the Critical Foundations of Algebra, which highlighted the skills that they felt were by far the most important for future Algebra I success. These skills included math facts, decimals, fractions, negative numbers, percentages, and some geometry concepts.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education released Assisting students struggling with mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for elementary and middle schools, which is available here: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/publications/practiceguides/. One of their most important conclusions is that for math intervention students, there is not enough time to teach everything, so you must prioritize your curriculum for these students. The document makes 8 research-based recommendations. If you are serious about implementing a successful math intervention program, we suggest that you download and study it. Our MathScore intervention plan greatly supports all 8 of the recommendations.

How MathScore Prioritizes Critical Skills for RTI Programs

MathScore's trophy system rewards students for mastering the most important critical skills. To earn a trophy, you must master a themed set of math topics, such as math facts, fractions, negative numbers, etc. By telling students to earn trophies, you are setting a concrete goal which makes it easy for the students to focus. The trophies cover all of the most critical skills that were recommended by National Math Panel. The students will typically rise to the challenge and often compete with each other to be first to earn the trophies. With fun, concrete goals to achieve, your students will be very motivated to master their critical skills.

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RTI Schedule for a MathScore Math Intervention

We know from experience that most teachers will only have about 1 hour of computer access per week, usually in the form of a computer lab. MathScore has proven to be very effective given this limitation, so our intervention plan assumes this minimal level of computer access. Therefore, with the exception of the few teachers who can guarantee daily computer access, MathScore will be used as a supplemental program. Each day that the students get to use the computers will be referred to as a "lab session", and we recommend a minimum lab session length of 30 minutes, but ideally 1 hour. We do not recommend lab sessions of 15 minutes or less.

Here is our general plan:

  1. First lab session: Students play with MathScore using our Copy Cat topic, a typing training tool. It is useful, fun and gives the students a positive first impression of MathScore.
  2. Second lab session: Students take our Core Skills assessment, a diagnostic test that identifies their strengths and weaknesses with respect to foundational skills.
  3. Third lab session and beyond: Students practice math concepts using MathScore. They will aim to earn all of the trophies, which are mastery-based and focus on foundational skills. During the lab session, the teacher will individually tutor certain students based on progress. At the end of the lab session, the teacher will log in, view progress, and commend students for specific accomplishments. Note: To focus on trophies, the students will always view the Awards tab and select their topics from the trophies' prerequisites, which is different from the mainstream usage of clicking on the Topics menu.
  4. Between lab sessions, the teacher will view student progress, identify struggling students, and possibly alter classroom instruction to help specific groups of students. Otherwise, the teacher will teach class normally.
  5. Occasional lab session: Once every few months, the teacher will assign another Core Skills assessment. The results will be compared with the previous assessment to measure overall mathematical progress.
  6. Monthly guidance (optional package): MathScore representatives will email each individual teacher once per month with concrete suggestions for each class. This guidance will keep the teachers motivated, provide ongoing training, and ensure that MathScore is used consistently in every school.
  7. After test scores come back: MathScore data, such as engaged time, can be correlated with student performance. In grant-funded deployments, the external evaluator will typically analyze the data.

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"I've never had such remarkable test score increases before."
- Jann Spallina, Ustach Middle School, CA
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