A bold reimagining

of the classroom

to spark a generation of

powerful learners.

to spark a generation of

powerful learners.

Building student's rich social knowledge helps attend to issues of identity and power in the context of the instructional material

What is Spark Math?

Spark Math is being developed as 4 replacement units.

Each of the 4 units replaces, covers and extends the core curriculum for 2-3 weeks. It does not delay the core curriculum, but covers the same material in a novel way.

In addition to developing conceptual understanding, Spark Math units build executive function (EF) skills into the math instruction.

The graphic below highlights both the goals of the Spark Math units and features.

Spark Math
Replacement Units

Teachers develop capacity and redesign their instructional practice

More belonging-centered instruction

More ambitions and equitable instruction

Students actively engage in authentic mathematical problem solving & EF meta - cognition

Improved learning outcomes for students of color

Spark Math
Replacement Units

Teachers develop capacity and redesign their instructional practice

More belonging-centered instruction

More ambitions and equitable instruction

Students actively engage in authentic mathematical problem solving & EF meta - cognition

Improved learning outcomes for students of color

Spark Math
Replacement Units

Teachers develop capacity and redesign their instructional practice

More belonging-centered instruction

More ambitions and equitable instruction

Students actively engage in authentic mathematical problem solving & EF meta - cognition

Improved learning outcomes for students of color

Spark Math
Replacement Units

Teachers develop capacity and redesign their instructional practice

More belonging-centered instruction

More ambitions and equitable instruction

Students actively engage in authentic mathematical problem solving & EF meta - cognition

Improved learning outcomes for students of color

What is a Spark Math Unit?

Simulations and project-based learning activities that provide opportunities for shared authentic experience, mathematical discourse, and exploration.

Supports to help teachers develop culturally relevant instruction and build student's EF skills.

Learning games and adaptive practice to strengthen students' math fluency and executive functions.

Spark Math is packaged as cohesive, ready-to-use unity, but alternatively the individual components can be implemented a la carte.

Spark Math Program Components

Math
Curriculum
  • Instructional materials
  • Assessments
  • Digital + Print
  • Top-rated, EF-infused OER
  • Discourse-infused
Teacher
Learning System
  • Pull-out & coaching
  • Ongoing, collaborative, interactive
  • In-person & self-serve
Supplemental
Supports
  • Micro-tutoring
  • Extended Instruction
  • Adaptive, computer-based instruction

EF-Infused
Math
  • EF training embedded in math
  • Metacognitive strategies
  • Socio-emotional & contextual EF support
Discourse & Open-
Ended Learning
  • Simulations
  • Formative assessment
  • Student choice
  • Conceptual and relevant taks
  • Collaborative learning

Reimagining Student's Mathematics Experience

Diagram. Step 1. Authenticity, Constructing Knowledge, Disciplinary Inquiry, Value Beyond School
Diagram. Step 2. Authentic Instruction & Authentic Assessment
Diagram. Step 3. Students' Identities & Experiencies and Students Projects
Diagram. Step 4. Preformal Strategies & Models, Relevant Contexts, Creativity & Voice, Relevant Contexts and Lives Beyond School
Diagram. Step 1. Authenticity, Constructing Knowledge, Disciplinary Inquiry, Value Beyond School
Diagram. Step 2. Authentic Instruction & Authentic Assessment
Diagram. Step 3. Students' Identities & Experiencies and Students Projects
Diagram. Step 4. Preformal Strategies & Models, Relevant Contexts, Creativity & Voice, Relevant Contexts and Lives Beyond School

Who is Spark Math?

In 2020, EF+Math chose a small number of interdisciplinary teams to fund. Spark Math was proud to be one of those teams.

Spark Math is led by the non-profit Saga Education, the leading provider of high-dose in-school tutoring for historically underserved youth.

A strength of Spark Math is that is being developed with a group of leading researchers highlighted below. The team's work spans an arc from Jammal's work on belonging in the math classroom and social cognition, to Ben, Priti and Yuko's work on EF deployment, improvement, and training, to Kathy, David, Brent and Krista, and Tom's work on novel and tech-supported approaches to learning mathematics.

Led by Saga Education

Selfie of Brent Milne.
Brent Milne
VP of R&D
Principal Investigator
Selfie of Krista Marks.
Krista Marks
Chief Product Officer
Project Lead
Selfie of Tom Fischaber.
Tom Fischaber
VP of Operations
Project Manager

In Collaboration With

Selfie of Jamaal Matthews.
Jamaal Matthews
Assoc. Prof., U. Michigan
Connections between social cognition, motivation, identity, and learning
Selfie of Priti Shah.
Priti Shah
Professor, U. Michigan
Cognition & education with focuses on EFs and their improvement, statistical environment
Selfie of Yuko Manakata.
Yuko Munakata
Professor, UC Davis
EF, adaptive thinking, changes in thinking based on context, motivation, social env.
Selfie of David Webb.
David Webb
Assoc. Prof., U. Colorado
Realistic Mathematics Education (RME), PD, formative assessment
Selfie of Kathy Perkins.
Kathy Perkins
Professor, U. Colorado
Director of PhET Interactive Simulations
Selfie of Ben Katz.
Ben Katz
Assist. Prof., Virginia Tech
Cognitive training, working memory, EF and game deisgn