Friday, November 16, 2012

D-11's innovative approach to math helping kids

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 5:34 PM

  • ST Math
  • Jiji
Colorado Springs School District 11's use of a computer game to teach math is paying off for kids.

Since implementing ST Math, the district has seen scores sky rocket. A press release from program-creator Mind Research Institute notes, "The district-wide efforts paid off with nearly every single class averaging more than 50% progress on the ST Math program, the level considered the threshold for effectiveness. On their 2012 Colorado Student Assessment Program, District 11 achieved a 3.2 point increase in percent of students scoring proficient in math, while the rest of Colorado stayed stagnant."

We wrote about the neat new program here last year.

In addition to being a big plus for the district and its individual students, the success of the software is somewhat personal here at the Indy. Circulation Manager Tim Lambert is the proud dad of 7-year-old Sydney, who has autism. The boy has blossomed under the new math program at his D-11 school.

In fact, dad and son have been so pleased with the results of the program that they went to visit the program's developers in Orange County, Calif., while the family was on vacation in nearby Disneyland. Sydney and little brother Zach hoped they could get a stuffed animal of the program's mascot, Jiji the penguin.

But, when they showed up, the company had shut down just to welcome Sydney, its first student to visit the headquarters. The boys got more than a doll. To entertain the kids, staff created a "Jiji store," packed with merchandise.

Sydney even got to play ST Math with its inventor, who also had learning disabilities when he was growing up. Lambert says that one of the advantages of the program is that any child can learn from it, even a child with disabilities.

"Sydney has autism and is just thriving because of the program," Lambert says. "... He's doing like 57 plus 36."

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