MIND Institute, a non-profit education research and software development organization, has announced a new release of ST Math software, a non-language-based method of teaching children math, for students in grades K to 5.
The Institute's latest research shows that students who used this software as part of its ST Math + Music math education program [See MMIS's May/June 2005 In the Spotlight.] outperformed peers at the same schools by an average of 20 percentile points on the math portion of the California Achievement Test (CAT6), according to the announcement. ST Math is based on the MIND Institute's previous STAR Math software, and features "Language Integration" technology, developed by MIND, with several patents pending.
ST Math software is non-language based, ensuring a simple, direct, visual understanding of difficult math concepts, the announcement states. This approach also enables students to productively learn math skills regardless of their proficiency level in English. The software's emphasis is on teaching children math concepts through challenging computer games that use simple visual objects and virtual machines that they can manipulate to solve problems, without using any words or symbols. The games are designed to improve students' spatial temporal reasoning ability, which is the ability to make a mental image of a problem and manipulate it over steps in space and time. The curriculum covers math concepts for grades K to 5 and is aligned to national and state standards as well as "No Child Left Behind" legislation requirements.
There are approximately 50 games per grade, each with up to 10 levels. The games in each grade are also sequenced and organized into modules, such as "measurement."
With the release of ST Math, there are now two types of games in every module. Students first solve Spatial Temporal (ST) games that teach a mathematics concept through spatial temporal reasoning. Once students have learned the concept without language, they advance through a series of Language Integration games that translate the concepts visually to symbolic math notation. These games also incorporate the language of mathematics into word problems written in English sentences to help students learn to label the concepts with the right words. When students choose a solution to a problem, the software animates that solution, illustrating what the words mean and why their solution is right or wrong. Language Integration is a new technology developed by MIND Institute with patents pending.
The most significant new features to ST Math from previous versions of MIND Institute's math software are:
· Addition of curriculum for Grade 5
· Overall content of the games has increased fivefold
· New Language Integration technology and addition of Language Integration games to every module
· New Web-based tracking of student progress for teachers
· Uses Macromedia Flash technology to improve system performance and reduce file sizes
Cleaner, simpler interface for teachers and administrators
MIND Institute's ST Math software is sold as part of its ST Math + Music program. The ST Math + Music program includes a full music curriculum, the ST Math computer games, one day of professional development for teachers, and access to daily student status reports over the Internet. The program is offered to schools on a subscription basis for the first year, averaging about $90 per student. The price decreases in subsequent years. For information about ST Math and the ST Math + Music program, visit http://www.mindinstitute.net.
Source: MIND Institute, http://www.mindinstitute.net