There are many ways to support students as they work in ST Math. An encouraging word when they get stuck, a reminder when they need to focus, and questions when they need help making connections are all great ways to get involved. In this module, we'll review some of the other ways you can support your students.
Using the Learning Cycle to Help Students
The Learning Cycle (introduced in the first unit) is a powerful tool to support students. It not only helps you facilitate their thinking and problem solving, but students can use it to make sure they're giving themselves the best chance at learning.
Learn more in this activity.
The Importance of Productive Struggle
The ST Math website provides a comprehensive discussion of productive struggle and some great resources. Take a minute to visit the web site in the frame below or open the page in a new tab.
Good Stuck vs. Bad Stuck
Everyone prefers when learning is quick and easy. This is true even when we know it is not the most effective or best way to learn.
In the beginning, you can expect some students to resist productive struggle because they might not be used to getting answers incorrect and having to try again. Or, you may have some students who have adopted a learned helplessness. They want you to explain everything or even do the work for them. The great thing is you can turn it around! You can help students discover that, with a little effort, they are capable of great things in ST Math.
But what should you do when a student really is stuck? You don’t want to give them the answer or do the puzzle for them, but you don’t want them to shut down either. Try these strategies instead:
Provide manipulatives and make sure your student understands how to use them to model the puzzle.
Have your student talk you through the puzzle so you can hear where their understanding breaks down. Then ask questions that help clarify the misunderstanding.
If your students are able to work on other Objectives, have them try a different one and come back to the challenging puzzles on another day.
Return to a previous level as a refresher and to allow your student to experience some success.
To learn more about Helping Struggling Students, visit that module in the next unit.
Goals are attainable
Leads to understanding
Students feel empowered
Creates sense of hope
Goals are unattainable
Leads to frustration
Students feel abandoned
Creates sense of inadequacy
Using ST Math's On-Screen Resources to Help Students
When a student isn’t sure where to begin, you can remind them to look for clues as they move their pointer around the puzzle screen.
Clicking on the screen will highlight where students should focus their attention. This can provide a hint to help the student get started.
The Go button gives students the chance to choose an answer and then examine their answer before entering it. During this time, students are predicting what is going to happen. Making predictions and seeing how they come out is one of the most powerful ways to increase learning.
Students can pause and replay animation to review the informative feedback they receive after pressing the Go button or entering an answer. By examining the visual proof, students can make connections to what they should do next.
To show the animation tools, click on the screen after the animation starts and before it finishes.
To show the animation tools and pause the animation, double click on the screen.
Toggling Auto Pause on in the Student Menu will require the student to press play to view all animations.
The annotation tool allows students to work through a problem or extend their thinking by demonstrating how they solved a puzzle.
Double click on the screens during the animation to pause the animation and display the annotation tool.
Classroom Tools That Support ST Math
Although ST Math is designed to be used without additional resources, providing manipulatives can be a powerful way for students to engage with the program. This is especially helpful when students use tools to model the problem presented in the puzzle. This allows them to manipulate the model, assign meaning to it, and test out their thinking before entering an answer. Some tools teachers may want to make available are:
Two color counters
Base 10 Blocks
Judy Clock (younger students)
Additional ST Math resources (game mats, number lines, tens frames, etc.) can also be part of the math tool kit and are available on ST Math Help.
Think about your answer and then click to reveal our thoughts.
What is productive struggle?
Productive struggle is the process of effortful learning that develops grit and creative problem solving. It enables students to work through increasingly challenging problems or types of problems they have never seen before.
What can you do when a student is stuck?
Provide manipulatives and make sure your student understands how to use them
Have your student talk you through the puzzle so you can hear where understanding breaks down. Then you can help them over a hurdle.
If your students are able to work on other objectives, have them try a different one and come back to the challenging puzzles at a later date.
Return to the previous level as a refresher. Plus, this allows your student to experience some success.
What are the steps of the Learning Cycle? (Hint: NPAC)
Notice, Predict, Analyze, Connect
The Essentials > After Students Start Playing > The ST in ST Math