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Think Through Math: “Best in Both Worlds”

bethel-park-high-schoolI have been using Think Through Math which used to be Apangea Math since 2009.  I have seen it evolve into the wonderful tool it is now.  Like Think Through Math, I have evolved with it.  I transferred from McKeesport (56% economically disadvantaged) to Bethel Park (11% economically disadvantaged) and have seen it work in both worlds.  I knew as soon as I got to Bethel Park I had to let the math department know about Think Through Math and how it could be used for supplemental material, homework, tests, quizzes, projects, you name it Think Through Math can do it.  In McKeesport I worked with 7th & 8th grade students using it, and now I’m at the high school using it for my Keystone Proficiency and Algebra 1 classes.

The one thing that I love about this program is that it is adaptive.  It adjusts to the performance of the child!  No matter what school district, no matter what level, it will adjust to meet optimal performance.  Another thing I love about the program is the competitions.  My students loved competing against each other both locally and nationally.  I was pleasantly surprised that my attention-hungry middle school students loved giving to charities.  The moral value that brings out of an individual at younger ages is truly life changing.

One of the features that has thoroughly impressed me is the “build your own pathway” tool.  This has been so helpful in my Keystone Proficiency classes.  This year at the 9th grade level I have three Keystone Proficiency classes.  Through it, I built a pathway that I believe is comprehensive to our curriculum here at Bethel.

When I first introduced this to my “esteemed 9th graders”, I told the kids that they have an avatar that they can build and some of the “cool” kids reacted as if that didn’t matter and as soon as I turned my head, they were building their avatar.  When my students see that there is a goal in mind, they will do anything to reach that goal.  One student told me he needed 8000 points to get his dragon avatar, and I basically told him that you’re smart, I’m pretty sure you will make it happen.  I simply love this program and would recommend it to any and every educator.  I have seen both worlds.  Both worlds have different challenges, but both also have an amazing tool to help bring success in the classroom no matter that challenge.  That tool for me has been  “Think Through Math”.  Again, Think Through Math is the best in both worlds!

TTM THINK Blogger James O’Neal, Jr., 9th grade Math teacher, Bethel Park High School, Bethel Park School District (PA)

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