While most extra-curricular learning centers are focused on helping students fill gaps with tutoring focused on meeting specific benchmarks, at Growing IQ, things are different with “discovery-based” programming. Students derive math concepts and grasp abstract principles on their own as teachers guide them through games, exercises, and group activities.
Growing IQ launched after the “founding fathers” (literally – the company was founded by two dads of preschoolers) discussed their mutual concerns about the disconnect between the math and reasoning skills required for STEM and finance careers and the concepts being taught at the preschool and elementary levels.
The Growing IQ learning framework is designed to help children develop their reasoning skills, learn and practice mathematical processes and vocabulary, analyze patterns, learn abstract concepts through concrete materials, and practice group-work skills.
A joint venture with three locations in Hawaii, California, and Frisco, Texas, Growing IQ engages children aged 3 ½ to 11 years old in…
… collaborative and sensory-rich experiences. We empower our children to analyze, discover, examine, reason, think critically, and take ownership of their mathematical learning,” says Uma Mohan, the owner of the Frisco location.
When I took my children to the branch in California, I was amazed. It’s a company based on a very difference concept than most learning centers. I was so impressed with the center’s work that I had to bring this concept home to Frisco.”
Rather than being separated into grade-based groups or levels, at Growing IQ the children are separated based on actual ability and current mathematical understanding. Teamwork and group learning plays a huge role in the programming.
Groups of children work together to help each other learn concepts, more efficient ways of grouping numbers, and more effective routes to solutions. As the children solve problems together, they learn that there can be many approaches to math solutions and gain a more thorough, deeper sense of concepts.
While the programming is discovery-based, the curriculum is directed by parents and teachers based on the individual needs of a particular child. This sets the Growing IQ program apart from play-based approaches and student-led learning such as the kind of programming found at Montessori programs.
One parent, who happens to have a Ph.D. in Education, described her daughter’s experience at a Growing IQ location this way:
GROWING IQ does not focus on math concepts per se… rather, learning math concepts is a positive by-product, but not the purpose of the instruction. The teaching focus is on how to reason, problem solve through experimentation, and apply past learnings to new situations.
For example, a few weeks ago, my daughter (10 years old) told me in the car ride home from Growing IQ that she had learned what ‘mean,’ ‘median,’ and ‘mode’ were. As she explained to me how she had learned about them in GROWING IQ class, that’s when I became truly impressed.
She showed me a Batman figurine they had constructed in class (a plastic block with duct tape wings) and explained that they had used a rubber band to fling the figurine across the room. At this point, I thought, no wonder my kids love going to Growing IQ class – what kids wouldn’t love flinging Batman across the classroom!
I decided to test my daughter’s understanding of these concepts by asking her what would happen if she had one super strong fling that shot her Batman really far across the room one time… What would happen to her mean, median and mode?
We talked through each of the statistics and to my surprise, she was able to reason out how each measure would change with the one outlier flight. That demonstrated to me the difference between memorizing definitions based on explanations given by the teacher and truly understanding concepts based on interactive learning.”
Growing IQ takes STAAR testing into account and gears its spring programming towards helping students excel on the standardized tests, while also ensuring that they are gaining a holistic and thorough understanding of math concepts.
For parents who would like to spend a little time during the upcoming Spring Break enhancing their child’s current math ability and understanding, Growing IQ is offering 3-hour programs from March 12th-March 16th from 9:30am – 12:30pm.
Elementary students can enhance their math understanding, logic, and problem-solving skills through manipulatives, projects, puzzles, and games. Tuition for the week is $150. There is no registration fee. You can even “bring a friend” and save $25! To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Growing IQ’s Facebook page or website for more details.
Monday – Friday 10:30AM – 6:30PM
Saturday 10AM – 3:30PM
NE corner of Preston & Hwy 121
2930 Preston Road, Suite 160, Frisco, TX 75034