Adding another tool in the toolbox to help students learn Math
Posted on 11/20/2019
Teachers at Neabsco ES meeting to review ST Math. Positively PWCS logo in bottom right corner

Students at Neabsco Elementary School have been using Spatial Temporal Math (ST Math), an online tool, to help reinforce the math skills they learn in class. ST Math uses little to no language and addresses students' spatial temporal reasoning, which is especially helpful for English Language (EL) learners.

According to the ST Math website, "Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to mentally move objects in space and time to solve multi-step problems." This program is different in that there is only a visual element, Jiji, the penguin. The goal is to move Jiji across the screen. The program allows students to go at their own pace and gives immediate visual feedback on why a mistake was made and how to correct it.

ST Math was developed by a neuroscientist who went through many iterations of the program to help students master the conceptual learning aspect which is often the hardest part of math.

Students love the program universally at Neabsco Elementary, saying it gives their brains a workout, teaching them to persevere and understand that mistakes are a part of learning, which grows their mindset.

Principal Christopher Tsang said, “I used ST Math as an assistant principal in Massachusetts at my previous school. I saw how it impacted the school system's math scores and how it addressed a gap in the teaching of math - helping to complement teaching Tier I math in classrooms. EL students at my old school loved the program. What I saw in the data was a correlation with students who used the program more also had higher SOL math scores. To me, this showed me that students at the higher levels were being challenged. The results from my previous school made the decision to implement this program at Neabsco Elementary easy.”

Impressed by the success Neabsco has had with this program, Dale City Elementary School has begun to use the program as well.

Providing a resource that is engaging students while helping them understand math concepts is Positively PWCS!