A Review of Think Through Math

think through math
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Think Through Math (TTM) is an interactive online mathematics program designed for students in grades 3-Algebra I. It was created in its current form in 2012 and was a spin-off of the popular Apangea Math program. The program provides users with both direct instruction and remediation. Think Through Math was developed to prepare students for the Common Core State Standards and the rigorous assessments associated with the standards. 

Students are enrolled in a unique pathway based on their grade level. Students are also given an adaptive assessment that prescribes precursor activities designed to build skills needed to achieve grade level proficiency. These activities are added to the pathway. Each lesson in a pathway is divided into six unique skill-building components including a pre-quiz, warm up, focus, guided learning, practice, and a post-quiz. Students who demonstrate proficiency on the pre-quiz for a particular subtopic are able to move ahead.

Think Through Math is a revolutionary program for student learning. It combines a unique blend of adaptive assessment, skill building, student motivation, and individualized live instruction. The entire program is geared to enhance classroom learning by filling gaps that a particular student may have and prepares them to meet the rigor of the Common Core State Standards.

Key Components

Think Through Math is Teacher and Student Friendly

  • Think Through Math makes it simple to add a single student or a whole class by uploading a data template.
  • Think Through Math has terrific reporting that makes it easy to monitor individual student or whole class progress.
  • Think Through Math has a terrific and easy to use interface making it easy for teachers and students to monitor usage, check performance, compare accomplishments, and check goals.
  • Think Through Math allows and encourages students to access the program at home after school and on weekends to maximize the impact of the program.
  • Think Through Math allows teachers to send messages to directly to individual students through the messaging system. Students are only able to receive these messages. They cannot send or respond.

Think Through Math is Instructional with Diagnostic Components

  • Think Through Math provides both direct instruction and intensive remediation within the same program.
  • Think Through Math places each student in a “pathway” containing skills needed to be successful at a particular grade level.
  • Think Through Math provides students with an initial adaptive assessment which assigns precursor activities designed to remediate the skills needed to do the required grade level work.
  • Think Through Math continuously monitors and adapts to the individual, adding new material, based on performance throughout the program.

Think Through Math is Motivational

  • Think Through Math allows users to create and personalize their own unique avatar.
  • Think Through Math provides continuous contests across multiple categories for terrific prizes such as an iPod touch, gift cards, etc.
  • Think Through Math allows teachers to set classroom goals for a pizza party or ice cream party. Students can then donate their points towards that goal, and when the class reaches the goal, the teacher will receive a gift card to help purchase the goodies for the party.
  • Think Through Math allows students to donate their points to charity. $10,000 points = $1.00. Charities that they can donate to include St. Jude’s Children Hospital, World Wildlife Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club of America, The Wounded Warrior Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and American Red Cross.
  • Think Through Math provides users with incentives and rewards. Each time they complete an activity, they earn points. They can use their points to purchase new features for their avatar, donate points to a charity, or they can give points towards a goal their class is trying to achieve as discussed previously.
  • Think Through Math provides users with badges for achieving goals or reaching for milestones within the program. There are four levels of badges including bronze (easiest), silver, gold, and diamond (hardest). Students can see both the badges they have earned and those they have not earned. They can then work towards earning badges they do not have.
  • Think Through Math provides students will printable certificates each time they pass an individual topic.

Think Through Math is Comprehensive

  • Think Through Math is Common Core aligned in content, process, and assessment.
  • Think Through Math encourages critical thinking and problem-solving development.
  • Think Through Math provides students with access to a calculator, critical math formulas, and key mathematics vocabulary terms at any time within the program.
  • Think Through Math has an audio tool available in both English and Spanish that allows questions and answer choices to be read to struggling readers or English Language Learners.
  • Think Through Math gives students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery by taking a pre-quiz over a particular topic. A pre-quiz consists of eight questions. A student who demonstrates mastery on the pre-quiz will immediately move on to the next lesson.
  • Think Through Math provides students with a three question “Warm Up” activity designed to activate prior knowledge by reviewing the math skills you have already mastered, but that is essential to the new skill you will be learning.
  • Think Through Math provides you with step by step illustrations and explanations for solving each problem no matter whether you get them correct or incorrect.
  • Think Through Math provides students with a three question “Guided Learning” activity allowing you to work through the new math.
  • Think Through Math provides students with multiple help features within the “Guided Learning” activity. This occurs through a learning coach. To receive help simply click on the learning coach at any time. If you have not answered the question, an explanation of the concept with visuals will pop up to help you. If you answer the questions incorrectly, an explanation of the concept will pop up. If you still do not understand, you may again click on your learning coach. A box will pop up asking you if you want to work with a teacher. Click “teacher” and you are able to connect to a live certified math teacher that will walk you through the process and answer any questions you have. If you have audio and a microphone, you can have a direct conversation with them. If you do not, then you can communicate with each other in a text chat.
  • Think Through Math provides students with a ten question “Independent Practice” activity allowing them to practice what they learned and to use the feedback to understand the concept further.
  • Think Through Math provides the student with an eight-question “Post-Quiz” activity allowing them to demonstrate their understanding of the new concept. Students are only given one attempt per question. If they fail, they will have to retake or remediate the concept.

Key Reports

  • Overview Report – Allows you to monitor how many lessons each student has attempted and passed and gives you pass rate percentages for both target and precursor lessons.
  • Student Detail Report– Provides you with a detailed progress report for each individual student.
  • Individual Pathway Report– Provides you with a detailed overview of the progress that an individual student is making on their individual pathway.
  • Standards Report – Allows you to monitor student progress based on individual state standards or the Common Core State Standards.

Cost

Think Through Math does not publish their overall cost for the program. However, each subscription is sold as an annual subscription cost per seat. There are several other factors that will determine the final cost of the programming including the length of the subscription and how many seats you will be purchasing.           

Research  

Think Through Math is a research-based program. Its development spans over two decades. It is grounded on the foundation of helping students analyze and solve word problems effectively. This is done through the principles of active problem solving, explicit instruction, gradual release, elaboration theory, categorization of prototype, mastery learning, zone of proximal development, assessment and differentiation, and worked examples. In addition, Think Through Math has been the focus of several critical field studies involving more than 30,000 students across seven different states.

Overall

I believe that Think Through Math is a tremendous program for mathematical instruction. It is hands down the best math-based program that I have seen. Three things set it apart. First, its foundation is based on Common Core principals both in the content and assessment. I also find the quality and number of motivation tools to be top notch. Finally, the access to a live teacher is what sets this program apart. The ability to receive top notch instruction instantly allows struggling students to learn difficult material before moving on to another topic. Overall, I give this program five out of five stars because I believe it is at the top of the food chain when it comes to online math programs.

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Meador, Derrick. "A Review of Think Through Math." ThoughtCo, May. 22, 2018, thoughtco.com/a-review-of-think-through-math-3194760. Meador, Derrick. (2018, May 22). A Review of Think Through Math. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/a-review-of-think-through-math-3194760 Meador, Derrick. "A Review of Think Through Math." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/a-review-of-think-through-math-3194760 (accessed May 23, 2018).