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ST Math

By Susan W. Hixson - Posted Mar 1, 2006
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Company: MIND Institute, 1503 South Coast Drive, Suite 202, Costa Mesa, CA 92626; Phone: 888/751-5443, Fax: 714/751-5915; Internet: http://www.mindinstitute.net/.

Price: The price covers the entire ST Math + Music program. ST Math is the new version of the math component of this software.

The program is available by annual subscription, based on the number of students per grade in a school. The estimated average price is $90 per student, assuming 100 students per grade. The price decreases in subsequent years.

Audience: K-5.

ST Math + Music is currently available for the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Programs for additional states are in development.

Format: CD-ROM (Mac/Win hybrid) with printed start-up guide and state scope and sequence information.

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows systems: Pentium II processor, 300 MHz, 128 MB RAM, Windows 95/98/2000/XP.

Macintosh systems: Power PC G3, 233 MHz, OS9 (and OS 8.5) or 800 MHz and OSX.

For both: Monitor resolution of 640 x 480, 16-bit color (32-bit recommended). Internet connection required.

Description: ST Math updates the math features of ST Math + Music. The music curriculum is designed to enhance students' spatial temporal reasoning ability, which is used by the math exercises to illustrate and teach standard math principles. An annual subscription provides a full year of curriculum. Sample programs are available online.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: ST Math runs on both Macintosh and Windows systems. The CD-based material must be installed on the computer's hard drive. All computers using this program must be connected to the Internet.

The set-up procedures can begin once the CD-ROM has been installed on a computer with Internet access. The teacher must have an ID and password. Once ST Math is launched, the teacher follows the onscreen prompts.

Set-up includes entering your room number, the computer number, and installation settings. This information must be stored on each computer. Once the prompts have been completed they will not have to be repeated on that machine.

Teachers log in with a user name and password. Students are given accounts and must enter these accounts with a password. The student code will determine the symbols that become a student's password.

It is important that the students remember their password. The program includes a game for teachers to use to help students learn their access code. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: The ST Math + Music program was developed by the MIND Institute as a result of more than 30 years of research at the University of California/Irvine that identified spatial temporal reasoning as a valuable means of solving problems and mastering mathematics. The late Gordon Shaw, co-founder of the MIND Institute, led the U.C./Irvine research and was co-discoverer of "The Mozart Effect."

ST Math + Music was created as an engaging way to teach mathematics and to reach students who have struggled with math. The ST (Spatial Temporal) Math software focuses on building the brain's spatial temporal reasoning capability—the ability to think visually several steps ahead in patterns and pictures. Much of the program is language-free and delivers instructions without the confusion of math vocabulary. At level one of each new activity, a tutorial leads the students to a successful outcome.

The new version of ST Math features the addition of curriculum for grade 5, an increase in content, new language integration technology and the addition of language integration games to every module, Web-based tracking of student progress, Macromedia Flash technology to improve system performance and reduce file sizes, and a cleaner, simpler interface for teachers and administrators.

The grade-specific program offers activities at many levels to reinforce and teach math skills to K­-5 students. The students work at their own pace; the teacher can monitor their work. The package includes a complete scope and sequence listing of the skills required in selected states and lists the program activities that address each.

Once students are logged in, they begin to work on a very structured set of skills that match their state's math standards. This program supplements a traditional math program, is complementary to traditional textbook instruction, and can support K-5 instruction, middle school intervention, and after-school use.

To win the program's 200-plus games, students must learn the math. Each game is typically played 20 times until students have mastered the lesson. Approximately 50 games per grade are included, each with up to 10 levels of difficulty. Each grade level includes sequenced and organized modules that focus on specific skill areas.

Each class is set up by the teacher so that students begin at an appropriate level and practice needed skills. Students must score 100 before the next level opens; they must finish one module before continuing on to the next.

The Language Integration activities combine some English language with math vocabulary and symbols. Throughout the program students are accompanied by an onscreen animated penguin named JiJi, who provides reinforcement if an answer is correct or leads the child to repeat the puzzle if the answer is not correct.

The subscription price includes one day of teacher inservice and access to daily student status reports delivered over the Internet. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: ST Math is easy to understand, but it certainly will give students a challenge as they work through the levels of math skills.

Signals are everywhere to help students complete the activities correctly. The tutorial for each activity tells the students where to click. The diagrams and examples are clear and colorful. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Support for the program is quite good. Participating schools have a client support specialist who can be contacted directly at help@mindinstitute.net, Monday through Friday. The user's manual includes a guide for setup and a tour of the math modules to help users get started.

The scope and sequence booklets give specific information about skills and standards at each grade level. In addition, the subscription includes 1 day of professional development for teachers. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: The ST Math program provides an interesting approach to teaching and reinforcing the learning of math skills.

The introductions are clear, and some of the skills for the younger learners were amazing. The challenge games at the end of each module truly will interest and motivate.

I believe the program will enhance the lessons taught in class and will provide a challenge to each child—from the struggling learners to the gifted. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, Integrating the Internet, Educational Consultant, 480/837-7803; swhixson@yahoo.com

          


 
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