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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Software helps personalize math instruction by Jenna Zwang, Assistant Editor

Jenna Zwang, Assistant Editor reports, "Yesterday's story discusses new trends in math curriculum. Some schools are attempting to keep their students' attention through the use of interactive learning products that adapt to the users skills. Others are demonstrating real world applications of mathematics in an effort to highlight math-based careers."

Photo: eSchool News
Strong math skills are important if students hope to succeed in high school and beyond—and many school leaders are finding that software that delivers hands-on, personalized instruction can help.

K-12 math instruction is undergoing fundamental changes as individualized adaptive learning programs combine with lessons meant to keep students of all ages engaged and interested.

For example, DreamBox Learning provides more than 500 elementary-level lessons to help students develop computational fluency, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving skills through an online gaming platform. Students can choose a game character and theme, and they progress through different levels of the experience, earning rewards for their progress.

Meanwhile, teachers are able to review the advancement of each student, receiving detailed reports that indicate when a student needs extra attention or when a student successfully passes the lessons.

Cooperative, hands-on learning 
While DreamBox Learning focuses on students in the youngest grades, Pitsco Education has seen remarkable success with a math program of its own, this one specializing in algebra instruction for grades 7-10.
With diagnostic assessments, targeted remediation, individualized lesson plans, and one-to-one computer-based instruction, Pitsco’s Algebra Academy has produced some incredible results in one South Carolina high school.

The Algebra Academy has computer-based elements, but it functions as a multipart program. It combines individualized curriculum; small-group activities; cooperative, hands-on learning projects; and diagnostic assessments to deliver its progressive, three-phase system. 

Related link
eSN Special Report: The Interactive Math Classroom 

Source: eSchool News