Sun Prairie, WI Increases Student Engagement and Understanding with Math Solution

Sun Prairie Area School District has partnered with us for three years and is seeing increased student engagement and understanding.

Sun Prairie Area School District has been using the Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Solution and Professional Learning services for two years. Lisa Hennessy, 4K-12 Mathematics Instruction Coordinator/Coach, can already see the positive effects of the partnership. "Kids are much more engaged," she says. "The student learning is really hands-on, participation- and effort-based. The teachers are not doing all the work. The kids are doing the work, and they are building a lot more conceptual knowledge. They're able to articulate their reasoning for different procedures, not just regurgitate what they hear from teachers."

Sun Prairie uses a blended model for its middle school math instruction. Some teachers start the day by having students work in the MATHia software to launch into the math individually, while other teachers opt to end class with MATHia instead. Each math class consists of an 82-minute block during which teachers and students can go in depth into the mathematics through both group instruction and individual learning. 

Lisa appreciates that "there are lots of engagement strategies you can use with the Carnegie Learning materials," and the math team at Sun Prairie is continually working to add strategies that enhance student engagement. 

Lisa also uses the data in MATHia to see how different classes are performing and how many students are off track in each class. This data helps her to guide discussions with the 6th and 7th grade math teams – they can look at the data together and create action plans for the students who are off track before it's too late.

The math teams at Sun Prairie work with their Carnegie Learning Master Math Practitioner, Saradhi Saripalli, regularly to develop and continually improve a strong collaborative classroom environment. Three times a year, Saradhi visits the schools for 3-4 day blocks to support the teachers in implementing the Carnegie Learning blended solution and equip them with strategies they can use in the classroom. Lisa says, "Our onsite training with Saradhi was really well done. About half of our math teachers at the middle school level were either new to the district or new to teaching math, and they all had great remarks about the professional development."

In addition to onsite professional learning, Sun Prairie math teachers also attend LONG + LIVE + MATH: The National Institute, a professional learning event that takes place each summer and brings together passionate math educators from all over the country.  "Our teachers had an amazing time," she says. "They really benefited from meeting different people, networking and sharing resources with other districts."


Hope for the Future


Lisa says that the Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Solution has gotten a good reception from Sun Prairie teachers. "The teachers are really enjoying the program. They’re having fun making it work for their kids, and working collaboratively as teams on what they want from their students."

She's also pleased with the learning environments that the district and Carnegie Learning have been able to create together. "I’ve seen the math classrooms as a coach, and I'm seeing good student discussions take place. I also see really good data in our MATHia reports."