Mathletics is used in thousands of schools across the globe and we are proud to be a part of the learning in many of the leading International Schools in Europe. Mathletics contains a vast range of targeted and adaptive content designed to meet the needs of dozens of International curricula – including the International Baccalaureate (PYP and MYP) and iGCSE, as well as the US Common Core and Aero, plus several courses aligned to national and state-based curricula.
We recently spoke to some of our schools in Europe, many of whom have been using Mathletics for several years, to see how the resource is used in their school and how it helps students and teachers.
Suzanne Baxter is in her eighth year as Mathematics Leader at Ayios Nikolaos Primary school in Cyprus. Part of her role has been to raise the profile of mathematics within the school and to improve results. Suzanne has been working towards the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL). As part of this qualification, she needed to identify effective mathematical resources that teachers, LSAs and parents would be comfortable using. Suzanne tried Mathletics for half a term at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. She was delighted to find that Mathletics was not just a comprehensive resource but that it could be used in so many different ways. She began by advertising a maths club after school and quickly found that she had a group of 20 children who were keen mathematicians. She decided to set up a second group, an intervention group with four children from each class, 16 in total, who were selected because they were struggling. The club proved to be a great success with even the weaker students really enjoying what they were doing. Now over 50% of key stage two children come to the Maths Club. Mathletics was also integrated into the early morning activities and into lessons so it was on the timetable every week.
“I have seen a real difference with some learners. Four pupils in my class only need a few more Mathletics gold bar rewards to complete all the work for the year and we still have a term to go!” The children themselves have become great ambassadors. It started with the children who attended maths club who would say, “You need to come and have a go at this.” Gradually it took off and once it was introduced into the early morning learning sessions the momentum built. They enjoy the problem-solving aspect. They are also motivated by rewards such as getting the gold bars or being Mathlete of the Month.”
The pupils find it easier to revise and consolidate their learning and Suzanne has noticed that now they are using mathematical language: “Whereas they used to say they had been doing maths or sums, now they say “I’ve been learning about measurement”, or “We are doing fractions”.”
Suzanne’s favourite tools are the teacher assessments that let her quickly set tasks for homework and find specific work to plug gaps. She also likes the range and variety of activities and feels that the fact that children only answer 10 questions each time keeps them on target.
“The assessment opportunities within Mathletics are brilliant and now we can see where we need to put in an intervention. It is so easy to set a homework task targeting weaker areas or to get together a small group of children who can go off and work on a Mathletics task with support from a LSA.”
You can read more about Mathletics in International schools and our case study schools here.
Neil Howie, deputy principal at the British International School, Belgrade first came across Mathletics when he was working in a school in Nigeria. He was impressed by the fact that the resource allowed pupils with limited English to achieve high scores and motivated them to persevere with written problems which stretched their skills in English. He introduced Mathletics to BIS ten years ago and over time the staff have found different ways to use the resource. At KS3, maths teachers use Mathletics for one maths lesson each week and some class teachers have been using Mathletics in registration time too. Teachers have found that getting pupils to compete against each other during registration period helps them focus and concentrate better on their lessons throughout the day.
The results have been excellent. Pupils see Mathletics as a game and love working towards the next level. In fact, it was taking so long to give out all the certificates in assembly that the school has decided only to hand out gold and silver certificates in primary assemblies and only gold certificates in secondary.
Mathletics offers instant feedback, which is especially important for young people who may have misinterpreted a question. Once they have two or three wrong answers they start to look closely at where they have gone astray. Neil Howie has noticed that pupils are keen to redo sections where they have several wrong answers because they want to improve their score. This provides excellent reinforcement.
Students at the British International School in Belgrade particularly enjoy the Live Mathletics mental arithmetic competition element of Mathletics. “Competition is a very powerful impetus,” said Neil Howie. “It makes young people determined to do their best all the time.”
You can read more about Mathletics in International schools and all our case study schools here.