May 17, 2024

Unlock Math Foundations and Why It's Needed

Unlock Math Foundations and Why It's Needed

As the years have gone by, we have seen math education go through many reforms, and largely we have seen scores decline with each one.

My Last Year Teaching

In the classroom, in my last teaching job, I was tasked with teaching students Algebra 2 material. The problem was that not only had students forgotten what they learned in Algebra 1, their basic foundation and understanding of how numbers work together was not solid in their minds. This challenged me to come up with a way to both catch them up, filling in the gaps in their knowledge, and teach them Algebra 2. Not only that, I was supposed to prepare my students for the high schools graduation test. The goal given to me by administration was for 50% of my students to be able to pass the math portion of the graduation test (many of my students were severely behind and administration did not feel it was possible for them to achieve a passing math score on the graduation test). Through the methodologies and strategies that I put in place 97% of my students achieved a passing score on the math portion of the graduation test!

Unlock Math Begins

Unlock Math began with the basic premise that your average student could learn math and succeed if the instruction made sense to them.  Incorporating the methodologies and strategies that I used to help my classroom student achieve more than they though possible I began developing our first course Unlock Pre-Algebra and worked my way forward. It was when we were in the middle of creating Algebra 2 that I received a phone call from a school psychologist from a state that tested homeschoolers every year. She had one particular student who had never tested on grade level. He had several significant learning challenges and his mom had struggled to find something that worked for him. He began our Unlock Algebra 1 course and for the first time, he tested on grade level. The school psychologist was so impressed she had to know what he was doing and it was Unlock Math. She began to investigate our courses and she came across Pre-Algebra and she said she wished that I would take the first 5 units of our Pre-Algebra and make a whole course out of it. Since she tested many many children, she saw the biggest needs and it was in grade 5 and 6 where students typically went off the rails as far as testing goes.

Unlock Math Foundations Needed

At the time I was focused on the plan I had for our course development timeline. Each course takes a significant amount of time and commitment to complete. However, as time marched on Matthew (who is the first point of contact usually for new families), began to have more and more conversations with parents who had children who were not only NOT on grade level, but significantly behind. The basic foundation was missing and their student was so lost with the new concepts they couldn’t keep up.

But, how do you get a 13 or 15 year old to do a math program that says grade 3? Eventually, I was convinced to take the time to create Foundations. Foundations takes all the basic foundation math skills and teaches from ground zero and builds students skills to be successful in Pre-Algebra. To date, Foundations is our most popular course.

Elena (5th grade) & Max (7th grade) began with Unlock Math December 29th after placing in the 50th percentile for math in their standardized math tests. Using our Unlock Math Foundations they were able to raise their math scores from the 50th percentile to the 90th and 96th percentiles in less than 5 months. All without finishing the course.

“I wanted to share some amazing news. Max and Elena just scored in the 90th percentile for math on their standardized test for fifth and seventh grade. You guys get (and deserve) ALL the credit. They raised their scores from the 50th percentile (to 90. Elena got in the 96th percentile for math computation. I’m so relieved I could cry. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!” – Jaci

Without the basic foundation being laid and strong, students will get further and further behind. Take the time to make sure that foundation is strong….you will thank me later 😊

Until next time, Alesia