AnnMaria De Mars

March 16, 2023

Growing Math Continues with Foundation Support

What happens after grant funding ends? We’ve seen it happen time and time again on reservations and other under-served communities – a project starts, staff get trained, materials are developed, students are learning and engaged – and then the funding ends. Over two years, Growing Math training was attended by 1,375 teachers from 327 schools. Nearly 35,000 students used the online resources and almost 13,000 more had resources downloaded to be used offline.

We didn’t just look at the database, we also went out and visited classrooms, interviewed teachers in person, on zoom and read many, many pages of reviews from teachers. One of my favorite comments, to which I think many of us can relate

I really enjoy the program and what I have utilized with it these last two months. This is on me to not have used more because I know I could, but it is just a timing thing t… I enjoy the language and learning the culture of the games/lessons. … I have not used any reports and would like to do so, but it goes back to the time. I am a first year teacher in 6th grade teaching all the subjects, so my time is limited, if I want to sleep.

— A first-year teacher

An unanticipated result when we began the project was how much special education teachers would use Growing Math to provide individualized instruction for teachers. That became a request (because teachers are too polite to demand) from the very beginning and we have been adding suggestions for accommodations for students with learning differences, as time allows.

What do you do with a community built with grant funding when the funding ends?

I am sure you have guessed the answer by the title. As an educator, I am sure you learned those tricks about reading the title, skimming the headings and now here we are.

We have partnered with the Strong Mind Strong Body Foundation to continue providing lesson plans integrating Indigenous culture, mathematics and agricultural science. The Growing Math site and asynchronous training is here to stay and planning to grow. Stay tuned for much more to come.

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