The possibility of kids thinking their way to pizza must be a popular fantasy among elementary school children everywhere. But through using a web based program called Think Through Math, students can think their way through problems, and their clever teacher rewards them with a pizza party.
At Peach Creek Elementary School in Anette Harber’s fifth grade class, students have enthusiastically embraced the program, which allows them to practice math problems and prepare for the state math tests.
“I really want to encourage other teachers to use this program to engage their students,” said Harber. “I think it really did help them quite a bit when it came down to the STAAR test this year and they don’t even really realize it.”
Harber noted that last year 61 percent of the students in Peach Creek Elementary passed the math portion of the test, while this year, that number has grown to 74 percent.
“I really think a lot of that is because of Think Through Math,” said Harber.
While some class time is designated for the students to work on the program, most is done from the comfort of their own homes. Students are allowed the chance to practice problems of varying levels of difficulty, and if needed, a live tutor is available for their use.
“I was amazed at how much they asked the live tutor and how many times they used that feature,” said Harber. “It was very promising and I feel like for many of the students, they are more likely to ask questions outside of the classroom where they feel more comfortable.”
Some of the students in the Harber’s class have even already gone on to work on math problems at a sixth-grade level, which could put them ahead of the game as they enter their junior high years.