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Matthew Peterson is a co-founder of MIND Research Institute.

Special Education and a New Normal in Math 

By Matthew Peterson

In fifth grade, I was allowed to enroll into a normal class with normal students. I even started to feel “normal” until I had to ask the teacher how to spell the word “girl”. I could never remember if it was spelled G-R-I-L or G-I-R-L. I made a wild guess and penciled the word “gril.”

“That would be pronounced grill,” he explained. “In girl, the i sound comes before the r. Can’t you hear that?”

According to new research from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), U.S. schools will need broadband speeds of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students by the 2014-2015 school year to meet increasing demand for Web-based lessons and the growing number of mobile devices used in the classroom. –Source: SETDA (2012)

 

By Matthew Peterson

As a college student, I set out to create games to teach math. Now, 17 years later, I’m still working on it. Over those years, I’ve designed 2,327 games. The vast majority were failures. At one point, I even declared it impossible to teach math using computer games. 

By Nigel Nisbet

Here at the MIND Research Institute, we often are asked, “What does the ST stand for in ST Math?” Well, ST Math is a non-language, web-based mathematics program that uses and develops students’ spatial-temporal, or ST, reasoning skills.

Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to mentally move objects in space and time to solve multi-step problems. It’s what allows us, for instance, to load an assortment of suitcases, boxes and bags in a car trunk without relying exclusively on trial-and-error. 

Erin Kominsky knew she needed some magic to keep her school open.

In 1996, Jack L. Weaver Elementary in Los Alamitos, Calif., was the only school in the award-winning, high-performing district that allowed non-residents to enroll. But that opportunity wasn’t enough to fill the classrooms. With only 112 students at the time, Kominsky—principal then and now—looked for a new selling point. 

Enter the MIND Research Institute.

Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, CA was selected by the district to pilot HMH Fuse: Algebra I, a new comprehensive educational program designed for the iPad. As a school that has experience with forward-moving technology, the educators at Earhart devised a strategic plan to utilize HMH Fuse: Algebra with students randomly assigned to use the app in comparison with those using a textbook for an entire school year. The results of the implementation were impressive: students using the HMH Fuse app were more motivated, more attentive in class, and more engaged with Algebra content relative to students using textbooks. 

Matthew Peterson

Part of MINDING MATH, a special report from MIND Research Institute

By MATTHEW PETERSON
Co-founder, MIND Research

Part of MINDING MATH, a special report from MIND Research Institute

Part of MINDING MATH: A special report from MIND Research Institute

Most teachers wouldn’t appreciate giving up the spotlight to a penguin. But at Colorado Springs School District 11, teachers don’t seem to mind.

That’s because their students are hooked on ST Math, MIND Research Institute’s innovative program that teaches math with the help of a computer-animated penguin named JiJi.

“We’ve seen upward movement in our students,” said Dave Sawtelle, K-12 math facilitator for the district. The kids, he said, actually look forward to math class.

Big Ideas Math

www.bigideasmath.com

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