SmarterMath is made to make math fun
SmarterMath is a new piece of software designed to make math more interactive, friendly and fun. Published by Sally Gobin, a professor at Wharton, the goal of SmarterMath is to give students tools that their teachers don’t have enough time to address. Rather than just using content that’s standardized and difficult to maneuver, students can try out new problems in a variety of contexts, and teachers can teach the lesson in a way that can accommodate varying student capabilities.
“Students will start the same way as they did before we designed SmarterMath,” Gobin says. “They’ll start with numbers at a reading level and work up to fractions and algebra.”
And teachers will have a lot more time to go back and show a student a multiplication problem she did not get it right on her first try. In fact, Gobin found that SmarterMath improved student learning on the basic skills of addition and subtraction by 50 percent. Students got an advantage on other math concepts as well. For example, the majority of students improved their performance on reasoning, plotting facts, and using statistics, all after using SmarterMath for six weeks.
Teachers can use SmarterMath in a variety of ways. For example, teachers can give their students a typical 15- to 20-minute lesson on algebra when they first start using the software, even if they’re not familiar with the math and have not taken an advanced class. That means the teacher gets to fill the class time without spending a minute or two to explain what math means.
“We want SmarterMath to complement the way that teachers teach,” Gobin says. “It has to be part of the overall design of the classroom.”