“I’m at war with homework as it presently exists,” says Libby Chaskin, a one-time in-class math educator. Experts agree unassisted math homework might be pointless in helping the students learn the non-procedural math taught in the classroom. Immediate feedback has been proven to be the most effective learning method as demonstrated by the methods used by private tutors and interactive online homework. This is a proven method commonly yielding 100% pass rate on the STAAR test. The methodology behind Mathimagine is a concept called Formative Assessment. It is, “… a range of formal [testing] and informal [class work and homework] assessment procedures conducted by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment” (Black and Wiliam, 1998).
Black and Wiliam continue to explain “that all those activities, undertaken by teachers, and by their student in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment becomes formative assessment when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet the needs.” Currently, the two most current homework practices are the traditional approach with unaided practice and the evolved approach using instant feedback like an interactive online tool.
The first is typically Worksheets or problems from a book. Students take problems home to practice with limited resources for help. A stellar student is bored with the repetition, and a struggling student is drowning in confusion as well are their parents. The second approach is less common, but far more effective. Using an interactive online program based on the standards both in content and depth or rigor, students can be guided through the standard until he/she shows mastery. Using these tools, parents and teachers can pinpoint exactly where the student struggles most and design interventions to support the learning taking place in the classroom. A tool like Mathimagine is designed to teach and support the learning all year long using instant feedback thereby helping the student master the content or by giving schools a blueprint of extra help that needs more intervention.
Our school districts give math teachers licenses for their students. The students who use the program all year statistically finish the year with higher scores than peers that did not use the program.
We checked many books and nine years’ worth of more than 160 journals, and earlier reviews of research. This process yielded 580 articles or chapters to study. We prepared a review using material from 250 of these sources. *It is now known all studies show that strengthening formative assessment produces significant, and often substantial, learning gains. There studies range over ages, across several school subjects, and over several countries.
If you are interested in learning more about how to best prepare your students for the Math section on the STAAR, call us today.