Tasked with finding an intervention tool for the middle school math program, LaTonya Mitchell, Director of K-12 Mathematics Curriculum at Valdosta City School District, started by looking at the school data. Her investigation revealed that students had a lot of opportunities for improvement in the math program. LaTonya’s mission was to find a math solution that could meet the needs of each individual student.
In addition to dedicated math classes, students at Valdosta Middle School and J. L. Newbern Middle School had extra math practice two or three times a week. Some students were also enrolled in elective math remediation classes. In spite of all this time spent practicing math, students were not progressing as expected.
Some of the extra practice was administered by non-math teachers who were uncomfortable teaching math. They struggled to pinpoint skill gaps and teach grade-level topics.
Valdosta City Schools administers an assessment three times a year which provides an instructional progress report. Using these reports, teachers are able to see the skills where students need remediation. With the assistance of Knowre Math, teachers are able to assign work that addresses standards and provides the practice students need. Knowre Math allows teachers to easily assign work to address specific skill gaps for each individual student, rather than assigning the same work to all students.
Teachers used data from Knowre Math and school assessments to restructure how they teach math. Now students have days allocated to remediation, grade-level work, and acceleration. Teachers regularly use the real-time reporting capabilities of the Teacher Dashboard to view student progress and setbacks as they occur.
Knowre Math lesson videos are a favorite feature at the middle schools. Teachers watch the lesson videos ahead of time to see an example of how skills are taught at a grade level. They would then play the videos for the entire class and assign the related lessons for students to work through.
Teachers love the autonomy of Knowre Math. They can completely customize how to implement it in their classes, what order to assign lessons, and which students to assign which material. Knowre Math provides actionable data and allows teachers to immediately provide differentiated assignments to their students. With Knowre Math, educators are empowered to teach all students on an individual level.
LaTonya also highlighted another way Knowre stands apart from other tools: the student experience. Lesson videos are short and to the point, and the Walk Me Through allows students to privately get support on skills from previous lessons or grades, without having to ask a question in front of their peers. For students, raising their hands can feel vulnerable. With the online help provided in Knowre Math, students don’t feel embarrassed to get the help they need. Even though students aren’t asking for help verbally, teachers get insights into how much assistance students use on problems through the Teacher Dashboard.
With no shame around getting the help they need, student usage of Knowre Math continued to increase over the course of the school year. Some students would even use it before and after school, and during free time in class. Teachers in Valdosta felt that students didn’t lose as much ground as they expected during Covid-19, thanks to Knowre Math and high student engagement on the platform.
LaTonya looks forward to using Knowre Math even more next school year. She is expecting that a baseline of data can be used to show improvement over their multi-year contract with Knowre. Having Knowre Math in classrooms is a large part of the district and school improvement plans.
What administrators are looking forward to most with Knowre Math is fostering an environment that uses assessment data in combination with a robust math program. Knowre Math will continue to help middle schools in Valdosta to pinpoint skills gaps and provide students with the practice and support needed to move forward in math.
LaTonya Mitchell, K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Director Valdosta City School District
Valdosta City Schools