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Curriculum Details for
VersaTiles Math

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
VersaTiles Math
Publication Date: 2008
Grade Level: 1–8
Content Focus: Math
Costs: $79.95 (Starter Set), $325-395 (Full Grade Lab)
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
ETA/Cuisenaire
500 Greenview Court
Vernon Hills, IL, 60061
800-445-5985
www.etacuisenaire.com/versatiles/versati
les_math.jsp

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Design Summary

VersaTiles Math is designed as a supplemental mathematics program for both classroom and afterschool settings.  The program combines the challenge of a puzzle with the practice of a workbook, offering many activities that allow students to practice skills independently and at their own pace.  Students use an answer case to complete activities, in which numbered tiles are used to indicate answers to the activity’s multiple-choice questions. Once all questions in the activity are answered, the answer case is flipped over to reveal a pattern on the backside of the tiles. The pattern is used to check for accurately answered questions.  This way, students receive immediate feedback and may rethink solutions to the incorrectly answered questions until they are successful. The ability to make mistakes and self-correct fosters motivation and engagement in students.  Skills taught include: number concepts, estimation and computation, patterns, functions, algebra, geometry, measurement, probability, problem solving, and abstract thinking.

Curriculum materials include: Student Activity Books, Teacher Resource Guide, Answer Cases, and a Companion CD-ROM featuring all self-checking activities from the Student Activity Books. The CD-ROM may be used for setting up an interactive VersaTiles Center on classroom computers.

Costs and Staff Training

VersaTiles is available in a few different formats. Each full lab costs $325 per grade level, with the option to add the Companion CD-ROM for an additional $70. The Math Resource Library, including the full labs for grades 1-8, costs $1,995 or $2,695 including the CD-ROM. Starter sets are available for a cost of $79.95 per grade level.  Extra answer cases cost $119.95 for a set of ten.

VersaTiles Math Teacher’s Resource Guide offers program training and support designed to assist new or established math teachers and staff. The guide features correlations to NCTM Standards, detailed descriptions of each activity, classroom management tips, background information and suggestions for incorporating VersaTiles into the classroom, as well as assessment options and extension activities.

Staff Qualifications

Formal teaching experience is not required to implement VersaTiles Math. Content expert reviews agree, suggesting also that instructors should be able to monitor groups of students doing independent work. Practitioner expert stated that she has had high school students, serving as assistants in her summer school classroom, use VersaTiles effectively with younger students.

Standards Alignment

Research Base

VersaTiles is based on research linking conceptual understanding, practice of skills and concepts, and problem solving. The NCTM Standards are the foundation for the ETA/Cuisenaire VersaTiles Learning Lab for Mathematics, grades 1–8. Each lab is organized to match the NCTM Strands for that grade level. The detailed scope and sequence allows teachers to target practice to the needs and skill levels of individual students. For the full article “VersaTiles: A Research-Based Program for Targeting Practice in Mathematics and Reading/Language Arts,” visit http://www.etacuisenaire.com/pdf/grant/vtpositionpaper.pdf

Evaluation Details

None specified.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Motivational and engaging for students.
  • Appeals to different learning styles.
  • Teaches skills and concepts in an engaging way.
  • Self-correcting feature provides immediate feedback to students, making problem solving more exciting.
  • Self-paced, students work at own level.
  • Effective supplemental daily practice.
  • Can be implemented in many different contexts.
  • Assessments, tracking forms, interview guide and notes, correlation of test to student’s books, and record charts are all useful.
Challenges
  • Little interaction with other students.
  • Does not address problem solving using manipulatives.
  • Direct instruction on skills from teacher is not a focus of this curriculum.


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