The Mind Research Institute’s ST Math is a supplemental, online program that supports mathematics instruction in grades K-12. Students learn through engaging, interactive math games and puzzles. The highly visual program develops students’ ability to use spatial-temporal (ST) reasoning to understand math concepts and become proficient problem solvers. Learning List reviewed Common Core resources for grades K-6 in summer 2016.  In summer 2017, we completed TEKS alignment verifications for the same grades.

ST Math defines spatial-temporal reasoning as “the innate ability to visualize and manipulate images through a sequence of steps in space and time.” To develop spatial-temporal reasoning skills, the program presents visual representations of math concepts in the form of animated, interactive math games. Each game requires that students manipulate visual models to help JiJi (i.e., an animated penguin) overcome or bypass obstacles that block his way. For example, in one first-grade game, students are introduced to the concept of a number line. JiJi cannot continue on his way across the computer screen until students are able to match the number of birds on telephone wire from with the numeral that appears at the top of the screen (e.g., the number 3; three birds).

Learning games are organized in several levels. The first level introduces the mathematical concept and the game’s format and is completely visual. That is, the game does not include symbolic and/or verbal representations of concepts. Subsequent games build on the concept, providing greater complexity and extending students’ reasoning skills. When students have mastered content in the visual format, symbolic and verbal representations of concepts are introduced. This structure creates learning paths that scaffold instruction, foster conceptual understanding, and build fluency for each student.

About The Mind Research Institute*

The Mind Research Institute’s mission is to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Institute staff believe every child has the potential to be a powerful learner and to acquire the problem-solving and math proficiency needed to compete in a knowledge-based economy. Through a uniquely visual, non-language-based approach to teaching math — delivered through the ST Math instructional software — students across the country are deeply understanding math, developing perseverance and problem-solving skills, and becoming life-long learners prepared for success.

*This information is provided by or adapted from The Mind Research Institute.

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