The project is designed for high schools with a large unmet need of support for pupils, and their teachers, struggling with Math.
The 'Shlav' project is an initiative of the Davidson Institute of Science Education in cooperation with the Department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The aim of the project is to improve the quality of Math teaching to the population of students with intermediate and low levels of achievement to increase the number of pupils sitting the Math matriculation exam at the level of 3 units.
The 'I believe' of the staff of the project
A child with normative thinking is capable of understanding basic concepts in highschool math (for example: the slope of a straight line, mean, series, parabola etc.) and to solve mathematical problems at the level of 3 learning units by understanding the problems, even if he/she couldn't before and there were gaps in his/her understanding in the past.
Success in math will promote the selfimage and the motivation of the students to other areas of studying as well.
At the heart of our approach: Encouragement to use straightforward logic, intuition, day to day knowledge and tangible examples.
The running of the Shlav project at highschools
The work of the schools in the framework of this project is based on the role of someone within the school who has specialized on the subject of difficulties in highschool mathematics. The role is defined as "The supervisor for helping students struggling with math to progress". The working model within this framework is designed in light of experience in schools and in light of research on what characterizes the learning processes and the thought processes of pupils that struggle in math. The role is a dynamic one that is likely to change to a certain degree depending on the group of pupils of the specific school. The supervisor will visit the school that he works in on a weekly basis and will work in coordination with the staff of the mathematics department and the management of the school.
A. Identifying struggling pupils
The supervisor will collect data on the state of the pupils at the school with respect to mathematics. The data will include: examination grades, teacher reports and results from class observation. In addition, use of a special identifying test will also be made (see later). In our experience, there are 3 main groups of pupils that struggle in math:
1. Pupils who struggle because of an accumulation of gaps due to various reasons, but they have the motivation and the interest to receive help in order to narrow the gaps, to progress and at the end of the day to sit the matriculation exam. These pupils have cognitive ability within the normal range and are thus able to achieve reasonable results.
2. Pupils who struggle in math mainly because of a lack of interest in the subject and/or find it hard to integrate into a normal classroom because of disciplinary problems or inattention. They too are capable from a cognitive point of view to perform to the required level.
3. Pupils who struggle in math mostly because of cognitive skills that are below average.
At this stage of the project, we are focusing mainly on the first two groups. In order to identify suitable pupils for the project, the Davidson Institute has developed a special exam that places an emphasis on correct mathematical thinking rather than prior knowledge. During the test, the pupils are allowed to use a calculator in order to reduce the effect of prior gaps in arithmetic on the decision on the suitability for the project.
B. Teaching the teachers
The supervisor will observe mathematics lessons in the classes of struggling pupils once a week given by teachers appointed by him/her. Following each observation there will be a meeting for personal feedback and training. The aims of the meetings are:
 To present different teaching strategies to the teachers appropriate to pupils struggling in math. Thus, amongst other things, the teachers become acquainted with learning material from the 3 unit program, which was developed by the mathematics group of the Department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute especially for struggling pupils at the 3 unit level.
 To enable constant and up to date communication on the situation of the different pupils that were identifies as struggling.

To bring together teaching processes and evaluations that will contribute to improving the grades of the pupils and the quality and effectiveness of their teaching.
C. The training of volunteers to teach math on an individual level within the school framework
There are plenty of opportunities for combining teaching math by volunteers side by side with regular math teaching. Soldiers from the Nachal, volunteers from those serving in the community and people from the community all turn to the schools that need help and offer their assistance. Research shows that good will from the volunteers is a necessary condition but it definitely is not enough to ensure successful teaching, and there is a need for someone to supervise them and accompany their activities in an uninterrupted way. Therefore, one of the responsibilities of the supervisor on the issue of the advancement of pupils struggling in math is to be involved in every aspect that relates to the work of the volunteers: proposing a list of suitable pupils that will benefit the most out of private tuition, training on relevant mathematical subjects (in particular on the orientation of the teaching for struggling pupils), training on pedagogic aspects and follow up on the progress of pupils. The supervisor is used as a figure to whom the pupils can turn to if feedback is needed and for the sake of thinking together about the work that they are doing. In our experience, the work of the volunteers is very valuable and their influence on the progress of the pupils is very significant.
In addition to these activities, the supervisor will divide his time to private learning meetings with the pupils. An individual lesson, given by the supervisor to those struggling in math, may shed light on a particular problem that the pupil has and that the math teacher may not be aware of, due to the difficulty in specifying time to follow in depth every single pupil. Additionally, the supervisor is also able to provide assistance to the pupil to overcome the problem according to the best of his experience.
The coverage of the Shlav project over the country
The Shlav project began its activities as a pilot project in the years 20057 in three schools in the cities of Lod and Rishon LeZion.
As of the academic year 2010/11 the project was active in about 30 groups throughout the country from Tiberius in the North to Ashdod in the South.
9^{th} – 12^{th} grade pupils applying for 3 or 4 matriculation units and the teachers of these classes.
The achievements of the pupils and the satisfaction of both the pupils and the teachers of the project are comprehensively evaluated in an ongoing research study. The findings up to now show that 90% of the pupils who learned within the framework of the project took the Mathematics Matriculation exam, and over 80% of those who took the exam passed.