One of your students may need HELP in Symphony Math as seen on your Symphony Math Dashboard. What does this mean? In short, we have adapted the pacing and difficulty of our items as best we can, but it isn't enough for your student to be successful. This email reviews exactly what causes students to be labeled as needing HELP, where you can see the details of their need, and what materials you can use to provide assistance to them.
Symphony Math uses a dynamic branching engine that allows students to learn at their own levels. As students work in the program, they complete tasks that are judged as a 'best fit' for their ability. In this way, the program is constantly adjusting to the needs of each learner, and ensures that students work on material until they achieve full mastery.
Our demo mode shows all available content for students when you dive into a particular Stage:
Stage 1 Levels of Branching: Placement, Skill, and Focus
Each blue box above represents a particular group of tasks based around one or more concepts and level of difficulty. Students do NOT see all tasks in Symphony Math. Instead, the branching engine starts at the upper left of the hierarchy above (in Placement mode). If students struggle, meaning they make mistakes or ask for help, they move right. If they show mastery, they move down (in Placement or Skill mode) or forward (in Focus mode).
When students are working in Focus mode, and they fail to show mastery 2 or more times, they are flagged as needing HELP.
For a more comprehensive description of Symphony Math branching, click here.
Using HELP on Your Dashboard
How do you know when Symphony Math has detected a student that needs HELP? Well, first, you may have received an email from us. But in addition, the Symphony Math dashboard alerts you when students need HELP.
A demonstration of the HELP data view in your Dashboard
In your HELP data view, you can access precise details on each student's need, including:
- the Stage and concept where HELP is needed
- the number of times the student has attempted this area without success
- examples (click them for live versions) of difficult tasks
- offline Guided Practice materials that you can use offline to support this student
Using Guided Practice
We designed Guided Practice materials to be conversation starters. Yes, they look like worksheets. But they are NOT intended to be worksheets. Many students don't need to fill out every task in the worksheets. Instead, we recommend that you work with students in small groups or 1:1 to discuss and build the tasks outside of the program. Watch this video:
Small group instruction using Guided Practice materials
Notice how the educator in this video helps students by allowing them to build, make mistakes, and communicate with each other. This is the type of deep learning that is necessary when students are struggling with foundational math concepts.
You are a critical part of your students' success (of course!). Use your HELP data view and the Guided Practice materials to intervene with struggling students and get them back on track in Symphony Math.
For more information on Guided Practice, click here.