Think Through Math is a web-based program designed to cover math content for children in grades 3 through Algebra 1 (according to Common Core and state standards for 25 states). It is designed to supplement traditional classroom instruction, especially as a response-to-intervention tool for underperforming students. Instructions and exercises are delivered via an adaptive tutoring software along with online human tutors.
The program is adaptive in that it continually assesses students’ performance to create and adjust learning paths. Paths are the result of grade level targets and individual student performance on the initial placement test at the beginning of the program. Pathways continue to adapt, based on student performance in each lesson. For example, precursor lessons will be inserted into a pathway if the student continues to struggle or fails the post-quiz at the end of a lesson.
The program combines game mechanics with intrinsic and extrinsic strategies to encourage students. Students earn points that can be redeemed for tangible rewards, including gift cards, T-shirts and even donations to a charity of their school’s choice (a certain number of points amount to $1 charity dollar). Intrinsic motivation stems from enabling students to operate in their zone of proximal development and to know where they are in their learning progress. To get a feel for the program, watch the “Welcome Video” on the website.
As of January 2016, the program was being used by over 3.3 million students across 48 states. It is only offered to schools; there is no option to purchase the program as an individual. Over 50% of the students access the program outside of school (typically from homes and on weekends).