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ST Math: K-6
Pros: Interactive games with minimal reading make activities accessible to a range of learners.
Cons: Some visuals might be too childish for older students.
Bottom Line: Great tool for differentiating in-class and at-home math practice.
Because of the lack of teacher involvement when students are using ST Math: K-6, it is recommended to be used as a way to differentiate for different needs. Students who achieve mastery early can move on to more challenging concepts, and those who need extra help can get it from the teacher in a one-on-one or small-group setting.
The relatively simple technology requirements of this tool also make it great for homework assignments. Parents can monitor students and even participate in the interactive games.
ST Math: K-6 is a standards-linked collection of games and activities (via website, tablet, or Chrome app) that teach and reinforce elementary school-level math concepts using a visual method of instruction. Every major component of the K-6 Common Core math curriculum is covered, with a focus on arithmetic, geometry, and measurement.
The activities are visual and interactive, with a focus on teaching math without language. In the various games and activities, students learn concepts by moving objects in a spatial-temporal way (hence the "ST" in the name). Students log in and choose a topic, and a colorful full-screen animation takes over to demonstrate what they need to do.
When necessary, the games are designed to reinforce rote memorization, but most of the content revolves around students making choices and seeing the outcome. In one game, for example, students place birds on a telephone wire to discover how addition and subtraction work. This is a powerful way to explore mathematical concepts, and the lessons are well designed and well implemented. The absence of language makes ST Math: K-6 a great tool for those who struggle with reading, including kids with learning differences and ELLs. Teachers can assign students individual lessons or the entire program, but this tool is probably best used to reinforce ideas after in-class instruction.
Students can see their progress in the games via easy-to-understand visuals, and the activities follow a progression that continues to challenge students as they hone their skills. For example, double-digit addition follows single-digit addition as they demonstrate mastery.