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Meet Gabe, one of the designers behind Teach to One’s all-digital math tool

March 17, 2022 Teach to One

Gabe DeAngelis oversees new feature design and customer support for Teach to One Roadmaps, an all-digital math education tool, which provides each student with a personalized path to proficiency. Prior to joining Teach to One, Gabe spent ten years as a middle and high school math teacher, followed by three years coaching math teachers in New York City. Gabe is also father to Noah, a 9-year-old math whiz. (pictured) 

What inspires you about educating/teaching? 

I am fascinated by the way people think and learn. Before I started teaching, I honestly thought it would be pretty easy. I’m pretty good at explaining things, and I was always able to learn math through a combination of intuition and my teachers showing me how to solve problems. I quickly learned most students need to experience and feel mathematics in ways even a very clear explanation just couldn’t provide. While creating those active learning experiences was much more difficult to facilitate, it was also much more rewarding because I got to connect with my students intellectually and learn how they see math and their learning. 

What do you love about math? 

Math gives us best practices around how we establish what is true. Mathematics is all proveable. We use deductive reasoning and justify our logical steps. If you become an engineer, or an astrophysicist, then lots of advanced math will be helpful. And if you become a carpenter or an electrician, lots of your high school math will come in handy. But, everybody can apply lessons from mathematics to analyze whether something is true or not, which is so important to all of us as citizens of the world.

Teach to One Major Concepts Map

What makes Teach to One Roadmaps unique?

Teach to One Roadmaps is a personalized tool to help students and teachers understand where students are in their mathematical learning journey, provide guidance around next steps and the resources needed to take those steps. The thing I would highlight is our skill map, which provides the foundation for determining the right mathematical progressions for each student by skill. In all my time in math education, I’ve never seen anything like it. It uniquely enables Teach to One Roadmaps to deliver the precise skills students are ready to learn and helps provide students with a clear path toward a learning target, while also giving them a level of choice, if desired. 

I also value that we partner with so many different content providers, utilizing the best of what’s out there, so students have access to more than one approach. This is especially important because we know that there’s no one approach that works for all students. 

How does Teach to One Roadmaps meet this moment in education?  

People talk about learning loss due to schools going remote because of Covid. And while that challenge is significant, students were in very different places on their learning paths prior to the pandemic. That being said, the pandemic has made it even worse, particularly for students who were behind before the pandemic. Across the board, there is tremendous inconsistency in schools right now. We are in a time of unprecedented teacher turnover and student and teacher absences due to quarantine protocols. As a result, it is harder than ever for teachers to get to know their students. 

Teach to One Roadmaps provides a profile for each student that helps a teacher see where they are in their mathematical learning. Imagine being a new teacher coming into a new class. So many unfamiliar faces. You need to make a plan to get to know each student, what they know and what they need to learn. It is daunting. How much easier would it be if you had a detailed summary at your fingertips telling you what each student came into the year knowing, what they’ve learned so far, and a suggested path for them to move forward? Teach to One Roadmaps provides data, stability and direction to keep our classrooms moving, and all learners progressing, even when things are turbulent. 

How does Teach to One Roadmaps change the way students learn? 

Teach to One Roadmaps facilitates student ownership of their learning. It provides data to students, making students more aware of their learning styles. Whether they are reviewing skills they’re ready to learn, picking a skill they think will help them most, or choosing a learning resource that is right for them, Teach to One Roadmaps gives students information to make strong choices and helps them understand how they think and learn. What better outcome could there be in the world of education?

As a parent, why do you think it’s important to personalize education? 

I have a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old niece. Both kids are brilliant, as all children are, but in very different ways. My son is a math whiz. He picks up new ideas so easily and they just stay with him. I think my niece reads faster than I do, but doesn’t absorb mathematical principles in the same way. These two kids (who share family genes, come from very similar backgrounds, and have similar educational experiences), have very different educational needs. 

I want them to learn to love the ways they are different and feel challenged by new ideas every day. How can we achieve this? Personalization. Teach to One Roadmaps gives teachers critical information and resources to provide each student with a personalized pathway, even a classroom where every learner’s needs are unique.