Knowre to Address Knowledge Gaps

The Challenge

Briar Middle School is the middle school for Perkins School District. Alan teaches Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 to the 8th grade students. The challenge he faces is that students enter his class with at different levels and with different learning gaps. These gaps are due to one of two reasons: the student has either never seen the material before, or the student has struggled with the material previously.

Because no two students have the same gaps, it is difficult to address each student’s needs effectively. The impact of these gaps, however, is the same. If these gaps are not addressed, the struggle with 8th grade math would lead to further difficulties in high school math to the point of discouraging or preventing these students from pursuing higher education.

The Perkins School District was looking for a program that would address the needs of these struggling students and increase the number of students entering high school on the college-bound track.

The Solution

How do you use Knowre with your students?

Prior to using Knowre, I had to rely upon small group instruction and worksheets during the study skills period, but this approach did not allow me to adequately address the varying needs of each student in these groups. Our district selected Knowre because the program has the ability to identify and fill each individual student’s knowledge gaps.

I have all my students use Knowre and then I follow each student’s progress through Knowre’s color-coded data reports. The Teacher Dashboard helps me diagnose students who need extra attention. Knowre reports on a student’s performance for each lesson, problem, and sub-skill so I can see a student’s comprehension as well as effort.

I also use Knowre’s granular-level reporting to assign lessons in Knowre that focus on each student’s areas of weakness. During the remedial students’ mandatory study skills period, my students work individually on their Knowre assignments while I work one-on-one with each student in turn. In total, my students his spend 30-50 minutes each day using Knowre.

To help build long-term retention of concepts, I sometimes use worksheets to teach the initial lesson and then follow up a couple of weeks later by assigning Knowre lessons for review.

How does using Knowre affect how you give grades?

I use student performance in Knowre to account for 50% of each student’s report card grade. Students know this, which motivates them to attempt additional practice questions in order to improve their grade.

Students are also motivated because they know that I will share Knowre’s reports with parents to show how their child’s performance compares with the class average, as well as whether their child is doing the work required.

Has Knowre impacted your students’ enthusiasm for math?

Our students enjoy using Knowre, which increases engagement that not only motivates them to complete their assignments on time but also increases their math comprehension. I am definitely seeing a higher completion rate on assignments than in previous years. By enabling students to work at their own pace, they are building the study skills and discipline they will need to succeed in high school.

The Result

How has Knowre impacted your remedial students?

The numbers tell the story of Knowre’s success with my students. 75% of my remedial students made AYP this year and 50% of these students are moving into the college-bound track in high school.

On the MAP test administered in January, my remedial students saw increases of as much as eight points and I achieved a growth rate of 200% indexed on my overall AYP scores.

Knowre benefits all my students beyond just improving comprehension. The program is 100% online, so when students are solving math problems on the computer, they are also receiving practice for the computerized PARCC exam.

“I also use Knowre’s granular-level reporting to assign lessons in Knowre that focus on each student’s areas of weakness.”

Alan Speer, 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher, Briar Middle School

Briar Middle School Quick Facts

    • Location: Sandusky, OH
    • Public school
    • 575 students
    • 32% of students on free or reduced lunch

Computing Capacity

    • Computer lab, 1:1 Macbooks

Knowre Usage

    • 5 days a week for 30-50 minutes per day

Knowre Implementation

    • Supplemental, remediation
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