Math intervention program getting results in Missouri district

Number Worlds brings K-8 students in Ladue School District back to grade level
By: | Issue: September, 2014 | Case Study
January 30, 2015

Lindsey Mayer’s job is, quite literally, fun and games. A math interventionist in the Ladue School District in Missouri, Mayer uses playing cards, board games and manipulatives to reinforce tricky math concepts for struggling elementary school students. Guided by Number Worlds, a research-proven math intervention from McGraw-Hill Education for grades preK-8, Mayer presents lesson plans aligned with the Common Core and bolstered by hands-on activities that engage her students.

For example, students count floors during an elevator-themed game, or order house numbers for a pretend mail carrier to deliver letters efficiently. “Our students love coming to Number Worlds,” Mayer says. “They feel comfortable and confident, and they see their growth as math students. I have seen tremendous results, with a great number of students moving closer to grade level and some exiting math intervention altogether because they have reached target grade level.”

Mayer is a Title 1 math teacher at Old Bonhomme Elementary School, one of four K4 schools in the district located west of St. Louis. Mayer works exclusively with Tier 3 students, who are anywhere from two to four years below grade level, and meets with them in small groups for 30 minutes every day. Other staff work with Tier 2 students, who are typically about one year below grade level and meet two or three times a week for 30 minutes. Tier 3 students in the district’s 5th Grade Center and middle school also use Number Worlds for math intervention. “Number Worlds is very hands-on, no matter what level you are using,” Mayer says. “Each level has its own manipulatives and board games to reinforce the lesson of the day. The real-world application shows students the relevance of what they are learning.”

For example, students learn how fractions help with baking cookies or sharing a pizza, and how counting coins helps at the grocery store or vending machine. In the Ladue district, regular classroom teachers have seen the positive effects of Number Worlds, Mayer adds. “Teachers tell me their students are much more confident, they are excited about math, their participation has increased and their behavior has improvedÑbecause they understand the material and are no longer stressed about it.” The 4,100-student district started using Number Worlds three years ago, but is just beginning to implement the latest version. Number Worlds 2015 is redesigned and enhanced to be more teacher-friendly and engaging for students, and includes new online options such as planning tools, progress reporting and a teacher dashboard.

New features of Number Worlds 2015 include:
Interactive games and embedded activities designed to keep students engaged while learning.
Digital assessment and reporting tools that allow teachers to correctly place and monitor at-risk students.
Lessons designed for 30-60 minutes, but with flexible options for extending or reducing time as necessary.
Projects that require students to apply math concepts and skills to real-world problems and situations.
Weekly planners that map out lessons, learning objectives and resources needed to maximize instructional time.

“I’m really looking forward to using the online components in Number Worlds 2015,” Mayer says. “I already love all the manipulatives, games and activities. Number Worlds has done a great job providing engaging lessons, and I like how each level is color-coded and organized. My kids love having their own workbooks, and there is high-quality content on every page.”

To learn more about Number Worlds, visit

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