Startup Formative Loop is boosting elementary math scores with an old-school approach
Pencil and paper still has its place in the classroom when it comes to math
Press Release (ePRNews.com) - AUSTIN, Texas - Jul 27, 2017 - Elementary state assessment scores are coming in from the last school year and a new math program is showing remarkable results. Mina Elementary is a large public school serving the Bastrop community in central Texas. It has over 500 students in attendance, with grades K-4.
Mina Elementary began using the Formative Loop math program about a year and a half ago. With this year’s test scores, they saw their third-grade students improve 18% on the Texas STARR assessment when compared to the previous year (when these students were in second grade). They also saw the number of students who were highlighted as having “Mastered” status by the STARR test go up 33%.
Their principal, Reba King says, “Formative Loop is loved by students, parents, and teachers. Students are motivated. Parents can easily assist with the homework and appreciate that we are putting an emphasis on holding students accountable for foundational math skills. Teachers see the impact on student learning, and value the real-time data to drive intervention.”
Formative Loop is the technology startup behind these programs helping students master foundational math skills. It has a decidedly old-school approach which has the students using pencil/paper with their technology used by the teachers. “We originally designed the program to be entirely on the computer for both students and teachers. What we learned from watching students was that these early learners really benefit from pencil and paper for math practice over a web-based program. This is backed up by recent research that handwritten notes help make more permanent connections in the brain while learning,” says company co-founder Dustin Friesenhahn.
Principal King has implemented the program campus wide. Each day, the entire school completes a math practice all at the same time starting at 7:35 am. It’s their way of getting their students ready to learn for the day.
The 3rd graders weren’t the only students who saw a large improvement. The 1st grade population meeting district end of year academic targets for math went up 11% and their 2nd grade population increased a total of 27% from 2015-16 to 2016-17.
It is important to note that student improvement doesn’t come simply from tools like Formative Loop, but also requires the dedication and skill of great teachers. Congratulations to the students and staff of Mina Elementary on your success!
About Formative Loop, Inc.
Formative Loop, Inc. is an educational software company helping students master foundational math skills. Founded by two technologists married to teachers, the company has a focus on making products which fit into today’s classrooms. The Formative Loop math program has shown dramatic results in state testing and overall mathematical capabilities.