New Caney ISD is a rapidly growing school district on the outskirts of Houston, TX. Students in the district that fail the statewide STAAR exams are enrolled in summer school. State regulations require the district to provide these students with learning methods different from what they experience during the school year. Brenda Lynch and other district administrators looked for a program that would engage students, including a large percentage of ELL and SPED students, with targeted support.
How was Knowre used in your summer classrooms?
Out of the three hours each day devoted to math, students were given 45-60 minutes to work on Knowre. While students were working online with Knowre, the teacher would pull off individual students or small groups to provide one-on-one remediation and instruction. Students also enjoyed unlimited access to the program from home throughout the entire summer, which they used for additional practice.
Is Knowre aligned to your state standards?
The fact that Knowre is aligned to our state standards was not important. What was important was that, as a supplemental program, Knowre addressed the skills gap in each of our students. Students needed help with the basics, which Knowre provided.
Did you set up your summer school differently because you used Knowre?
Originally, we were not going to use technology in our summer program, which meant a three-hour block of solid math remediation. Once we decided to implement Knowre, we had to make sure there was time and opportunity for the students to go online. This worked out favorably, a teachers and students appreciated how Knowre split up the day, making it more enjoyable than simply doing worksheets.
How did Knowre benefit your students and teachers?
Overall, the teachers saw students enjoying math. They were more motivated and engaged in math learning. They liked the game-like environment of Knowre, as opposed to the program they had used during the school year that was mostly “guess-and-click.” Teachers were also excited to use the program and this excitement impacted the students as well.
Knowre was successful in identifying and addressing each student’s learning gaps. The program hit them where they needed help, but not too hard that they gave up. A key factor in this success was that students had the flexibility to go where they wanted within the program, rather than being forced into a “straight line curriculum.”
We strive for equity across all the schools in our district, but it is important that our teachers buy into the programs that are brought in. Teachers found Knowre to be “intuitive” and “easy,” which facilitated the roll-out across the district’s different schools.