Teach to One builds math proficiency with tailored approach offering digital personalized roadmaps

Imagine a world where innovation and technology join the classroom to enhance student learning and comprehension. Imagine if each student was provided with an individualized lesson plan that adapted to the unique ways that they learned, ensuring that they were prepared to advance through high school and beyond. Now, imagine that student learning could continue whether the students attended in person or virtually and that teachers, students, and parents were provided with the tools necessary to encourage academic success. Let us stop imagining these possibilities and start getting our students on the path to success with Teach to One.

Teach to One is an innovative tailored learning platform developed by New Classrooms Innovation Partners, the team that created School of One. School of One launched in 2009 in the New York Department of Education as a school-based learning solution that integrated live, online, and collaborative learning in ways that met the unique needs of each learner each day. It quickly became a staple in math classrooms throughout the city and, by November of that same year, earned recognition as one of Time magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year.

New Classrooms further developed the School of One platform and launched Teach to One, which was adopted in schools in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and is now used in schools across the country. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, New Classrooms has expanded Teach to One’s offerings with flexible and adaptive digital tools to enhance student proficiency in math.

Teach to One’s Proactive Response to COVID-19

With the spring semester in full swing, the onset of the COVID-19 health crisis came barreling into our communities without warning. Faster than we could plan, businesses and schools closed, and parents and teachers everywhere were scrambling for answers. While the team at New Classrooms didn’t have a plan for implementing the Teach to One platform in a virtual setting, the option to do so was quickly realized, as the programming and daily personalized lesson plans were already digital.

Superintendent Scott Muri of Ector, Texas, notes that a major reason for partnering with Teach to One was the platform’s commitment to student success and flexibility to adapt to what schools needed. In an interview, Muri shared that the solution that Teach to One offers “is particularly relevant now because we know that every single student will have experienced widely different learning trajectories over these months when schools have been closed.”

As New Classrooms worked with its partner schools to ensure an effective transition to a virtual learning platform, each partner school and school district made fast decisions to help each of its students create an environment that was compatible with virtual learning and comparable to the in-person approach with which many students were already so comfortable. Teach to One schools and teachers across the country felt at ease when it came to their daily math lessons knowing that the structure of their usual math classes was possible to complete remotely.

With the digital tools that Teach to One offered to its partner schools, students were able to identify their personalized math lesson each day, and teachers quickly adapted to using Zoom to establish a new way to have face-to-face teacher-led instruction. They even used breakout rooms for students to continue Teach to One’s Student Collaboration modality, one of seven approaches that Teach to One offers to help students explore, learn, and master math concepts.

As we are now well into the 2020-2021 school year, Teach to One has provided more opportunities to assist students, parents, and schools across the country by offering Teach to One Roadmaps and redesigning the platform as a holistic, personalized learning approach aptly named Teach to One 360.

“Now, more than ever, students will need viable, precise, personalized pathways to get back on track,” said Joel Rose, CEO of New Classrooms. “Roadmaps provides teachers and parents with the state-of-the-art tools that are necessary to make that a reality.”

The Power of Tailored Acceleration

Teach to One challenges the traditional concept that all students need to learn the same thing at the same time. Tailored acceleration allows students to follow a pathway created just for them – a unique blend of pre-grade, on-grade, and post-grade skills – enabling them to fill the gaps of unfinished learning and accelerate to grade level and beyond based on their unique strengths and learning styles.

Benefits of tailored acceleration for understanding and retaining math concepts include:

  • Focusing instruction on achieving grade-level proficiency efficiently. Certain lessons may take some students more than one year to master, while other students can master these skills and move forward.
  • Mastering all levels of essential math skills versus mastering only on-grade materials, as seen in traditional instruction.
  • Utilizing multiple instruction modalities so that students can learn concepts in a way that works for them. These modalities include teacher-led lessons, peer collaboration, and independent learning.

Teach to One is a solution to helping solve the problem of gaps in learning. Traditional mathematics instruction leaves many students behind as they advance through school. Because math is cumulative, if they don’t master one concept, students struggle as they move on to learning more complex concepts and skills.

In 2019, New Classrooms published a report on the major effects of learning gaps in math. Direct experience and research taught the team that many students enter middle school with unfinished learning from years prior. In math, the issue is compounded because it is a cumulative subject. When schools simply focus on grade-level material, the students who have fallen behind continue to fall further behind. New Classrooms coined this term “The Iceberg Problem,” as declines in proficiency can be masked yet accumulating beneath the surface.

With tailored acceleration, Teach to One aims to address the Iceberg Problem, mitigating and closing the gap of unfinished learning while maintaining high expectations and accountability and promoting educational equity across a varied student population. Teach to One’s main objective is to ensure that all students attain college and career readiness in math.

Teach to One Solutions

Student access to tailored lesson plans to meet their individual needs is important to the New Classrooms team. The hard-hitting effects that we have seen and continue to see with the COVID-19 pandemic are presenting monumental pressures on the education system and the students within it.

Teach to One has further developed an all-digital platform that provides math students, whether they’re learning in person or remotely, with the opportunity to progress toward grade-level proficiency and beyond. Teach to One Roadmaps presents students with individualized lesson plans to help them master math skills to achieve grade-level proficiency.

“Schools are working tirelessly to figure out how to accelerate learning while also enabling high-quality remote instruction,” said Chris Rush, New Classrooms’ co-founder and chief program officer. “With these new tools, we are helping schools and parents redefine what’s possible for students, so every student can accelerate from their starting point to where they need to be.”

A student takes a diagnostic assessment to identify which skills they are still building and which they have mastered. From there, a Roadmap is created specifically for the student, which acts as a guide to allow the student to see where they are in their proficiency of each skill and provide a path toward mastery.

Teach to One Roadmaps provides high-quality lessons and allows students to choose which lesson they believe will help them learn a new skill. Student progress is tracked through daily “Prove It” assessments, which allow the student, their teachers, and their parents to determine the best path forward for that student.

Teach to One Roadmaps are offered in three-tiered versions. All features include diagnostic assessments performed three times per year to ensure that students are staying on course, as well as a personalized academic roadmap and skills overview.

  • Roadmaps Free uses a dynamic diagnostic assessment to create a roadmap outlining the specific skills that each student must master to achieve proficiency. It includes a manual check-off of skills and provides content links.
  • Roadmaps Home is designed to help parents and students accelerate at-home learning. Roadmaps Home provides the student with personalized lesson content derived from their initial diagnostic assessment. This version adds “Prove It” assessments to validate roadmap progress. It provides both students and parents with an opportunity to access additional instructional and content resources.
  • Roadmaps Plus is designed for the classroom, whether in person or virtual. Roadmaps Plus allows teachers to track progress with collected roadmap reports and individualized data. This version enables teachers to fulfill their mission of meeting each of their student’s unique needs, helping them advance to grade-level proficiency and beyond. Roadmaps Plus adds instructional tools and curated content specifically aligned to each student’s personalized roadmap. Classroom planning and grouping enable teachers to determine the best way to help each student work through their roadmap.

Teach to One 360 is an innovative, holistic, personalized learning solution that provides teachers with the ability to tailor learning to what each student needs to succeed in math. It is a school-based learning approach that combines an academic design that provides students with a personalized structure to adapt to where, when, and how students learn best. This design affects what the teacher does, what the student does, and how the classroom is organized.

The adaptive, personalized curriculum can be used to replace the school’s current math curriculum, or it can be used as supplementary  in addition to the core math curriculum already in place. Teach to One 360 can be implemented for single or multiple grade levels and for all or a subset of students.

Teach to One 360 provides students with a skills and concepts map so that they can visualize how certain math concepts are interconnected, a skills library for students to choose which lesson best fits their unique learning style, and high-quality content derived from a variety of education partners.

Students are challenged with personalized playlists to encourage individualized study. The playlists collect skills that each student will experience over a two-to-three-week period. Students are tested with daily “Prove It” assessments and periodic diagnostic assessments. These assessments allow students and teachers to ensure that they are on track to master the skills necessary for grade-level proficiency.

One of the main concepts in Teach to One 360 is the innovative way that students receive instruction. Instead of just the traditional teacher-led instruction method, students also have an opportunity to learn in small groups and through peer-led collaboration, on their own with virtual lesson plans and through independent practice. Teacher-led instruction is part of the learning modalities, though the teacher encourages students to think critically and reflect on the skills that they’re learning.

Teach to One 360 currently partners with more than 30 schools across the U.S. and has helped students succeed as they move beyond high school.

New Classrooms co-founders Joel Rose and Chris Rush hope to inspire other academic subjects and encourage educators of those subjects to challenge the current traditional model of learning. With advanced technology and an ever-changing and growing student population, it is time to innovate how schools teach.

Rose and Rush hope to expand Teach to One’s offerings to other subjects, noting that societal norms and politics have led to an underinvested K-12 education system. The COVID-19 shutdown opened many people’s eyes to the significant gaps in the traditional education model. Using technology and innovation to improve upon the current model will only improve the educational outcomes for current and future students, building better leaders for tomorrow.

About New Classrooms Innovation Partners and Teach to One

New Classrooms Innovation Partners (New Classrooms) was founded in 2009 by former math teacher Joel Rose and technology and design expert Chris Rush. New Classrooms is a national nonprofit on a mission to personalize math education for each student.

Rose and Rush developed a personalized learning platform for the New York Department of Education called School of One. The platform used innovative technology to build unique lesson plans and curriculum for students based on their individual needs. School of One was named one of Time magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year in 2009.

Soon after, New Classrooms built upon the School of One platform to develop and launch Teach to One, connecting students nationwide with personalized math education. Teach to One 360 ensures that each student is learning the right math lesson, at the right time, in the right way. This dynamic approach focuses on growing cumulative skills and passing “Prove It” assessments. Teach to One offers eight learning modalities that aim to help students reach milestones, understand new concepts, and boost comprehension.

Teach to One is currently in use by thousands of students in schools across the nation. To learn more about Teach to One, visit www.teachtoone.org.


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