Students in Ryan Lindahl’s math classes started using Knowre Math in 2015. Up until the 2019-2020 school year, Ryan used Knowre Math with his honors Algebra 1 classes. This year he expanded use to his 8th grade mathematics classes.
Ryan teaches both 8th grade math and honors Algebra. His students use Knowre Math about 2 times a week in class and 1-2 times a week for homework. While on Knowre Math, students are working on topics that have already been introduced in class. One of his favorite times to use Knowre Math is after a quiz. After setting up his students to work on related lessons on Knowre Math, he works with small groups of students based on quiz outcomes.
In addition to providing targeted reinforcement and practice, Ryan uses the data provided on his Knowre Math teacher dashboard, especially the data provided regarding time per problem and number of correct/incorrect answers, to identify students who are struggling and to differentiate his group work.
In 2018 Glenwood Middle School students in 7th and 8th grades passed state math tests at a rate exceeding the Ohio state average. Students in 6th grade performed at a slightly lower level than the state average.
I try to build relationships with my students and develop a sense of ‘family’ in our math classroom. That’s a big part of what we do. I think deep learning happens when you are comfortable with your surroundings and the people around you.
I enjoy helping my kids develop procedural fluency, but I also try to show them how ridiculously fascinating math can be if they develop their skills and stick with it. So, in addition to our regular curriculum, we talk about ideas like infinity, imaginary numbers, limits, etc. We’ve even watched some videos and talked about things like Hilbert’s Hotel and the Mandelbrot Set! Math is powerful and fascinating, and I hope my students see the inherent beauty in it!
Knowre Math is able to fulfill all kinds of needs in my classroom. In my honors Algebra classes, using Knowre Math is almost like having a second teacher that helps me be sure that all of my students are truly learning. Sometimes I will assign an entire chapter of Knowre Math to be done roughly concurrently with our covering of the material in class. This gives students all kinds of options. They can wait until I have covered a lesson in class and then in the evening use Knowre Math to practice and reinforce the new content that they learned.
Other students may use a different approach and may spend time ‘getting ahead’ in Knowre Math so that they already have a decent level of understanding before they see the content in class. Granted, this is an honors level class, and having such an ‘open’ approach to completing topics probably wouldn’t work for just any group of students. However, for this group, the approach has worked well.
Also, Knowre Math helps me to differentiate effectively. I recently assigned a student 3-variable systems of equations from Knowre’s Algebra 2 curriculum because he had clearly mastered 2-variable systems and simply didn’t need more practice on that topic. It feels great to know you are differentiating and helping to meet a student’s needs with just a few mouse clicks.
One of the most successful ways I have used Knowre is by pitting two of my honors level classes against each other in a challenge to see which class could attain the most stars during the month of November. The reward for being the winning class was a pancake breakfast with all the fixins! I gave some time in class to work, but mainly, both groups found time to work outside of class. I didn’t put restrictions on anything, so groups could work to master topics we had already covered, or they could move on and learn new topics through Knowre Math and earn stars that way.
I expected each group to earn a few hundred stars over the course of a month. It became clear as the month went on that both groups really wanted to win and were taking every opportunity to earn stars. At the end of the month, the total star counts for one group was over 900 and the other group earned well over 800! It was truly great to see them developing their skills while having a fun, competitive challenge. I will absolutely do similar things in the future.
I have seen positive outcomes through Knowre Math. There was one school year recently during which I was unable to use Knowre Math with my algebra classes, and that year ended up having lower performance on the end-of-course test than the school years in which I used Knowre Math regularly. Additionally, students simply have a higher level of understanding when I augment my own instruction with Knowre Math. Knowre Math also really helps prevent students from ‘slipping through the cracks’ because it is so easy to monitor their progress and intervene/follow-up with them when necessary.
I have a young man who is not currently in an honors class who really enjoys Knowre and takes every opportunity he can to do more work. By the end of November he had already completed the entire Pre-Algebra curriculum, so I added him to an Algebra 1 class. He was excited for the more challenging curriculum and is moving quickly through Algebra 1. He loves talking about how much he has accomplished and how great he feels when he masters new math concepts.
The Knowre Math program is an extremely useful addition to any math classroom. Knowre Math is powerful because it is flexible and there’s really no ‘wrong’ way to use it. It can easily be used for remediation, extension, or just to support the instruction that is being done in class. The ‘Targeted 10’ assignments are fantastic as well… imagine being able to differentiate to each individual student with just a few mouse clicks.
Ryan Lindahl, Secondary Math Teacher, Glenwood Middle School
Glenwood Middle School Quick Facts
Knowre Math Implementation