Since its creation in 2011, TenMarks’ flagship product, currently used in approximately 45,000 schools, has been referred to as an adaptive mathematics platform that teachers use as a supplement to what’s being taught in the classroom. On TenMarks, students can get remedial tutoring after school, classes can engage in homework exercises and gifted/talented kids can run through higher-level math concepts on the weekends.
But what about the core instruction that students need in order to learn those math concepts before using supplemental materials?
TenMarks is trying to move into that arena, today announcing "TenMarks Math Teach," a professional development and in-class lesson planning resource for grades 2-6 that will be launched on November 20.
As TenMarks CEO Rohit Agarwal tells EdSurge, he and his team started hearing from disgruntled teacher users back in 2014. Educators reported that students were using TenMarks and coming back to class saying, “These questions are tough.” Teachers began anticipating potential misunderstandings, taking screenshots of TenMarks problems, and subsequently making preemptive efforts to show students the concepts needed to solve those really tough questions that matched the rigor of Common Core.
“We found that teachers were struggling to teach to the depth and the rigor of the [Common Core] standards, and we knew we had to provide them with something else,” Agarwal says. “We realized we had the resources and the data to do it.” So, the TenMarks team got to work--spending 30+ hours on each individual grade 2-6 standard, “unpacking” and compiling a collection of warm-up lessons, pre-assessment frameworks and targeted prompts for anticipated student misunderstandings.
According to Agarwal, TenMarks Teach provides teachers with lessons, manipulatives, and assessments for 12 Common Core competencies (like number fluency and fractions) per grade level (see below). The platform includes items that can be printed, as well as items that can be projected onto the board in front of a classroom of students. Teach also includes explanations of each Common Core standard (see below) intended to bring teachers up to speed on exactly what to teach and work towards the “teacher preparation” piece that Agarwal considers key to in-class instruction.
Starting November 20, both current and new TenMarks users can get limited access to TenMarks Math Teach for free; this means four free lessons for up to 3 grade levels (12 standards/lessons total). But for the premium price of $399/teacher/year, the four lessons per grade get booted up to all lessons for all grades.
If TenMarks’s flagship platform is an “outside-the-classroom” option, the new Teach product could be considered an “inside-the-classroom” counterpart. “The idea behind TenMarks Math was to provide students with reinforcement, interventions, assessments, and differentiations. Now, TenMarks Math Teach will precede that; it’s a preparation resource for teachers,” says Agarwal.