Knox Middle School was among the top finishers in a recent nationwide math competition. Seventh grade math teacher Amber Clemons told the school board last week that the school placed eighth out of about 250 schools during a recent competition held by Mathspace.
It’s a step-by-step adaptive learning program that gives students immediate feedback as they work through a math problem. Clemons said Mathspace notes any incorrect steps, gives students hints, and provides videos with extra intervention. She explained that teachers have the option to assign tasks to the whole class or to individual students, and students can also choose to do additional ones.
The Mathspace challenge ran from February 11 to March 24. Clemons said each teacher had to sign up individually, but by the end of the competition, all of the school’s sixth and seventh grade math classes were taking part. Over that six-week period, each of those students spent an average of almost eight hours on Mathspace and solved an average of 530 math problems. But some students went far beyond that, with one using the program for more than 43 hours and one student solving more than 6,000 questions.
Each week of the competition, Mathspace awarded schools with the most points a pizza party. Clemons said Knox Middle School was the winner during week five, with the school getting 63 pizzas for 235 students.
Five of the students who’d taken part in the program were also at last week’s school board meeting to discuss their experience. They said that competing with their classmates, along with the chance of a pizza party, motivated them to learn more.
Clemons said the Mathspace program typically costs schools $10 per student, but they were able to use it for free during the competition. That free access has been extended until the end of the school year.