How I Use It
Think Through Math aligns perfectly with the learning standards for my state (Texas TEKS). I assign students a pathway and TTM works the students through an entire year of math TEKS while students work at their own pace. I can assign students to below or above grade level paths if that is more appropriate for their learning. TTM is a great resource for math stations, intervention, or extension.
My favorite aspect of TTM is the live teacher support - for the students! When my students get stuck and I'm not available to help them, they can live chat with a TTM teacher who uses the exact same type of questioning I would use to guide them to the correct answers. Students have to consider the TTM teacher's questions and then type to respond. Combining mathematical processing with the language center of the brain only strengthens students' understanding.
My students' favorite part of TTM is the progress bar at the top of the page that lets them know where they are in a lesson - pre-test, warm-up, guided practice, independent practice, or post-test. The warm-up is usually a game and the students find those to be very engaging. The guided practice and independent practice are more like traditional pencil and paper tasks (which means that they translate well to test-taking success!) and the students earn coins for completing these tasks. The coins are used for avatar accessories and the pricing and number accessories has kept my students engaged with TTM for months, where other programs either make it too hard or too easy to purchase reward items and the kids lose interest.
The one thing I would suggest that TTM develop in the future, is a way to really support ELL students. There is a mathematical dictionary built in, but key words could be hyperlinked to the dictionary entry and entries could have more pictorial cues to assist ELLs.