Math Recovery

Program Description

The Math Recovery Program has been developed as a systemic response to the problem of chronic failure in school mathematics and utilizes a research-based approach from a constructivist perspective. The overarching objective for Math Recovery is to provide a robust intervention framework for teachers working with elementary students to help in the construction of numeracy skills, through assessment which incorporates a strong analysis component and individualized teaching. Teaching Cycle: Math Recovery students undergo a teaching cycle of approximately 15 weeks. Students receive 30 minutes of intense daily instruction. Each student’s instruction is based on an individualized teaching framework which is derived from their assessment profile.

Program Rationale Statement

The Math Recovery Program exists to provide early, short-term intervention (40 to 60 lessons) for low-attaining first grade students. Math Recovery’s goal is to increase students’ mathematical knowledge through intensive, individualized instruction thereby narrowing the “knowledge gap” between these students and average or high-attaining students and, in turn, promote strong, positive attitudes about mathematics.

Identification Criteria

Math Recovery involves a distinctive approach to assessing a young child’s numerical knowledge. Math Recovery assessment consists of two interview-based assessment schedules: Assessment “A” and “B”. Assessment B is given only to students who are assessed at advanced levels via Assessment A. Math Recovery assessment accords with a profiles-based approach allowing assessment and teaching to be fully integrated. “Target” scores or minimal standards for successful completion are based upon the stages and levels achieved among the five aspects of the assessments. Students must meet the following criteria to successfully discontinue from the program:

Semester 1

  • Stage: Strong 3
  • FNWS: Level 5
  • BNWS: Level 5
  • Numerical ID: Level 4
  • Tens/Ones: N/A

Semester 2

  • Stage: Strong 3 with emerging grouping strategies
  • FNWS: Level 5
  • BNWS: Level 5
  • Numerical ID: Level 4
  • Tens/Ones: Level 2

Selection Process

The Math Recovery assessments are analyzed to determine the child’s current stage and levels of early numerical knowledge. Assessment profiles are used to make selections keeping in mind the variability among prospective participants. Decisions are site-based and made by the Math Recovery Specialist(s) in collaboration with the first grade classroom teacher(s). As a general rule, students whose arithmetical strategies lie in “Stage 0” or “Stage 1” are given the highest consideration.

Appeals Process

No, parents and/or students cannot appeal if they do not get in. The reason is parents generally do not understand the necessary foundation for the development of number sense and efficient mathematical strategies or the vast differences in mathematical knowledge students have when they begin the first year of school. Very few, if any, six year olds are able to recognize whether their own number knowledge and mathematical skill is commensurate with expected levels of proficiency for their age or grade level.