Supporting Students of Special Populations in MATHia
MATHia is a highly adaptive platform that is wonderful for supporting students of special populations. Below you will find strategies for implementing MATHia usage in the classroom with your special populations students and emergent bilingual students.
Making Revisions to MATHia sequences and content
It is NOT recommended that you revise MATHia sequences or content.
For students who are in a math resource class who are not making progress, if you revise the MATHia sequences, you are taking away their ability to engage with grade level mathetmatics content.
Instead of revision, consider a guided MATHia practice with a slow release model. Begin with concept builders where you, the teacher, facilitate the learning and everyone will work and stay together, when students get to a mastery level workspace, gauge the level of the classroom and then you can have students begin working towards an independent working model in that workspace.
Consider setting small and attainable goals for independent MATHia usage in a mastery workspace:
- Students will work for 10 minutes independently
- Students will work towards self-sufficiency where the end of year goal is 30 minutes of independent MATHia work time.
- Build stamina for your students
If a student becomes stuck in a MATHia workspace:
- Work with them 1:1 to tutor them and provide additional instruction to advance them forward.
- Once they have made sufficient progress in the tutoring, manually advance them forward in to a new workspace to keep them on grade level.
How do I accomodate with MATHia?
When we consider accommodating Bilingual students in MATHia we must consider that there are two skill sets bilingual students are consistently working on in the math classroom. The first is mathematical skill and the second is language skill. As the teacher, you must decide which skill the student should focus on during a given class period. Carnegie Learning recommends that during MATHia days, remove the language skill barrier so that students can focus primarily on building their mathematical skills.
To do this consider the following language accommodations:
- Have every student turn on Text to Speech on the first day of class. This way they can feel empowered to self-select when they need help reading and when they don’t help. This is a great way to build in self-advocacy instead of students having to rely on your assistance. (See below for directions to turn on Text-to-Speech)
- Teach students how to use google translate and add it as a chrome extension. They should be able to turn it on and off so they can create bilingual text in the workspace.
Turning on Text to Speech
Text-to-speech is turned on in the student's Preferences and reads long strings of text aloud to the student. The student can select which voice they hear, or customize the speed and pitch at which it reads, from the Preferences menu.
What data is MATHia able to provide that can drive my instructional choice to support my students of special populations?
The Skills Report that is provided by MATHia is an incredibly valuable report. It is important to note that this report has nothing to do with grade level knowledge and everything to do with foundational skills of math, essentially, knowledge built on knowledge. The skills that are listed in the report transcend grade levels.
To be able to develop a strengths based approach to instruction for your students, you must understand the terms of meeting a student where they are. The skill data from MATHia gives you this information and it allows a more encompassing understanding of where the students are in their mathematical journey. At times, students cannot articulate where they are struggling or what components of the math they don't understand. The Skills Report is a wonderful tool in helping to mitigate the guesswork and provides a great assessment of their strengths and weaknesses as you target your individualized instruction moving forward.