Greater Math in North Dakota
What is this initiative?
Greater Math in North Dakota is designed to address “learning gaps” in students’ math knowledge.
A combination of in-school and online lessons were used to help students catch up as quickly as
possible. Its focus is on grades 3-8, where many basic math concepts are taught.
What is a learning gap?
A learning gap is a math skill a student is supposed to know, but doesn’t. Unlike other subjects,
each math lesson tends to rely on the skills that were taught in the previous one. For example, while
missing a week of geography class would require make-up work, a student would be able to continue
to follow along with the rest of the class. By contrast, missing a week of math class would mean the
student is effectively stuck at that week and could rapidly fall behind their peers. This issue happens
at smaller scales too: if a student doesn’t understand one lesson, they will struggle with the next
day’s lesson because of that missing knowledge. Greater Math in ND offers various tools for helping
students in such situations cover the lessons they missed so they can resume learning with the rest
of the class. By having these resources ready, teachers can assign them to students immediately to
get them back up to speed.
How are learning gaps addressed?
In Greater Math in ND, teachers are trained in how to incorporate “blended learning” into their
classroom. Blended learning is a type of differentiated instruction that integrates classroom
instruction and educational technology, such as online lessons. Greater Math in ND supports
the use of evidence-based practices for high-quality math instruction by supporting educators in
changing how they teach to most effectively promote math skills. It also assists schools, districts, and
regional leaders in using effective strategies, through coaching opportunities and a culture of open
communication with fellow teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders.
What are the results?
Across the state, the program is helping school districts use services they’re already paying for more
effectively, such as IXL Math, MobyMax Math, and SplashMath. This is a newly-launched initiative,
but we expect to see an increase in math testing scores.