Rosalind Kline teaches Tier 2 math classes and acts as an intervention specialist at Hinsdale South High School in Darien, Illinois. Students identified as Tier 2 or Tier 3 have significant deficiencies in their foundational skills that prevent them from being successful in math classes.
Past experiences working with online intervention tools for these students led to frustration. These programs would only reteach concepts through written explanation or by showing the same video over and over again, which was neither engaging nor helpful for the Tier 2 and Tier 3 math students. They needed a program that could break top-level concepts down into more manageable pieces, and provide corrective instruction rather than simply repeating the same initial instructions.
As a result of her experience and new role as a math intervention specialist, Rosalind took the initiative to seek out an interactive program that would provide her students with corrective instruction.
How did you evaluate Knowre for use with your Tier 2 and Tier 3 students?
When I initially came across Knowre, my first reaction was that the program looked fun! After reading Knowre’s White Papers, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. What my students really needed was a program that provided corrective instruction on algebra building blocks that prepared them to master top-level concepts. It seemed like Knowre might directly meet that need.
I decided to evaluate Knowre through a trial. My main objective for the trial was to see how my students, who are normally very averse to trying anything new, would engage with the program. The result – they loved Knowre! Our experience with Knowre last year was incredible. My students made significant gains on their MAP scores. My principal reviewed the data, which then prompted the district to ask for a presentation. Knowre was spreading like wildfire. As a result of the success in my classroom, Knowre was made available for all Tier 2 intervention classes across the district for the 2016-2017 school year!
How do you implement Knowre in your classroom?
I dedicate one class period (50 minutes) per week to Knowre. Students work independently on lessons that line up with what I’m currently teaching in class. If they don’t finish the lesson in class, they must finish it for homework. Using the real-time data in the Teacher Dashboard, I am able to identify which questions the majority of the class is struggling with. We then go over the problem as a class on the projector.
I also use Knowre with students that come to me to for help before class, after class, and during study hall. I choose and assign them lessons from across Knowre’s four curricula as “MAP Gap” work. Because these lessons are not currently being taught in class, the goal is to help students review and reinforce previously taught lessons and skills.
How are your students engaging with Knowre?
First of all, Knowre’s interface is very intuitive. My students were able to get started right away and I did not have to train them at all. Knowre’s achievement system, which rewards students up to three in-program “coins” for correctly answered questions, helps with student engagement. I am also able to maximize engagement by holding “coin competitions.” I offer students prizes based on how many coins they have earned.
Students become very competitive over earning coins, which is a joy to see! They’ll get excited and start yelling at the computer and at “the man” (Knowre’s math coach, Dr. Doug) if they lose coins. Luckily, Knowre always offers students the option to retry a question with different values so that students have the opportunity to earn all three coins per question. It’s great way to motivate students to answer questions correctly and encourage them to retry problems if they didn’t get it the first time.
How has Knowre impacted you or the way you teach your math classes?
Knowre allows me to shift time away from my traditional classroom practice in favor of student-directed learning. 20% of my direct instruction time (one day a week) has been replaced with students working independently on Knowre.
When students are struggling with a problem, they know to use Knowre’s Walk Me Through feature, which breaks problems down into their more manageable sub-skills, first before asking me for help. I further cultivate independent learning skills in class by encouraging students to work with their neighbors and by asking leading questions instead of going straight to the answer.
I am also able to differentiate instruction according to my goals by using Knowre. It’s so different from the programs we used in the past where we had to wait for success in one unit before being able to move on. With Knowre, I am able to choose and assign lessons from across four curricula and have students work on content in the order that I need. This flexibility allows me to assign different lessons in different orders to different students. It’s more challenging for me – but this way, I know students are working on the content that will have the greatest impact on addressing their knowledge gaps.
How has using Knowre impacted your students?
My students showed tremendous growth in their MAP scores over the course of the 2015-2016 school year with an average growth of 10.56 points. There were 7 students whose growth was greater than 14 points, including 4 students in the 20-point range. Students are incredibly motivated by Knowre and are very eager to monitor their progress. They saw true results from their efforts reflected in their MAP score progress and that made them want to work even harder.
What advice would you give to another teacher just starting to use Knowre?
If you are just starting out with Knowre, definitely play around with the lessons and look at the questions before assigning them to students. Keep in mind, though, that having students completing entire lessons instead of cherry-picking questions will enhance Knowre’s reporting features. To make lab days more effective (you only have so much time per week!), be aware of and anticipate challenges and questions that may arise. This might include students forgetting passwords (you can reset them yourself in the Teacher Dashboard) or questions about how to earn coins.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
If I could sum it up in one sentence, “Knowre has changed the face of Tier 2 classes across our entire district.”
Rosalind Kline, Secondary Math Teacher & Intervention Specialist, Hinsdale South High School
Hinsdale South High School Quick Facts