1994-1996 Case Study: Bronx, NY

1994-1996 Case Study: Bronx, NY

Year one: 1994-95. The Jumping Levels® program (which utilizes 24® game play, posters, award stickers and incentives) was piloted in grades two through nine throughout Community School District 8, reaching 750 classrooms in the district’s 29 schools. Classroom teachers were asked to incorporate use of the 24®game into classroom work, either five minutes per day or one period per week. Year two: 1995-96. Study of incorporating the Jumping Levels® program in classrooms was expanded to include CSD 7, 9 and 12.


Background Information:  First In Math® was preceeded by a program called Jumping Levels® that utilized 24® game play, posters, award stickers and incentives.  The Jumping Levels program employed many of the same basic features that would be later translated into the online version, so we have included analysis of the JL program here.  Suntex introduced www.firstinmath.com and the First In Math® Online Program in 2002.


29 Schools Within New York City Community School District 8
Begin Jumping Levels® Pilot Program in grades 2 through 9.

bronx2.gif

In 1994, New York City Community School District 8 approved the piloting of the Jumping Levels* program in grades two through nine throughout the district, reaching some 750 classrooms in CSD 8's 29 schools. Classroom teachers were asked to incorporate use of the 24® game into classroom work, either five minutes per day or one period per week.

The Jumping Levels program utilizes 24 game play, posters, award stickers and incentives that encourage students continually to improve math skills at their own pace. This student-driven program has a unique, feedback mechanism that gives educators the ability to analyze the performance of students on a monthly basis and to take corrective action where indicated.

bronx3.gifSchools in the Bronx adopted the program because it focuses on several key components of their math curriculum: teaching-tools to increase math fluency, methods to engage students, solid foundation in basic skills-all driven toward improvement of standardized test scores. At the end of the first year, Suntex identified a correlation between students' standardized test scores and their performance in the Jumping Levels program. Grade levels that performed well in the program had higher standardized test scores than grade levels that did poorly in the program.

The most striking result was found among a large group of students at Intermediate School 131. These students successfully completed each of the twelve "jumps" on the Jumping Levels poster. [Level 1 starts students out with a one-step addition or subtraction exercise. Level 12 is a complex, multi-step problem-solving exercise requiring the use of simultaneous-thinking, pre-algebra skills.] The standardized test scores of the 64 students who jumped Level 12 (30 percent of the eighth grade at IS 131) were compared to their previous year's scores. The increases in scores were substantial-on average an increase of 11 percentile points among this group of students.

Study Expanded

During the 1995-96 school year, the Jumping Levels program was widely expanded in its second year to include three additional Bronx districts: CSD 7, CSD 9 and CSD 12. Program materials provided included Mini Decks for each student-throughout 1,685 Bronx classrooms. As a result, all districts participating improved test scores.

Suntex offered these schools the choice of three distinct Jumping Levels kits: Add/Subtract primer for grades two and three, Multiply/Divide primer for grades three and four, and Standard edition for grades four and up. All three kits include Mini Decks to provide students access to the game and the opportunity to practice their math skills, contributing to increased math fluency.

Correlation between the Jumping Levels Index (an average of the number of students reaching any of the 12 skill levels that comprise the Jumping Levels program) and student performance on standardized tests is strengthened after review of the 1995-96 test-score data. CSD 8 test results have for the first time in a decade shown over 50 percent of students scoring at or above grade level.

Other Bronx districts using the Jumping Levels program for the first time showed significant gains in test scores-between 7.2 and 12 percent increase in students scoring at or above grade level. In fact, of the 10 New York City districts that registered substantial gains in math scores, four of them were Bronx districts.

Conclusion

After implementing the Jumping Levels® Mathematics Program, CSD 8 test results had-for the first time in a decade-shown more than 50 percent of students scoring at or above grade level.

Other Bronx districts using the Jumping Levels program for the first time also showed significant gains in test scores-between 7.2 and 12 percent increase in students scoring at or above grade level. Of the 10 New York City districts that registered substantial gains in math scores, four of them were Bronx districts.