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Stages Math Number Sense Review

 

Educators are always looking for appropriate options for math skills practice and assessment. We seem to have well-developed literacy supports for reading and written language, but the scaffolded supports for math are not as well-developed. Enter Stages Math Number Sense Software and App - a comprehensive, interactive, and engaging number sense platform that I love to recommend to educators looking for assistive technology and educational technology math solutions. Many times, the instructional strategies we use with our students on IEPs promote dependence. I love how Stages Math, instead, promotes independence and success.

Stages Math was developed by my friend and colleague, Madalaine Pugliese. She had a vision for creating a developmentally-appropriate, switch-accessible, customizable, and interactive math tool for students with complex needs. Because Stages Math is so flexible and customizable, it is appropriate for all learners who are learning foundational number sense skills.

There are three features which set Stages Math apart from other options - the scaffolding supports, the built-in instruction through meaningful feedback in practice mode, and the reports. The scaffolding supports offer many options to customize the visual presentation, the access method (touch, single switch, double switch), sound effects, presence of audio prompts, number of questions per session, test or practice mode, the activities, and the skills within the activities. It is impressive how precise one can be when setting up a student to work within Stages Math. The ability to target specific skills and view the reports generates “Wows!” whenever I show those features to teachers.

For example, recently I worked with a second grade student who received special education supports under an IEP due to autism spectrum disorder. One of the nine number sense activities focuses on money skills. His teacher and I wanted to get a baseline of his money skills as she was unclear about what he knew. Also, he had significant difficulty writing legible numbers in sequence. We set up Stages Math Money Skills to use only pennies, nickels, and dimes. He had 100% success with counting the money up to three coins. Then we added quarters. He was unable to count coins that included the value of quarters. We didn’t need to sit with him to learn he had difficulty with this skill. We learned it by evaluating the report that was generated. Each report includes a date and time stamp, average time per problem, what the problem is, and how the student responds. Practice mode is designed to deliver meaningful feedback. It teaches the solution to the student if they make three errors.

For a middle school student with intellectual disabilities, his teacher and I explored his time skills using Stages Math. We found he was able to tell time to the hour. When the questions asked him to show elapsed time one hour later, he was successful. But the concept of one hour earlier, even with visual supports, was a concept he had not yet mastered according to the data. It is hoped that with instruction, his skills will improve in this area. The date and time stamps will show progress over time.

The Sequencing Activity offers numerous tasks and provides rich data. The Sequence Activities tasks are: 1. What Comes Next, 2. Ordinals, and 3. Put Them in Order. Within the What Comes Next and Put Them In Order tasks, one can sequence from low to high and high to low by 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, and 10’s up to 100. Teachers are amazed by the options for customization built into the program.

The ability to gather baseline information about students' math skills is a huge benefit of Stages Math. We typically need to sit with a student to get an accurate assessment of their foundational skills. Stages Math minimizes the time spent because of the detailed data that is collected. Once that information is available for review, it is possible to customize the program for each student with targeted instruction. Multiple students can use the same device and all data is saved.

Stages Math is an indispensable tool for special educators. It saves time, maximizes learning, and promotes independence while creating a portfolio of information. I hope this post helps to highlight the value of this tool. Learn more on the Attainment Company website. You will love what you can do with Stages Math Number Sense!

Sincerely,

Karen Janowski, MS Ed, President

EdTech Solutions, Inc

131 Main Street Reading, MA 01867

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