Friday, January 24, 2020

Times Tables

There's a fork in the road for elementary school students in terms of their math confidence. The way to be on the healthy fork is to study with a game-based math facts study program.

On the left, there's the students who fail to develop automaticity and fluency with the math facts.  For them, as they get to slightly more abstract math, they have trouble following and lose confidence. Let me explain what that means. A teacher might say:

To calculate the area of this rectangle, we multiple the length and height, 9 and 6 inches respectively We have 54 square inches and now lets compare that to....

For the students with fluency with the math facts, it's easy to follow.

BUT, for the students who did not develop totally automatic knowledge of the math facts, they can't figure out where the 54 came from so they are left out of the discussion and are left wondering why the other kids get it but they didn't. 

These kids quickly lose confidence and math becomes an uphill battle in which they are handicapped both by not knowing the foundational math facts and an increasing sense of being lost and inadequate.

Obvious answer: learn your math facts solidly in second through fourth grade as you are suppose to.
But, most kids are not that motivated so it's important to use a fully gamified and sophisticated program to learn them.

Gamified: This means that there's both games to practice the math facts, lots of different ones.  And an overarching game structure so that the kids are motivated to plan and learn.

Sophisticated. This means that proficiency in the math facts is based on sophisticated algorithms which actually measure if the student can over multiple weeks, consistently produce the right answer. Basically, they measure proficiency in ways that actually predict long term retention, not just meaning that they know it for short term purposes.

 Time4MathFacts is included for free in the Time4Learning online elementary curriculum, available to all parents and families directly as Time4MathFacts, and for teachers and schools from ExploreLearning as Reflex.

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