December 16, 2013
Gadsden Independent School District implemented a district-wide pilot of the First In Math program during the 2012-13 school year. The program was integral to our overall strategies for math achievement. We are delighted with the results. Most of our schools saw increases in the NMSBA math scores. The two elementary schools who used the program most diligently saw 14-point and 24-point increases. -We plan to build on that improvement in the upcoming year.
George Manriquez, Mathematics Director
Gadsden Independent School District, Sunland Park, New Mexico
October 21, 2013
Thanks for all the work you do. First in Math has made a huge impact on my students. The first few years I was the only teacher on my site using the program. Now our entire school district has piloted the program and our school is using it with K-6 grades. Keep up the great work!
Dawn Burgess, 4th Grade Teacher
Plaza Vista School, CA
October 3, 2013
First In Math is like a craze! Our students also play it on their own time at home. Last year there was more of a need for this program because I needed MCAS scores to improve. This year the students needed little incentive because they simply like the program. First In Math is just another avenue for learning, it’s this generation, this is what they know, technology. It makes sense to give them what they know.
Ellen Fritz, Principal
Lynn Woods E.S.
November 5, 2012
My students absolutely love your program. In the past, I have used paper and pencil drills to memorize the facts. The First in Math program has changed all of that. Now the class is excited to get on the computers and learn their facts. Even students without an internet connection at home are going to the public library or a relative's house to play. I look forward to even better math scores this year.
John Wood, 4th grade Teacher
Live Oak School, CA
April 4, 2012
Being back in the classroom has helped me see the value of FIM from a different perspective. My students come to me almost every day asking who the Player of the Day is. They also let me know when they've hit big milestones. I print color FIM certificates for them, and they love earning and receiving them. I just awarded a 5,000- and a 6,000-sticker certificate today! Love FIM for so many reasons—just wish I had time to play more myself!
Anita Schuler, M.Ed, 4th-grade Teacher
Hoover Elementary School, Pittsburgh, PA
January 13, 2012
You have done an AMAZING job with the Area/Perimeter module! In the first place, it is
amazing to view. Then, the amount of multi-dimensional processing the player must accomplish in order to be successful is simply outstanding. This module will be a wonderful tool for ensuring students are independent masters with these four polygons
Franklin Middle School, Reisterstown, MD
October 1, 2011
Our school received our FIM materials this week. This is the third year our district has participated. I just had to write and tell you that I think the changes you have made since last year are amazing. I like the section that allows me to see exactly how well each student has done on the activities they have completed. I found it interesting to see just how many of my students had played already today. Not everyone has access to a computer at home, but nearly half of my students were working on math today—a Saturday.
I like the way you now display the activities in the 'play' part of the site. I'm sure the kids had no trouble figuring out how to get started. I had to think about it a bit longer as I am not one who is familiar with video games. My class was in the computer lab yesterday afternoon and you could have almost heard a pin drop. My 'not so quiet' group was intent on earning stickers. I couldn't help but smile as I observed several quiet celebrations when individual students completed an activity and gained some stickers. Thank you for producing something that is so appealing to students, and for creating such an exciting way to learn and practice math.
Suzanne Hines, 5th-grade Teacher
Memorial Park ES, Euclid, OH
May 1, 2011
My class started late with the First In Math program and I was truly amazed at the interest and determination it created in my students...motivation was NO problem! Not only did they learn math and improve their ability to focus, they also learned the importance of setting and achieving daily short-term goals to eventually achieve goals that in the beginning were only dreams.
Joel Stockton, 5th-grade Teacher
Cavazos Elementary, La Joya ISD, TX
February 21, 2011
I have a bilingual 2nd grade class and we LOVE the First in Math Online Program! We only have four computers in our class and the students take turns getting on. It is fantastic for my students that struggle with language; they have confidence in themselves due to their success on First in Math. They love competing with each other, and their skill and speed have greatly increased since they started using the program.
I am also a mom to a 6th grader in our school district, and she loves FIM as well. We have to schedule time on the computer since we both want to play! She is the top student at her school and I am the top educator for our district. I have never been so pleased with a product!
Marissa Ward, 2nd Grade Bilingual Teacher
Washington Avenue Elementary School, Pleasantville, NJ
November 18, 2010
I have to tell you that the First in Math program is a hit in our household! My two sons are advanced in math, as is a neighbor boy. They all got involved in the program over a 4-day weekend. It actually requires much more thinking at the higher levels, which engaged my 10th-grader, who is already taking pre-calculus. My 5th-grader is in the fractions section now. He loves the stickers.
I see this not just being remedial, but a great way to increase mental-math thinking, since the kids have to essentially come up with the equation that equals the answer. If a kid is willing to switch from X-box to do this, the game offers something.
Andrew Stetkevich, Staff Development Specialist
Special Education Services
Riverside Unified School District, Riverside CA
November 10, 2010
I wanted to thank you for the Skip Counting game you created recently. This is PERFECT for my 2nd graders! We have been working on number patterns and were able to play the game as a whole class in the Practice mode on the Smartboard. Then students were able to go home and practice the game on their own.
They have really enjoyed this game, in addition to the other K-2 games. I greatly appreciate the time you’ve dedicated to working on K-2 World. I have been using the games in K-2 World a LOT recently as part of my daily math lessons. My students enjoy playing them as activators for the math lessons, and it really gets them motivated to learn. It also motivates them to go home and play FIM on their own. Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication to the young learners.
Carlisle Area School District, Carlisle, PA
October 28, 2010
Even our unenthusiastic students become motivated to tackle math as a result of the power of First In Math. This program not only fosters a love for mathematics in our reluctant learners, but provides satisfaction for students whose mathematics craving is insatiable! As a STEM magnet school, we consider First In Math a valuable tech tool in building the capacity of our students as they move toward content mastery. As students compete for the perpetual FIM trophy, they also learn the building blocks that create future mathematicians. Go MTM...Go First In Math!
Helen V. Griffith, Principal
Millennial Tech Middle School
San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA
April 2, 2010
I teach 7th and 8th graders in a Resource Room for all subjects. We started a trial of First in Math a few months ago and I want to tell you this program has caught their interest like NOTHING I have seen in my 33 years of teaching. Our Principal presented my kids with the FIM trophy in March and they don't want it to leave our room. They work each time they get a break in school and they also use the program at home.
One of my students is Number 1 in Ohio for 8th graders and the Principal presented him with a First in Math t-shirt and read a wonderful note congratulating him on his progress. I have never seen a bigger smile on a student's face. I also have a student ranked Number 4 in Ohio for 7th grade.
Thank you, Suntex, for giving my students an opportunity to love learning, and for rewarding their efforts!! Your program has made a HUGE difference in bolstering their self-confidence and helping them achieve.
Beth Costello, 7th and 8th grade teacher
Girard Jr/Sr High School, Girard, Ohio
March 22, 2010
When I first looked at the First In Math program I did not think I would like it and I did not understand how to use it, but after going to training it all made sense. I figured I'd give the program a shot with my 90 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. During our hectic FCAT (Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test) days, I spent a few minutes showing the students how to play each of the games and how to navigate through the website.
I used a projector to show the website on the screen. Then as a class we went to the computer lab. I assigned a username and password to each student, which by the way, was the easiest setup I've seen so far, compared to Success Maker or FCAT Explorer. The students logged in and then SUCCESS, SILENCE, and PRACTICE! I had the best day I've had all school year. ALL the students were engaged in the program, practicing math, wanting to 'earn more stickers' and so proud of the amount they each had. I usually am asking them to stop going to other sites, especially music sites and non-approved sites, but not that day! I also put the class Total Sticker Count on the board and each class was determined to beat the class before. It was amazing!
I am in full support of the county purchasing this program for our students next year. I did find that it worked best with my 6th graders. I only have 10 7th graders, but they did enjoy it, as well. The 8th graders had a mixed feeling about it, but were engaged in the website and working—I feel that the little bit of grumbling I heard will diminish once they dig deeper and get into the higher levels where they will see that it is quite challenging. From an intensive math point of view, I want this program for my students. It's as close to hands-on and interactive as I've seen from a website.
Nicole Williams, Intensive Math Teacher
Southwest Middle School, Orlando, FL
February 18, 2010
I've taught algebra for 25 years and when it comes to factoring quadratic equations, kids often have trouble testing all the possible factors. It becomes tedious and some kids just give up. The eighth grade that I have now has been playing 24® since 4th grade. I started the lesson and they worked 87 problems with no frustration at all. I pointed out how good they were at this when one of them said "It's just like 24". He was right. A skill that once took weeks to develop took just 2 classes.
Sister Janelle Banko,
St. Agnes School, West Mifflin, PA
February 4, 2010
I would like to thank Farragut Elementary School (and Boston Public Schools) so much for the "First in Math" program. My daughter loves it and it has helped her a lot with math in general. I have watched her when she does the math games and I am very impressed. It requires quick thinking and has helped her on division and multiplication.
She still has to finish her homework, and read for more than 30 minutes every night before she does math. But now she does not want to watch TV on her free time but wants to do math! Last night she was very happy to share with us the Certificates that she received for First in Math.
In the past, we have used different books and methods to make her do more math, but were not as successful as the program that BPS offered to students. This is one of the best things that BPS has done for their students. I hope other students are taking advantage and using it!
Rozeta Mija, parent
February 4, 2010
First in Math is having huge success here at Dearborn. We have students that come in at 6:30 to wait for the teacher to get in the computer lab to work. Teachers have also indicated that they are seeing direct benefits as a result of their students’ work with FIM. Thank you!!!!!!!
Jose Duarte, Principal
Dearborn Middle School, Boston Public Schools
November 21, 2009
Dear Mr. Sun,
We are writing to thank you for creating the First In Math program. It is an outstanding supplement to our son's education. We fully support and promote the program, and it thrills us to watch it spread to so many other schools across the country.
We believe that the best type of math instruction is individual instruction. Of course, it's not always feasible or cost-effective to provide a student with individual instruction, and current class sizes are more likely to increase rather than decrease as budget cuts inevitably reach our country's education system.
We have found that First In Math offers the next best thing to the gold standard of individual instruction. It allows our son to learn math at exactly his own pace. He is never lost or bored when working on First In Math. Furthermore, the "stickers" and earned Bonus Games encourage him to try his best—which is all any parent can ask for.
We look forward to your continued success with the First In Math program.
Eric and Jennifer Adams,
October 9, 2009
I just wanted to share an update with you. My entire team passed the MSA (Maryland School Assessment) Math exams, with 60% of them scoring Advanced. This is a first in the history of the school. The results are directly correlated with The First In Math experience. Please thank your team again for such an innovative tool.
Lydia Laidlow, K/1 Teacher
Paint Branch ES, Maryland
April 29, 2009
I am in love with the First In Math program and have been fighting for a long time to get it fully implemented in our schools. I value this program so much, I paid out of my own pocket to make sure all of my students had it. This 2nd-8th program has improved my student’s math automaticity and math PSSA (Pennsylvania State System of Assessment) scores for several years. It does this by creating a highly interactive but controlled use of Math Facts and PSSA-type questions.
The games are addictive, and my students play them in and out of school. I have even had students tell me when their account runs out over the summer because they play that much on their own. The program sets up many incentives, and some children really get into the competitive side of it. Those who do not still enjoy the games, and feel a sense of accomplishment when they achieve goals. As a teacher, it is easy for me to keep track of what my students are doing and if I have rewarded them for their accomplishments, as this is a part of the program.
Students are not bored because of the variety of tasks they can work on, and although I have had third graders complete all of the Skill Sets, my wife, our gifted teacher, and I have never seen a student complete the entire program.
David A. Pegher, Third Grade Teacher
Hershey Primary Elementary School, Hershey, PA
January 13, 2009
I love what First in Math offers to our students. I think the format that First in Math uses to help kids develop their basic math skills is outstanding. The games are fun for the kids, yet students get real skills practice from the repetitive format of the games. There are also so many different types of games—with new ones being added regularly—so kids remain consistently interested and engaged.
I also think it’s great that kids can work on these games at home or at school. The First in Math site is the perfect solution for parents who ask that important question, 'What can I do at home to help my child with math?' Also, as our district’s accountability person, I’m extremely impressed with the amount of performance data that the site provides to teachers and administrators. We have a very good idea what performance skills kids have, and where we can use improvement. I’m completely sold on the value of First of Math for our school district.
Kelley Ridings, Director of Student Achievement
Truth or Consequences Municipal Schools
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
June 21, 2008
The First In Math Online Program has created an enthusiasm for mathematics unlike any technology program I have experienced in the more than 21 years I have been an educator. Not only does the program provide our students with the fundamentals of fact fluency and problem solving, but many of the activities on the site promote higher order thinking skills which increase student achievement. The program motivates our students through earning FIM stickers and competing with other students nationwide. Two of our elementary schools, Oakridge and Manatee Bay, placed 1st in the nation. The competition is a wonderful motivator for us all.
Miriam Sandbrand, Mathematics Curriculum Specialist, K-5
Broward County Public Schools, Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 22, 2008
My students have learned so much from playing First In Math, and not only about math. The game has been a tremendous rallying point for my students. Every day, since the beginning of the year, someone races to the computer when they first arrive in the classroom to check how many stickers we have earned. That total is recorded on our assignment board and the students copy it so that their parents can see how we have progressed. It has been absolutely thrilling to see how excited my students are about math and how eagerly they are willing to help those who are having trouble understanding a new skill set, game, etc. First In Math has certainly been a big factor in the cohesiveness of my class and the respect my students have for one another!
Debbie Corbets, Teacher
Arthur Road ES, Solon, OH
May 16, 2008
I wanted to say thank you to your organization for such a great job. I must admit that last year when my school implemented the program, I wasn't a believer. This year after coming down to 3rd grade, I realized how beneficial First in Math could be.
My students can compute without using their fingers now. Their confidence in math has greatly increased as well. The Know and Show levels are absolutely wonderful, covering a variety of concepts. Many of my students have completed whole number gyms as well as completing Know and Show 3.
Rocky Stubbs, Third Grade Teacher
Luella Elementary School, Locust Grove, GA
January 11, 2008
Wow! I had my three classes get on First In Math yesterday. It was incredible. We had a wonderful time. My lowest special ed student had a delightful experience. When he got his first "You're hot" message--he turned to me and yelled, "I'm hot!" Then he said, "I think I can manage this myself." It was so great.
My Gifted-Talented students were really into it. They took their ID's and passwords home and went for it. They added many stickers over the evening. When the Scrabble club arrived at 7:30 am, they were all abuzz about First In Math. I am so amazed at the interest level for all students.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have my students experience this. I brought my principal down and showed her the students while they were on the program. She is seeing and feeling the experience with the students.
From an enthusiastic First in Math teacher....
Bear Branch ES, Magnolia, TX
September 27, 2007
Allowing teachers to play is one of the best things you have done. It actually gives teachers a chance to see what it takes to go through the different modules and the thinking process their students are going through in order to solve the problems. Kudos to the Suntex team!
Well, here I am with stacks of papers to grade and what am I doing? I am doing First in Math. My common sense tells me to grade papers, but that little "FIM" bug inside of my brain is taking over and keeps telling me "just one more game"!
Northmont Elementary School, La Mesa, CA
November 10, 2006
I love the changes (additions, actually) that you've made for this year!! Everything I wanted on the teacher page is there!! A way to track incentives given for all the games! And great new games! (I love Deep Sea-Quence! I think that will get them early experience with a very important skill)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys are the bomb!
Lea Elementary School, Philadelphia, PA
March 24, 2006
Monday's First In Math celebration was a success for Goodnoe School. I'm glad I was able to share this special event with you. The First In Math program has been incredible for all of our fourth and fifth graders. First In Math has truly touched all of our students, from those with mathematical talent to those with special needs.
In addition, the First In Math program has been a win/win for parents, school, business and community. Congressman Fitzpatrick and Verizon's willingness to support this program helped us to get where we are. Our parents and PTO group have also fully embraced this mathematical program.
Suntex's and your efforts are greatly appreciated in making such a memorable and meaningful mathematical experience for our students. Thanks also to everyone for all of those special touches from the awards to the lanyards. Just check our latest sticker counts to see what a motivator Monday's celebration was. Rebecca also hit that 10,000 sticker count!!! It is my pleasure to be working with Suntex and its great employees.
Monday was one Mathematical Moment I will always cherish. Thanks!!
Charyl Kerns Hills, Elementary Math / Tech Integration Specialist
Goodnoe & Wrightstown Elementary Schools
June 6, 2005
Dear Mr. Sun:
On behalf of the Fountain Hill Elementary School staff and students, we would like to thank you for the awards ceremony that you held for us on Thursday, June 2. We appreciate the time you took to come and spend the afternoon with us to honor the achievements of our students in your First In Math® program. We are also appreciative of the resources and effort you devoted to this ceremony. Finally, we would like to thank you for inviting our School District guests and the local media to join us, so that they too could recognize and honor the achievements of our students.
This letter of thanks is not written just as perfunctory courtesy, but because of what we saw in the faces of the students as they left school on Thursday afternoon. They wore their medals with pride as their classmates looked on them with admiration and indeed shared in the pride of their achievements. Throughout the dismissal areas there were clusters of students gathered around the medal winners examining, touching, admiring the medals and their winners.
As a public school, we have a mission to bring our students the best educational opportunities we are capable of providing. We feel an even stronger sense of commitment to this mission because of the diverse and often disadvantaged backgrounds from which many of our students come. We thank Suntex for the support they have provided to us in this mission and hope that we can continue the symbiosis of this relationship.
Rene Rawhouser, Title 1 Mathematics Support Teacher
Fountain Hill Elementary School
April 27, 2005
Once again your 24 Math materials have captivated our students here at Georgetown Day School in Washington DC. We have been using your 96 card boxed games for over twelve years. For the past ten years, our third grade classes have continued to use your Jumping Levels Program to motivate our children to practice math facts on a daily basis at home, to prepare for their in-class "jump" each week. Parents continue to respond enthusiastically for this program.
Last winter, we embraced your online program, First in Math®. We enrolled every child in grades 2 through 5, initiated them in how to use the program, communicated to our parents via letters, and sat back and watched magic take place. Our goal was to provide our students with an at-home way to practice basic math facts in a highly motivating way. We hoped our kids would maintain high interest and motivation for this task, which normally becomes drudgery in quick time. First in Math® has captivated our students. Their self-motivation to devote time on task virtually insures success for every type of learner.
What we did not anticipate happening, was that our most talented math students persisted with new concepts and higher levels of game play, forging ahead and basically taught themselves patterns and skills needed to problem solve well above their grade level in school. But children at all levels of math understanding and mastery are successful with this program, because of the program's self-pacing design. We also love how your tracking systems allow our teachers to monitor student's progress.
The student conversation buzz heard in our hallways on a daily basis pertains to their progress through the various levels of play. And on any given afternoon, parents can be overheard raving about First in Math® during their carpool conversations.
No child will be left behind in mathematics, if introduced to this program and provided the opportunity to make use of First in Math® on a regular basis, whether at home or in school.
Mary Lou Berres, Lower School Math Coordinator
Georgetown Day School
April 27, 2005
I am sure you would be pleased to know how successful the First in Math Online Program has been in the Solon City Schools. We are using First in Math in all five of our elementary buildings and every student in Grades 3-7 has a User ID and Password. This incorporates 81 classroom teams and almost 2000 students. These students have earned over 1,100,000 stickers this year!
Our school district has been pleased with the high level of participation and family support of First in Math. With this level of involvement, we have seen improving success with classroom math performance. We expect to see a high percentage of our students at proficient or advanced levels on the Ohio proficiency/achievement tests that were administered in March. The First in Math Program is very motivating to students because of the immediate feedback, the knowledge that they are collecting "electronic stickers" and the team aspect of the program.
Students have benefited because this program allows them to work at their own pace and at a level that is appropriate for them. Our teachers try to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and this program helps them to accomplish that in the area of practice with basic math facts. Students have also found greater motivation for math because this program is so engaging and helps to build their confidence.
Teachers like the First in Math Program because it is an excellent complement to our math textbook series. It provides that important drill and practice for basic facts. But teachers also appreciate the fact that this program gives them immediate updates on student progress. Teachers know how many stickers each child has earned and how they are progressing through the skill sets.
We have found the First in Math web site to be of very high quality too. Many students can play at once without any difficulty. Students receive encouraging messages to keep trying and feel confident that their sticker totals are correct. Parents and teachers appreciate the protection of student identity. In addition, I have found your telephone and e-mail support staff to be easily accessible and very helpful with any questions.
I would definitely encourage other school districts to take advantage of the First of Math Program.
Nancy Gallik, Math Resource Teacher K-6
Solon City Schools
April 22, 2005
I am writing to let you know how pleased I am with the success of your First In Math program in our district. For the past three years it has played an important part in helping increase the number of students in the district who are performing at the advanced or proficient levels as measured by the Pennsylvania state mathematics tests (PSSA).
The program is easy to set up, use and monitor. Teachers like it because all of the recordkeeping is done for them and because students can proceed at their own pace and level. It allows all students to be challenged at an appropriate level of difficulty, making it a perfect tool for differentiation. Gifted students are able to be challenged at higher and higher levels of sophisticated mathematical thinking. Many students are exposed to concepts such as algebraic variables or operations with fractions long before these are formally introduced in class. Many students in Pennridge met success with challenges well above their grade level such as the 3rd grade students who are now working in the 7th and 8th grade levels of the program. This was due to the way the First In Math program was set up, where students moved through the levels based on both their effort and their ability. Providing a team format enabled students of all ability levels to contribute to the success of their team's scores.
I would highly recommend this program for any district.
Wayne S. Watson, Supervisor of Mathematics
Pennridge School District
February 20, 2004
I have received some statistics of student performance on math assessment (IAAT) administered during January 2004, to all 8th graders in pre algebra classes at Kimpton Middle School in the Stow-Munroe Falls School District.
Overall the scores are higher in many cases than they have been in the past 6 years. The only change in curriculum materials prevalent with this group of students is the First in Math computer online game. Today two of our 8th grade teachers summarized the results of the students' scores to me in a meeting stating that students playing First in Math are not afraid to compute and or calculate without a calculator and therefore they are more successful in a testing situation. These students are making connections and the IAAT (algebra aptitude) scores are increasing dramatically. The overall 8th grade performance has remarkably improved. We attribute this to the two school years that our students have been able to access First in Math, both in the classroom and online, when away from the school building.
On a side note – the factoring gym is a favorite of our students! They love it.
Thank you again for providing this fun and engaging academic activity for Kimpton students.
Dorene Ellis, Assistant Math Chairperson
Stow-Munroe Falls Schools
Munroe Falls, Ohio