How JUMP Works

JUMP Math is a method of teaching mathematics that inspires measurable higher performance along with major improvements in students’ self-esteem and attitude towards learning. JUMP Math challenges teaching and societal norms, creating a new educational infrastructure that eliminates the assumption that there are natural hierarchies of ability. In response to a seemingly insoluble problem – teaching math skills to children the education system has given up on –JUMP Math has invented a solution. 

With embedded review, scaffolding of concepts, careful use of language, and opportunities for continuous assessment and practice, the program is suited to accommodate diverse student needs and abilities to close the achievement gap. With embedded review, scaffolding of concepts, careful use of language, and opportunities for continuous assessment and practice, the program is suited to accommodate diverse student needs and abilities to close the achievement gap. 

Backed By Cognitive Science

The methods on which JUMP is based are ones that cognitive scientists are now promoting for the development of expertise in general. Research in cognitive science suggests that while it is important to teach to the strengths of the brain (by allowing students to explore and discover concepts on their own) it is also important to take account of the weaknesses of the brain. Our brains are easily overwhelmed by too much new information, we have limited working memories, we need practice to consolidate skills and concepts, and we learn bigger concepts by first mastering smaller component concepts and skills.

Guided Discovery

The JUMP method is called "guided discovery." In a JUMP lesson, students develop and explore ideas on their own, but the lesson is a carefully scaffolded series of questions and challenges in which one idea naturally leads to the next. Students are provided with many supports of the kind that research has identified as effective, such as immediate feedback and worked examples. They are also given many opportunities to practice and consolidate concepts and are assessed frequently so they can get excited about their success and so the teacher can be sure no one is falling behind.

The guided discovery approach focuseson presenting mathematical concepts in incremental steps, and ensuring that a student masters each step before moving on, thus building confidence and a love of math. The key to success for learners is deep engagement and subtly varied practice. You’ll find that not only will your math class allow virtually all students to succeed, but it will be a time that the students enjoy because they’ll be having fun.

JUMP Math sees teachers and classrooms as the key to student learning, which is why our Teacher’s Guide lesson plans are at the heart of our curriculum. The lesson plans provide step-by-step instructions on how to implement the lessons in your classroom, assess students’ understanding, and diagnose barriers. You will find the lessons clear and enjoyable to teach.  Lesson plans include:

  • Common Core Standards correlations
  • Goal of the lesson
  • Prior knowledge and vocabulary required
  • Materials needed
  • Questions to ask while explaining a concept
  • Exercises with answers
  • Activities and extensions
  • Real-world connections
  • Blackline Masters

David Bornstein wrote in The New York Times that JUMP Math is " Better Way to Teach Math: Can we improve the methods we use to teach math in schools — so that everyone develops proficiency? Looking at current math achievement levels in the United States, this goal might seem out of reach. But the experience of some educators in Canada and England, using a curriculum called JUMP Math, suggests that we seriously underestimate the potential of most students and teachers.

With comprehensive Teacher Resources teachers are prepared and supported in teaching the mathematical standards and practices. The lesson plans in the JUMP Math Teacher’s Guides, together with the accompanying exercises in the student AP Books, completely cover the Common Core State Standards at grade level.  The AP Books were primarily designed to help students develop confidence, fluency, and accuracy.  The lesson plans contain a variety of problems, exercises, and activities that enable students to explore and communicate mathematical ideas with more depth and rigor; as such, every lesson should help students develop (or prepare to develop) one or more of the Mathematical Practices in the Standards.  SMART Lesson Materials offer an interactive and fully-aligned suite of Notebook files, corresponding to each and every JUMP Math lesson. The JUMP Math program helps educators teach each standard and meet the range of needs and skills in the classroom.

A team of doctoral-level math specialists have designed the teacher resources to help you meet each Common Core standard, and have included deep scaffolding as well as advanced questions to address all learners’ needs. The teacher resources also include SMART Board lessons that are perfectly aligned with the lesson plans; sample quizzes and tests; and answer keys. The other components of the curriculum are student Assessment & Practice (AP) Books, Confidence Building Units (CBU), and teacher professional development materials.

JUMP Math Lessons

Lesson plans generally follow this structure:

  • short explanation (at most 3 minutes)
  • exercises and bonus questions
  • incremental increase in challenge and another short explanation
  • continue the cycle

JUMP Math Lessons

The idea is that students who finish regular questions quickly can work independently on the bonus questions while struggling students work on the regular questions. Bonus questions are designed to require very little (if any) extra teaching. Not all students will need to do all the regular questions before attempting the bonus questions. When you see that a student is succeeding with questions at the level at which you want everyone to be, begin assigning the student bonus questions. Not all students will finish all the regular questions; even among students who are not ready to attempt bonus questions, some will be faster than others, and some will need more practice than others.

Proven in Independent Testing and Evaluation

The JUMP Math program has been independently tested in a rigorous trial and found to produce superior results.  In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) by researchers from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, children who were taught using JUMP Math were found to have progressed at twice the rate of students in the control group who were taught with one of Canada’s most widely used programs. 

The US Common Core Edition, offering Common Core aligned lessons from Grades 1-8, was evaluated by Learning List and scored 92%-97% alignment to the Standards.  JUMP Math has submitted program materials for an independent review by 

Unique Differentiators

We have a radical belief that all students can learn math and all teachers can teach it.  We believe that hierarchies seen in many classrooms are not natural.

JUMP breaks math down into very small components – we scaffold our program to a far greater degree than any other program.  This enables all students to understand math concepts, and as they learn them, to be able to deal with increasingly complex problems.  Scaffolding also helps teachers to teach math.

As slower students gain skills and confidence, class cohesion occurs.  Engagement and excitement increases in the classroom.  We see what we call the audience effect where the entire class starts to compete against the problem and not each other.

Teachers and Students Praise JUMP Math

Many elementary school teachers struggle to understand the math they teach and often they experience math anxiety themselves, something that can be transferred to their students.  Teachers tell us how JUMP Math has given them the confidence and tools to teach math effectively and help all their students succeed at math.  See

Students’ confidence, an essential to learning, is built using JUMP Math.  Students from a school in Rochester, NY tell how the program has affected them.  See

Social Innovation

Dr. John Mighton, JUMP Math's founder, is an Ashoka Fellow.  He was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Canada by Ernst & Young in 2014 and a Social Entrepreneur of the year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2015.  Mighton and JUMP have received multiple other awards and recognition for social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Mighton, presented a passionate argument for numeracy for everyone at TEDxCERN in Geneva: the video has been posted on YouTube at