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Pirate Math

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Pirate Math is a one-to-one tutoring program for third graders struggling with math calculations and word problems. Students receive 48 20-30 minute sessions (three per week) over 16 weeks. Tutors may be teachers or paraprofessionals, who work with students outside of ordinary math periods. The tutoring sessions focus on “counting up” strategies in which students start with the bigger number and add or subtract on their fingers. Students learn to solve word problems by finding missing numbers. Students receive gold coins for good work, and place them on a treasure map. When they reach a picture of a treasure box, they earn a small prize.

Program Outcomes

One qualifying study of Pirate Math took place in Nashville and Houston. Low-achieving students in Pirate Math were compared to similar control students. On Key Math, students in Pirate Math scored significantly higher than controls, with an effect size of +0.37. This qualified Pirate Math for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Staffing Requirements

Paraprofessionals or certified teachers

Professional Development/Training

Tutoring is provided through AIR. Visit the Fuchs Tutoring Training Request page to sign-up. You will need to indicate the type of training (e.,g., reading or math), the grade level requested, the number of people to be trained, and your location. You will be contacted by a trainer and can negotiate dates. More information about training can be found here.