Teacher Review For ST Math: K-5

ST puzzles will engage your kiddos, but be intentional about your supports!

Blair M.
Technology coordinator
KIPP DC: Heights Academy
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My Grades 1, 2, 3, 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 5
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Individual
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
At our school, every student uses ST math during our blended learning block near the end of the day. This block is mainly set up for teachers to conduct intervention and re-teach content to students who need it. While the majority of our students are successful on ST with limited teacher intervention, a considerable number of students need help at least occasionally as they work through challenging puzzles or content. Last year, we just asked teachers to intervene and support them, which led to a lot of alerts from ST, lower progress for some students, and even some students who didn't want to go onto the program any more. This year, we created school-wide ST Math folders that are filled with graph paper (using brads so they don't fall out), some ST Math trackers, and much more. This sets the vast majority of students up for success as they work through the program, freeing up the teacher to support students who are in true need of support.
My Take
I truly value ST as a program that builds conceptual math skills in our students. Our school uses it for a reason: for most of our students, it builds really strong, deep math skills and is also highly engaging. However, I do wish there was more room to easily differentiate content for students who are behind grade level. ST allows this to happen broadly (you can move a student to a previous grade, for example), but this doesn't allow for much nuance. In addition, when a student gets stuck on ST, there are no program-led interventions/supports. I think having a short video that gives students a little guidance after 5 or more attempts could be vital.