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Grades 3-8 | Math and Dual Language | Cloud-based

2015-2016 Sunburst Digital Innovators: Help Math & John Ramo

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mathematics, like English, is a language. (ASCD, Kenney et. al., Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction). Acquiring the essential knowledge and skills for mathematical fluency is a priority for us to continue to be a nation of innovators in a global economy. (Carnegie Corporation). What has traditionally been described as a "border state" problem with 1st grade enrollments stressed by high rates of non-english dominant speakers, is now a national dilemma. America has incoming first grade enrollments of non-native english speaking students in many districts above 20%. Title III classified learners are the fastest growing student population designation.

Here at Sunburst, we have a passion to connect innovative digital content solutions with our K-12 school customers. Delivering our Sunburst partner's solutions into classrooms is a great privilege. These talented entrepreneurs strive each and every day to help improve our schools, communities and student achievement outcomes with their unique solutions.

As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2015, we are profiling the innovators in our 2015-2016 Sunburst Portfolio of Solutions.

Help Math is the only, researched based Mathematics solution expressly designed for Title III, ELL, LEP and Special Education learners. Help Math is a one-stop CCSS and individual state standards based Mathematics program. Help Math is tailored for the unique needs of learners struggling with math fluency due to language and processing challenges.

"As a former Special Education teacher, I have witnessed teachers mounting frustrations with a lack of suitable resources for student populations struggling because of their native language dominance. Matters are often further complicated by mis-classifying these same language deficient students as learning disabled. After working for years producing offerings for other companies and individual brands, I felt it an obligation to sit down and scope a resource that embraced what is a new, constant wave of immigration here in K12. As I looked around and saw countless programs devoted entirely to language and academic vocabulary acquisition for ELLs, I saw nothing serving the unique needs of the "language" of math. As a former teacher, I saw those struggles not being met and this is how the concept for Help Math was born, out of those basic classroom challenges"

John Ramo holds a Masters in Special Education and Educational Psychology from American University. Help Math is the culmination of a career spent facilitating numerous successes in producing innovative educational software that facilitates day-to-day teaching and learning progress. John founded Digital Directions, the producer of Help Math, to make a difference in every classroom, for every child. Prior to DDI, John built a successful educational software company based in Washington D.C. that collaborated with national research agencies. He is an award-winning producer of educational multimedia software for clients such as The Smithsonian Institute, Philips Media, Simon & Schuster, Jean Michel Cousteau, and the NSF (National Science Foundation) and worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. John has never left classroom teaching far behind as he began his career as a Special Ed Teacher. John lives with his family in Colorado.

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