Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Iowa Teachers Use Core Skills Mastery (CSM) with Students

What is Core Skills Mastery (CSM)?

Who’s Using CSM in Iowa?

Marlene Ballou
District: Audubon
Position: At-Risk Coordinator

Marlene Ballou has been using CSM with her 7-12th grade students since fall of 2013. Currently, her students are using it for several different purposes. Several students are completing the course for a math or English credit. The credit they will receive will assist them in meeting their graduation requirements. Other students are working on portions of it in an effort to support their success in career and technical classes. Finally, one student has completed all of her coursework and wanted extended learning opportunities. The CSM course is providing her with challenging learning opportunities that extend beyond the high schools current course offerings.

“CSM has been a very positive experience for my students. The course strengthens their understanding of important math and literacy concepts/skills. It also helps them become independent learners. Students must also manage their time and stay focused so that they can successfully complete the course.”
Marlene Ballou

Michelle Flores
Teresa Focht
District: Sidney
Position: 7th and 8th Grade English/language arts Teachers

Michelle and Teresa have been using CSM with their 7th and 8th grade English/language arts students since September of 2013. Currently, the school follows a block schedule block schedule. Classes are 66 minutes long. Students spend approximately 15 minutes of every day working on the CSM course. Both teachers like the adaptive nature of the CSM course.  

If a student answers a question incorrectly,  the student can review a lesson about the concept. After the lesson is completed, he or she can attempt another question. Furthermore, if a student reaches a level of frustration the program moves them on to a different concept and then brings them back later time.
Michelle Flores and Teresa Focht

What Students are Saying

“I like it. It lets you practice. You can retake it as many times as needed.”  
“I took a test and if it wasn’t for CSM I wouldn’t have known how to do it.”
“CSM helped me in math, it even made understanding math easier!!”
“CSM is a great learning site it is fun and confusing. Knowledge is Power!”

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