Research by Dr. Lynn Columba Supports Success of First In Math Program

Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 3:00pm

Dr. Lynn Columba, associate professor of Teaching, Learning, and Technology, explored the effects on students’ mathematical development when they engage daily with the First in Math (FIM) online program.

The results indicated that third, fourth, and fifth graders using the FIM online learning program in an encouraging environment, showed significant improvements in their mathematics achievement. Implications for computational thinking, which underlies the recommendations by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) (2000) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (2010), are that students develop this skill set as a powerful problem-solving tool and can extend it to the essential parts of everyday life. Students in 4th grade showed a 32.9% increase in PSSA math scores after using FIM.

First In Math features hundreds of engaging games designed to strengthen fact fluency, automaticity, computational thinking and other critical skills. Whether students are working on addition or algebra, built-in practice GOALS encourage achievement and keep them energized to sustain accelerated effort over time. Students play more than 200 meaningful K-8 math games they can relate to—games that are difficult enough to hold their interest but not so difficult that they give up in frustration. In this environment, students practice willingly, the way they do for sports! At home or in class, students use FIM's Deep Practice approach to strengthen fact fluency, automaticity, computational thinking and other skills vital to math and STEM success like self-monitoring, goal-setting, adaptability and persistence. Another bonus? Reducing the time you spend practicing and reviewing math facts each day gives you more time for instruction. 

Research Focus: 
Mathematics intervention
Science, Technology, Arts and Math Teaching Practices
Field of Expertise: 
Science/Technology/Engineering and Arts