Teacher Name: Dennis Ashendorf
School: Back Bay Continuation High School, Newport-Mesa USD
Grades: 9-12
Involving high school juniors and seniors with math so that they can earn credits and graduate.
Engagement & Progress
Wootmath doesn’t so much remediate, as rebuild a student’s insight and understanding. It is far better for society to have students master fractions combined with number sense, than to fake, cheat, and struggle through soon-to-be-forgotten topics.
After 8 to 9 years of failure, the students with whom I work care neither about math nor school. When I work with them, ½ + ¼ becomes a money problem of $0.50 + $0.25; which isn’t great instruction. With Wootmath, both the students and I succeed as concepts become embedded within them.
After 15 years of using different math software programs, somewhere between 30 to 40, it is easy to write that the Wootmath Adaptive Learning Sequence provides the best-targeted math product for developing both fractional and proportional awareness. All students in sixth through eighth grade should master it before starting Algebra 1.
Wootmath works for the following reasons:
Just visual enough. Animations focus on math pictorials, not characters. This approach provides the highest level of student interest over time because students see it as real.
Small, incremental steps for a small cognitive load. Each chapter is just a wee bit more difficult than the last, students rarely get lost. As a result, they never truly fall behind, and instructionally, if they get stuck, the teacher/tutor can focus on the current problem, not a forgotten earlier chapter.
I introduce Wootmath to each student as he or she arrives in my classroom. I tell them that it ‘starts out below you, but don’t get insulted; eventually, it will catch up. Let’s fill in what you missed due to being sick or being absent or having a tough home life … It’s important that your knowledge is securely held, better you be an expert of sixth-grade math than a faker of high-school math.’’ The previous sentences make all of the difference in building trust, confidence, and perseverance.
Wootmath doesn’t so much remediate, as rebuild a student’s insight and understanding. It is far better for society to have students master fractions combined with number sense, than to fake, cheat, and struggle through soon-to-be-forgotten topics. Add the term ‘securely held’ to your math vocabulary.