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Roots and Wings – MathWings




Evidence of Effectiveness:


Data on the achievement outcomes of MathWings are available for the intermediate program, grades 3-5, for six early pilot schools, four in rural Maryland, one in San Antonio, Texas, and one in Palm Beach County, Florida:


St. Mary=s County


The pilot schools for all of Root and Wings, including MathWings, are four schools in and around Lexington Park, a rural community in Southern Maryland.  The four schools are by far the most impoverished schools in the district; on average, 48% of their students qualify for free lunch.  The schools began implementing the reading aspects on Roots and Wings in 1993-94, and then began to phase in MathWings in grades 3-5 in 1994-95.  By 1995-96, all teachers in grades 3-5 were using MathWings


Results for the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) show that third graders in the four MathWings pilot schools started off far below the state average.  By 1995, they had essentially caught up to the state average and, in 1996, exceeded it.  Exactly the same pattern was found in fifth grade, where by 1996 the MathWings pilot schools also had higher scores than the state average. 


San Antonio, Texas


One of the first pilot schools for MathWings outside of Maryland was Lackland City Elementary School in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas.  Lackland City had implemented the Success for All reading program in 1994-95, and then began to pilot MathWings in 1995-96.  Lackland City is one of the most impoverished schools in its district; 86% of its students qualify for free lunch.  A majority of its students are Latino (78%), with a high proportion categorized as Limited English Proficient.


Results indicate that students in all three grades made substantial gains on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), in comparison to the previous cohorts of students in the same school.  Percent passing more than doubled in third grade, from 36.7% to 76.7%.  Fourth grades did also as well, increasing from 34.2% to 60.9% passing, and fifth grades increased from 52.9% to 86.8% passing.  Although Lackland City is far more impoverished than its district average (86% free lunch vs. 42% for the district), its students had TAAS passing rates higher than the district average in third grade (76.7% to 73.7%) and fifth grade (86.8% to 81.5%), though not in fourth grade (60.9% to 75.5%).


Palm Beach County, Florida


Another early pilot site for MathWings was Lincoln Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Lincoln began implementation of Success for All in 1993-94, and began its MathWings pilot in 1996-97.  Lincoln is one of the most impoverished schools in its district; 100% of its students are African American, and more than 90% qualify for free lunch. 



Results indicate substantial gains in grades 4 and 5, a gain of 27 percentile points in grade 4 and 21 percentage points in grade 5.  These gains put this very impoverished school nearly at grade level (46th percentile), and ahead of the district=s own math-science-technology magnet school.  Grade 3 gains, however, were slight (only one percentage point).


Page, Arizona


Lake View Elementary school, in rural Northern Arizona, serves a student population that is approximately two-thirds Navajo and one-third white.  Approximately 54% of the students qualify for fee or reduced-price lunch.  Lake View began implementation of Success for All in 1996, and added MathWings in 1998. 


Review of scores on the Stanford 9 mathematics scale indicates substantial increases from pre- to post-test at all grade levels tested, 3-5.  These gains were much greater for Lake View than for Coconino County or for Arizona as a whole. 


Program Description:


MathWings is designed to teach mathematics by actively involving students in the conceptual development and practical application of their mathematical skills to prepare them for mathematics in the 21st century.  It reflects a balance of solid mathematical conceptual development, problem solving in real world application, and maintenance of necessary mathematical skills.


MathWings is founded on the belief that all students should not only be given the opportunity to establish a solid foundation in mathematics, but also the opportunity to extend and stretch their knowledge and experience in mathematics.  Thus, it is structured to accommodate a diversity of abilities and background mathematical and world knowledge, while ensuring that all students experience the depth, breadth, and beauty of mathematics.  All students, regardless of their background skills and experience participate in the whole class exploration of concepts.  Individual students then remediate, refine, or accelerate their skills in one week individualized units tailor-made to fit their own needs and completed at their own pace.  Each class period is framed by routines to provide every student the security of knowing what to expect, mastery from repeated practice, and inclusion and communication as part of a team, which is key to success in MathWings.


Primary MathWings


In Primary MathWings, students spend 75 minutes in math daily.  There are two start-up routines:  15 Minute Math and Check-In.  15 Minute Math uses an interactive bulletin board that contains activities based on everyday mathematical experiences.  The activities are revisited repeatedly to provide opportunities for developing fluency with basic math skills.  Check-In lasts approximately 5 minutes; the teacher collects homework from the night before and assigns partners for the day. 


The Primary MathWings lesson is made up of Active Instruction, Teamwork, and Direct Instruction.  Active Instruction provides a springboard for new ideas, concepts, terminology, etc.  Teamwork is intended to provide students with an opportunity to test their ideas, practice what they have discussed in Active Instruction, generate and organize data, and communicate about mathematics.  Direct Instruction is the part of the lesson where the whole class shares the results of Teamwork, analyzes data, and discusses what they have learned. 


Intermediate MathWings


In Intermediate MathWings, students spend at least 60 minutes daily in their mathematics class (75 minutes is recommended).  Daily lessons consist of three components:  Check-In, Action Math or Power Math, and Reflection.  Action Math or Power Math is the heart of the lesson.  When the class is doing an Action Math unit, the lesson involves the students in active instruction, teamwork, and assessment.  Intermediate classes intersperse one- to two-week Power Math units among Action Math units.  During Power Math units, 40-55 minutes is spent on remediating, refining, or accelerating student’s skills.  Power Math covers a range of skills from basic addition to statistics and algebra. 


Correlation to Nevada State Standards


Currently being completed.


Teacher Support:


·         Training and Implementation Visits: MathWings staff will provide approximately 19 days of on-site assistance for training and follow-up implementation visits.  Usually, four days of training are held prior to the beginning of school and require the use of staff development days.  During implementation visits, MathWings staff meets with principal and facilitator, observe all classrooms, and meet with small groups of staff members.  Substitutes may be necessary to allow for meetings.


·         Reporting: After each visit, the school will receive a summary of observations and discussions, and a description of plans for the next steps in implementation.


·         Telephone Assistance: The school=s MathWings primary contact person will be in frequent contact with the school by phone, and will be available to have Ameetings@ with small groups on a conference call or around a speaker phone.


·         Materials: Training materials, teacher=s manuals and student copies of curriculum support materials necessary to implement the program components will be provided.


Equipment Requirements:






The cost of implementing the full MathWings model is determined based on the size and location of the individual school, and the number of schools collaborating in training.  Sample costs, including training, materials, follow-up visits, and other services are based on a Success For All school using MathWings in 1st through 5th grades and 15 Minute Math activity in Kindergarten with 3 classes at each grade level:


                               Year 1                            Year 2                          Year 3

                             $72,250                           $44,450                        $35,670



For Information Contact:


Dennis Lee                                              Mark Rolensky

Success For All Foundation, Inc               Success For All Foundation, Inc

6650 North Oracle West, Suite 101           6650 North Oracle West, Suite 101

Tucson, Arizona 85704                            Tucson, Arizona 85704

Phone: (877) 818-0520                             Phone:  (877) 818-0520

            (415) 452-8636


Current Location in Nevada:


Clark County School District

Allen Elementary

8680 West Hammer Lane

Las Vegas, NV 89128

Contact:  Tom O’Roarke

Phone:  (702) 799-4580


Carson City School District                     

Bordewich Bray Elementary                     

110 Thompson Street                              

Carson City, NV 89703                           

Contact: Kirk Kinne                                 

Phone: (775) 885-6322                            


Humboldt County School District             

McDermitt Elementary                            

P.O. Box 98                                           

McDermitt, NV 89421                            

Contact: Gerald Lugert                            

Phone: (775) 532-8761


Washoe County School District

Allen Elementary

5155 McGuffy Road

Sparks, NV 89433

Contact: Gini Cooper-Watts

Phone: (775) 674-4430


Booth Elementary

1450 Stewart Street

Reno, NV 89502

Contact: Richard McCormick

Phone: (775) 333-5140