University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover


Previous Participant Testimonials

"Overall, this is a fantastic program! Not only was it helpful in directly-related ratio, proportion, and percent problems, it also helped the kids not be afraid of the story-problem-format testing.  They had learned to read through the problem, rephrase it, THEN jump in to solve it, and then check their answers and I'm sure their confidence level going into the testing last week helped with raising their scores! The diagrams and DISC checklist were very helpful and useful.  I taught the DISC method, with diagrams, to all of my classes.  I found that the honors level kids were able to move past needing the diagrams but the lower levels relied on them.  Next year, I want to try to cut back on the diagrams a bit more  and see what happens.  All in all I love the program! Thank you for all of the time & effort you have put into it."

Stephanie Lay, 7th grade Math Teacher
Butler Middle School, Canyons School District, Sandy, Utah

SBI Participant (2015-2017)

"I did enjoy how students felt they could solve problems with their preferred method. That empowered them. Even though students did not enjoy using the diagrams. They were more accurate and more likely to solve the problem correctly if they did. The diagrams gave them a place to start. The students could organize the relevant information and know how to start the problem. This was fabulous! (Rather than staring at the problem and then skipping it.)"

Jennifer Call, 7th grade Math Teacher
Indian Hills Middle School, Canyons School District, Sandy, Utah
SBI Participant (2015-2017)

“I loved how the Schema-Based intervention helped my students understand sales tax. The SBI “jump starts” the process....kids often times read word problems impulsively, go straight to the numbers and this helped them discriminate and work systematically. I thought my students who participated in the intervention understood better conceptually than those students who did not and effectively retained the information. Despite the study ending, I continue to use the SBI curriculum with my students.”

Charlene Wilcox, 7th grade Math Teacher
South Washington County Middle School, District 833, Cottage Grove, MN
SBI Participant (2009 -2010)

“I have worked with the SBI curriculum for 3 consecutive years and the overall success that it has had on my special education and lower ability students is where i see the most ah ha type growth. My students have definitely increased their awareness of multiple solution strategies and whether or not their answers are reasonable and make sense. Anytime we come across proportions my students chirp up and and say, “that's like our U of M stuff!”

Adam Spurrell
7th grade Math Teacher
Osseo Middle School, District 279, Osseo, MN
SBI participant (2008 – 2011)

“One of my students that struggles everyday with academic and behavior issues really grasped onto the percentage SBI intervention methods and started to turn things around in class. An added bonus was that he received 100% on one of our quizzes.”

Len Spiegelberg
7th grade Math Teacher
Valley View Middle School, District 271, Bloomington, MN
SBI Participant (2008 – 2011)

“Slope is a difficult concept to teach. Generally students learn the concept of rise/run but using the SBI curriculum, I saw my students take it a step further and begin to look at it as a true ratio. Conceptually they seemed to get it. I also noticed over the course of the intervention that my students would call me on it if I missed any of the DISC steps...especially if we failed to estimate when working to solve a problem.

Jessica DeForrest
7th grade Math Teacher
Woodbury Middle School, District 833, Woodbury, MN
SBI Participant (2009-2010)

“ I enjoyed participating in the MARS study. I found many of the strategies very useful in my teaching, and found myself using the vocabulary with my other classes when I taught ratios, proportions, and percents at a later time. I found the diagrams to be very helpful in explaining ideas to students. I also felt that the DISC problem solving procedure was good, but often times, the estimation part was difficult if the problem was easy or quite obvious. I sometimes left it out in the beginning, but explained to students that it is still important to look back and check the reasonableness of their answers (Is your answer in the ballpark?) The script was helpful, especially in the beginning when I was unsure how to present the material. However, I felt that once I was into the lessons a little further, I condensed what was in the script and cut out some of the examples due to time and not needing to do quite so many. The students really seemed to like the workbooks as it help having the diagrams and problems in front of them when taking notes. They also expressed that they liked having homework all in one place and not having to do their homework on separate sheets of paper.

Anne Maxwell
7th grade Math Teacher
Lake Middle School South Washington County
SBI Participant (2013-2014)

“ This has been a wonderful eye opening experience. I will continue to use these diagrams and the DISC problem solving strategies in the following years ahead.

Jesus Sandoval
7th grade Math Teacher
Kennedy Community School, St. Cloud
SBI Participant (2013-2014)

“ This was a fun curriculum to use. It took a few lessons before I caught on to what to do, but then it became better. I will be using this curriculum next year. I liked the training and resources available to teach this concept to my 7th grader.

Cheryl Allen
7th grade Math Teacher
Lynd Public School
SBI Participant (2013-2014)

Revised December 2014


| Project MARS | 56 East River Road | Minneapolis, MN 55455-0345 USA | Tel: 612-624-6034 | Fax: 612-626-7116

© 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified on November 27, 2013.