In middle school, I was introduced to a math program called MATHia from the company Carnegie Learning. At first, I wasn’t excited about having to do math in class and now online. Then I thought to myself, what if this works? Maybe this will help me get better grades in math. I knew I didn’t like math, but I was trying to be open-minded about the program. I like computers a lot so that made me a little curious to try it too.
Programs can be “Progress Lessons” or “Checkpoint Lessons”
When you have a lesson that uses the progress option, you will see circles at the top right corner next to the “I’m Done” button. As you get questions right and progress through your work, the circles will fill up. However, if you get one wrong, the progress on the circles will decrease. This really made me want to strive to get those circles filled!
The next way lessons can be done is called “Checkpoint lessons.” During these lessons you are given a certain number of pages to finish correctly, if you get everything right you move on to the next page. Once you’ve gotten to the last page of the lesson, you click the “I’m done” button. From there, you move on to the next unit.
You work through different units, each containing a different number of lessons. Units could be Geometry, Pythagorean theorem, and many more depending on your grade level. Lessons may contain charts, graphs, videos, diagrams, a calculator, and even photos explaining what to do. You are never left just trying to figure it out on your own. When you get a question wrong, there is a hint button you can click to try and get some help. If you still get the question wrong, this program will break the solution down step by step to show you what you need to do. This was something I am not ashamed to say that I had to use. I never felt like I was overwhelmed or didn’t have the right amount of help needed to understand any of my lessons.
I felt smarter and more confident. I watched my classwork, test grades, and math grade go up, too. I was even able to help other kids in my class with their math work! In my middle school, I was the first to finish the program. A friend of mine was the second. We were both really happy about it. I wasn’t doing it to get any attention, awards, or recognition. I just liked doing MATHia and kept doing it until I was done.
I didn’t realize the full impact of the program until I started thinking about how big the transition is from middle to high school. What comes next is college! When I started to talk to my mother about what I wanted to do in college, I quickly learned that math is a key foundation. I would like to work in the computer science field and maybe oceanography as well. Both of these careers require a very good education in math and sciences.
Carter Buhler is a 14-year-old high school freshman living in North Carolina with his family. He has always loved school and has maintained Honor Roll throughout his education. “I’m thankful my mother always taught me that school is important and encouraged me to do my best,” he says.