Twin Groves has been designated as an Exemplary School by the State of Illinois. Exemplary schools are schools performing in the top 10% of schools statewide, with no underperforming student groups.
In 2015-2016, Kildeer School District kicked off their Knowre Math implementation with 42 middle school students. Implementation expanded to the rest of Twin Groves and Woodlawn Middle Schools in the 2016-2017 school year.
Knowre Math is a resource that students have access to both inside and outside of school. Parents are aware of the app and are provided with suggestions about ways to leverage the program at home both for extra practice on current class topics, as well as to push ahead into more advanced topics if the student is interested in doing so. Parents were asking for extra resources to support students at home and Knowre Math was one of the resources put in place to support students outside of school.
Different classes/grade levels have used Knowre Math differently over their years of implementation. Sixth grade used Knowre Math to support current instruction. Seventh grade utilized the program to supplement homework and eighth grade focused on reinforcement of earlier math topics. Some students work ahead in the program and are motivated to do so on their own.
71% of students at Twin Groves met or exceeded mathematical proficiency on the PARCC assessment in 2018. In comparison, state wide, 32% of students met or exceeded proficiency that same year. Math proficiency at Twin Groves is also near the top of the list of school math outcomes in the surrounding area.
The students come into the room and begin working on the warm up. Our walls are made from whiteboards, so the students work on the whiteboards to complete the problem. They are excited to be here and will typically begin the warm up before class even begins. As they finish, they can choose from any app from my list of approved math apps to play while they wait. We will then go over the warm up, and students will erase their work from the whiteboard.
We do some housekeeping like writing down the nightly homework and solving the daily riddle. The students are assigned some problems from the packet I make for each unit nightly, and then are assigned Knowre Math weekly. There is often optional homework for students who are looking for an extra challenge.
Next, we go over the homework from the night before. The students discuss the homework answers with their tables while I look at each student’s work. If they don’t have their homework completed, they need to fill out my “no homework” form (on my website) and document why they didn’t do their homework. Then, I take any outstanding questions from the homework that the groups couldn’t resolve and go over them with the class.
Furthermore, I will introduce our new topic and explain the activity for the day. Sometimes, we will do a Kagan structure, sometimes we will play a game, and sometimes students can work with their friends. Each activity is chosen so that students are interdependent on one another and must succeed as a group. Students are expected to coach team members or partners who do not understand the problem.
The activity usually lasts until the end of class. If students find themselves waiting between problems or if they finish the activity early, they are expected to play math apps during their down time.
With my higher level class (they learn 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math), I assign two Knowre Math lessons per week in the order that they are in on the Knowre Math app. This serves to either pre-teach a concept, or review something we’ve already learned.
With my lower level class (they learn 6th and 7th grade math), I assign one Knowre Math lesson per week and sometimes go out of order on the app so it matches what we are doing in class as closely as possible. Some of the problems are too challenging for my students, so I will only assign part of the lesson. This usually ends up being a review of something we’ve recently learned, or something we are currently working on.
Students work on Knowre when they are done with other class activities. They can choose between Knowre and other approved math apps. As a grade level team, we also allow students to work on Knowre for 40 minutes during our intervention periods on Mondays. During intervention periods, students will rotate between Knowre, Khan Academy, and logic puzzles.
I haven’t kept specific data, but I have noticed that the percentage of students who complete their Knowre assignments is far greater than when we used to use DreamBox. The students like how Knowre is much faster to get through and is more mature, and I like the videos and Walk-Me-Through options.
I have quite a few students that go above and beyond with Knowre, completing much more than is assigned. These students are always performing at the top of the class and tend to excel on assessments.
I had a student last year who was struggling with math in the beginning of the year. I was pulling him for intervention on a weekly basis. However, about halfway through the year, he started getting really excited about Knowre Math. He would do more lessons than were assigned, and was really proud to be all caught up with prior lessons as well. I noticed he started coaching other students in class and seemed much more confident. By the end of the year, I no longer had to pull him in for extra help during intervention.
Knowre is aligned well to math standards, and is a great way to give the students an additional perspective to our topics in class. The students enjoy working on their Knowre and look forward to the challenge it provides. It’s great to have Knowre as a resource for students who are looking to extend their learning beyond what we are currently working on in class, as well as for students who need a refresher on topics we have already covered.
Jennifer Didech, Secondary Math Teacher, Twin Groves Middle School
Twin Groves Middle School Quick Facts