Increasing the Math Maturity of K-8 Students and Their Teachers

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When the music stops students find a new partner, the teacher poses new question, etc. This activity is great for brainstorming, reviewing, and thinking outside the box. It works best when kids are seated in small table groups. Note: Have a supply of sticky notes available for each table. The teacher poses a question, sets a time limit, and gives students a moment to think before writing. Each student writes down as many answers as they can think of—one idea per sticky note—and sticks it to the center of the table.

The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible and cover the table with sticky notes! In this activity, one student plays the role of teacher, and the other plays the attentive student. Explaining concepts clearly is a difficult skill that requires a lot of practice, and recording information helps students build note-taking skills.

Students work in pairs. One student is the sage speaker and one is the scribe silent writer. Pose a question and allow a few moments for sages to think. Have one partner from each pair move and form a circle with students facing outward. This will be the inside circle. Pose a question and indicate what role each partner will play. Inside partner will talk; outside partner will listen. After that, the outside circle rotates clockwise, and each student ends up with a new partner. This activity is great for reviewing learned material or trying new versions of familiar problems.

It can be used for math concepts, science lab follow-up questions, grammar exercises, reading summaries, etc.

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It is also good as a team-building or getting-to-know-you activity. Students will need a worksheet, a pencil, and a clipboard if you have them, students can also write on desk surfaces. At your go, students circulate and find a partner, just as in Mingle, Pair, Share.

Just like a detective, they are off in search of answers! Partner 1 asks partner 2 one question from their worksheet. Partner 2 provides an answer, and partner 1 writes it on their own worksheet. After both students have asked and answered one question, they split up and each look for a new partner. Students continue circulating until all answers on their worksheet have been filled in. Then they return to their seats until everyone is finished. Once they are back in their desk groups, teams compare answers.

If there are discrepancies among the answers and they cannot come to a consensus, they may raise their hands as a team and ask the teacher for clarification. This activity is great for test review. Quite a few never make it. Tutoring can help to bridge the gap between student knowledge and course material. Peer-to-peer or peer-led tutoring has been shown to help students bridge knowledge gaps. The University of Texas at El Paso, in a year pilot program started in , replaced one hour of lecture in a large STEM course with more than students with many, small two-hour peer-led team learning workshops, taught by intensively trained undergraduate students who had previously excelled in the course.

A year study of this pilot showed that this program produced a greater than 15 percent increase in the weighted average of the passing rate. Similar to tutoring, coaching can have positive effects on student persistence and completion. It has proven to be particularly helpful in supporting low-income and first-year students. Colleges and universities should adapt to the needs of a diverse, dynamic, and changing student population by providing flexible services and a greater sense of connection.

When students fail to graduate, sometimes the ordinary obstacles of daily life are to blame. Conflicts with work schedules, unreliable child care, lack of transportation, and unpredictable class schedules can all obstruct students in their progress toward their degrees. Campus officials should do their best to help students work around those challenges. In , more than one-third of students who enrolled in college attended part-time. Part-time students need greater control over the hours they spend on campus, so that they can better manage their personal and academic obligations.

Flexible, predictable schedules help prevent students from dropping out and encourage more students to enroll full-time. Institutions can help by designing more student-friendly class schedules.

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For example, they might design schedules in morning or afternoon blocks—for instance, from a. For students with obligations off-campus, these blocks can be easier to manage than a schedule of or minute courses punctuated by hours of free time. Schedule blocks also help students form learning communities and working groups, offering vital student- to-student support and a strong sense of connectedness to faculty and institutions. Students enrolled in the program take a single course at a time, meeting for a three- or four-hour block for 18 days. Once students complete the course, they move on to the next four-credit block, enabling them to earn the same amount of credit as they would under a traditional multi-class system.

Structured scheduling can be even more beneficial when applied to entire programs. Once students choose their programs, college officials can decide on the required sequence of courses and then block those courses in coherent, connected schedules.


When institutions deliver services such as advising, counseling, and financial aid only through face-to-face meetings during normal business hours, students who have jobs, families, and other off-campus responsibilities are less apt to take advantage of them. To broaden access to services, colleges and universities are adopting a growing number of digitally enabled student services, in addition to traditional in-person services offered on campus. Johns Hopkins University, for instance, offers Skype-based advising sessions. While most institutions deliver basic digital services such as course registration, library resources, and financial aid information, colleges and universities should consider an integrated approach to digitizing these services, and they should add more complex services, such as intrusive advising.

As part of their strategies to harness technology for student advising, institutions should not forget about mobile computing, the ubiquitous communications platform of the current generation. A one-stop mobile app offers a crucial channel for accessing campus services and communicating with advisors, mentors, and counselors. Students can use this app to plan their schedules; manage their study time; keep track of assignments; form study groups; get information about campus events, clubs, and services; organize activities; communicate with individuals and groups; and a great deal more.

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As first-year students started using the app in large numbers, it helped them find roommates, connect with on-campus activities, and obtain help from upperclassmen, all of which helped ease the transition to university life. Many individuals and organizations—on- and off-campus—can help students along the path to success. A college that forges relationships with outside entities offers its students an edge in their academic careers and beyond.

An institution might, for example, partner with high schools to help prepare students for college. It could collaborate with peer institutions to share leading practices, or to implement strategies cost-effectively. Support from a variety of stakeholders, coordinated by an institution of higher learning, can help put students in a better position to succeed. Many students enter college unprepared. While 87 percent of high school students surveyed by YouthTruth said they wanted to go to college, only 45 percent felt ready to succeed there.

They may even lack the emotional stamina that college life demands. Partnerships between colleges and high schools can help ease the transition to higher education. To help improve the odds for incoming students, the AHC program worked with students who were on-track to graduate from New York City public high schools but had not met traditional benchmarks of college readiness, such as adequate SAT scores.

The program focused on preparing students for the CUNY placement exam and college-level work; helping them with college and financial-aid applications; getting them ready for college life; and assigning each student a faculty mentor, a full-time advisor, and a peer mentor who kept track of her progress during the first year of college. Students who participated in AHC scored 10 to 20 percentage points higher on the CUNY placement exam than students who were not in the program.

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The University of Montana partners with high schools across Montana to help students better prepare for college-level math coursework. Research by Complete College America found that 71 percent of students in the Montana State University system do not make it through gateway-level college math classes within two years—a major deterrent to persistence. These findings spurred the university to find a better way to prepare students for college-level math. To date, EdReady has been implemented in more than schools across Montana.

Early results from a pilot found that students who used EdReady before their college math classes, compared with those who did not, earned a.

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Individual students pay less than these sticker prices if they receive discounts, scholarships, or financial aid. The employer plan may be organized as either a defined contribution plan, such as a k plan, or a defined benefit plan. Indeed, it is common to hear statements such as: It may well be that our math education system tends to be successful at meeting the math needs of a great majority of learners, but at the same time leaves many learners with a feeling or attitude that they can't do math or that they hate math. Both types of skill are valued in the market and affect schooling choices. The same teachers were assigned to treatment and control groups. Math educators want their students to steadily gain in their level of math maturity, a term most often used at an upper high school or college level.

Another kind of partnership allows students to earn college credits while still in high school. Early college high schools are small public schools that offer college courses, starting in ninth grade. They are based on the theory that if you engage underrepresented students in a rigorous curriculum, with strong academic and social support, tied to the incentive of earning college credit, those students are more likely to pursue higher education.

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These collaborative efforts have proven extremely successful. A study by the American Institutes for Research shows that students who attend early college high school were significantly more likely to enroll in college; 25 percent of them went on to graduate, compared to just 5 percent of students who did not attend early college high schools. While the academic program is the foundation for the El Paso success, the wraparound services available from ninth grade through college graduation really make the difference. From eighth grade on, each student in the program works with an advisor to chart an appropriate academic path.

The El Paso example shows how institutions can collaborate to create a streamlined experience from high school through college and graduation. While implementing strategies on their own campuses, colleges and universities can also share leading practices with peer institutions. The 11 member universities of the UIA work together to identify and pilot innovative programs designed to improve student success.

The alliance has pledged to scale successful programs across member campuses to graduate an additional 68, students by Other UIA members are using the lessons learned from these efforts to guide the development of their own initiatives to apply predictive analytics capabilities to aid with student success at their respective institutions. When it comes to improving student success, few institutions have achieved significant gains. This is due to the inherent obstacles to change that colleges and universities typically face—from distributed decision-making systems and multiple power and authority structures to misaligned goals.

To help drive widespread student success, an institution should marshal all its resources, gain commitment from faculty and others who work with students, embrace innovation, ground decisions in solid evidence, create incentives resulting from change for all stakeholders, and stay relentless about measurement and evaluation. And to be able to achieve this kind of fundamental change, strong leadership must champion the effort. Georgia State University offers a prime example of what is possible when the foundational capacities of leadership and strategy, measurement and evaluation, and transformational readiness all come together.

A nationally recognized leader in student success, GSU achieved one of the most dramatic graduation rate increases in the country while working to eliminate the graduation rate gap among low-income and underrepresented students. The leaders also maintained a long-term perspective, understanding that successes would accumulate over time. For instance, when the student success team proposed the Summer Success Academy, allowing the most at-risk incoming students to earn seven credit hours and receive academic advising and financial literacy training before their first semester, President Mark Becker might have balked.