Think Through Math (TTM) is a supplemental, online mathematics program for grades 3-8 and Algebra I. Resources support self-paced instruction in remediation and intervention programs. Across grade levels, TTM’s adaptive software adjusts content to meet individual learning needs, provides immediate corrective feedback, and motivates students through a system of extrinsic rewards. Instruction incorporates multiple representations of concepts (i.e., visual, numeric, and verbal) and includes resources to support students at each Response to Intervention (RtI) tier. Learning List reviews for these materials are now published through our service.
TTM is meant to supplement core math programs; lessons do not provide direct instruction in key concepts. At the start of each year, each student takes a placement test to assess learning gaps. Based on assessment results, students are prescribed an individualized “learning path” or sequence of lessons. TTM lessons are made up of six components. Most lessons begin with a (1) a Pre-Quiz and (2) a Warm-Up. The Pre-Quiz assesses students’ knowledge of the topic and the Warm-Up is a short game or set of multiple-choice questions that introduces the topic and links to prior knowledge. Core instruction is provided in (3) Guided Learning and (4) Problem-Solving activities. Guided Learning introduces concepts through example problems and guiding questions. Problem-Solving activities frame a five-step solution process that includes analyzing, planning, solving, justifying, and evaluating. In the (5) Practice section of the lesson, students work independently on practice problems. Lessons end with (6) a Post-Quiz over content.
Extrinsic rewards are central to TTM’s approach to instruction, and the program provides rewards in the form of points, badges, and contests. Across lesson activities, students earn points when they arrive at the correct answer. Students may use points to purchase items to customize their TTM avatar (e.g., hairstyles, accessories, clothes). Points may be pooled to purchase classroom pizza parties (500,000 points=$50 gift card to a pizza venue) or donated to a charity (10,000 points=$1 donation). Students also earn badges for achieving certain milestones, such as answering a question correctly on the first try, and have the opportunity to participate in TTM contests (e.g., students who pass 30 lessons qualify for a drawing to win a $200 Amazon gift card). Educators who have used the TTM program with students said in interviews that points were an effective motivational tool. However, they underscored the importance of teacher monitoring, noting that students could game the system in order to earn points.