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Archive for February, 2010

Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard the term. Everyone is familiar with the idea that to succeed in sports, athletes need to practice, practice, and more practice in order to excel. In sports, training your body to perform certain actions, certain maneuvers, to achieve a certain control over a ball all these things require many hours of practice of different kinds. With enough practice, many people can become very good at whatever sport they choose good enough to play well and to enjoy and thrive in the sport of their choice.

But who has heard that math practice makes perfect? Math practice works exactly the same was as practice for sports: You need to train your brain to think a certain way, to perform certain mental maneuvers, to learn to control numbers and equations so that they do what you want. In math, just as in sports, repetition leads to perfection, or at least an ability to perform accurately and quickly. Math practice for kids is very important so that they can learn to master math skills.

There are several options to get math help for children who want to master math through practice. Some important concepts to keep in mind:

  • The importance of math worksheets: Math worksheets define what practice is all about. Students who continually work on a series of math practice worksheets on a particular topic have a much higher likelihood of not only mastering the math concept, but also of raising their confidence levels on their overall math ability.
  • Problem solving practice drills: Part of the math worksheet process, problem solving practice drills give students real-life math challenges to help them master the math topic at hand.
  • Word problems in math: Math word problems prove to be some of the toughest for kids. But practicing word math problems over time will result in children ability to transfer their math knowledge to everyday life situations.

Practicing problem solving in math is what GoldStudent was created to do. GoldStudent is designed around the idea that math practice makes perfect. We have developed millions of math problems covering a wide range of curriculum materials. But even better yet, for optimal practice each of the math problems are customized to each student’s needs based on their current skill level. Through problem solving practice, students can perform as many math practice worksheets in as many areas of math as they want. GoldStudent is math help at its infinite best helping students practice and stay motivated to ultimately succeed and achieve math pro status!

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Making math easy for kids and making math fun for kids doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many ways during every day life that you can involve math in your child’s life and teach your child the importance and relevance of math while still making math fun.

The relevance of math in everyday life is a marvel. Creating math games and math puzzles not only teaches children about math, it also teaches them that math can be fun.  Heck, math can be downright funny!  At GoldStudent, this is what we mean when we talk about incorporating daily activities into your child’s life to help them excel in math.  Math doesn’t have to be hard.  Making math fun is easy! Here’s our top ten list on how to challenge your children with math the fun way:

  1. Math Games:  Monopoly, Yahtzee, backgammon, and card games like cribbage all involve some math, and are fun games for children of many ages. Play these types of games with your family instead of watching television or movies and see just how funny math can be!
  2. Sudoku and the more challenging Kakuro are good number games that make math fun and can be found in many newspapers and for free on-line. Have your child do one or two of these math games a week; work with them to encourage them and show them how it’s done.
  3. Math Puzzles: There are many books of math logic and math puzzles that children can enjoy. These can be found at educational stores or purchased on-line. Buy a book and have your child do 1-2 puzzles per week (or per day if your child really enjoys these).
  4. Shopping for bargains: This cereal is $4 and has 8 servings, while this cereal is $6 and has 10 servings. Which one is a lower price per serving?
  5. CookingThis recipe says we should use one cup of water and one half cup of oil. We want to increase the recipe one and a half times. How much water and how much oil should we use?
  6. PortionsThis says we should use ¼ cup of dry rice per person. If we have six people for dinner, how much rice should we make?
  7. Time problemsYou go to your friend’s house at 1:30, and I will pick you up at 5:15. How much time will you have spent at your friend’s house?
  8. SalesThe shoes you want cost $50, but tomorrow they will have a 20% off sale. How much will the shoes cost then?
  9. DistanceWe have to drive 3 miles to the grocery store, then 2 miles to the office, then 4 miles back home. How many miles do we need to drive in total?
  10. Food amountsYour class wants you to bring half a bagel per student. You have 18 students in your class. How many bagels should you bring?

See how fun math can be? Helping your kids discover the joy of math and seeing the confidence that comes with strong math skill can be an everyday occurrence.  Making math easy doesn’t have to be hard.  Give it a try and see what fun you can get into together!

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As adults we use math every day.  But who would have thought that the math lesson plans we followed when we were children would serve us so well as adults? We know now that math is an important part of everyday life, and having a solid math skill foundation allows us to not only function but thrive in our personal and professional lives.

Think back today to all the times you used math to solve a problem big or small.

  • At the grocery store trying to figure out which size of peanut butter is the best value.
  • Calculating the interest that you’re receiving on a savings account.
  • Determining how much the beautiful sweater will cost now that it’s 20% off.
  • Playing the banker in Monopoly and making change for a $500.
  • Saving the company money by renegotiating contract rates.

All of these tasks require math skill, and having comfort with these math skills help you manage your life.  This math skill is what your child needs to thrive in life as well.  At GoldStudent, we believe that a solid math foundation provides children with the skills and the confidence they need to tackle the world.

Beyond the day to day math challenges that life can throw, as children learn and grow they’ll realize all the wonderful professions that rely on math as a central component, including medicine, engineering, science and accounting to name a few. The ability and confidence to do math quickly and accurately can lead to success in all of these fields.

Here are our top ten picks for how strong math skills and success in math can help children succeed in life:

    1. Doing well in math tests at school gets children into more advanced math classes.
    2. Strong math skills in a variety of math topics will result in higher SAT scores, giving children the opportunity to get into a better college.
    3. Strong problem solving skills and confidence will lead to internships and job opportunities for those students that excel in college.
    4. Having confidence and finding joy in math will allow young adults to pursue a successful career that they will take pride in and enjoy.
    5. Being smart with money through knowledge of math principles will allow young adults to save on important purchases like accurately calculating interest rates a new car.
    6. Budgeting for a family.  Making smart money decisions every day builds a strong financial foundation.  This includes everything from finding which brand of cereal is the cheapest by the serving to determining if the home loan should be refinanced!
    7. Vacationing.  Using math to calculate the best value on a trip could mean a longer vacation is it better to fly or drive? Eat out or cook in?
    8. Not getting cheated.  Strong math skills allow someone to quickly see if a bill has been mis-calculated or a tip has been automatically added.
    9. Understand current events.  Math enables someone to understand statistical results in a survey or study.
    10. Just having fun.  Playing games, learning to knit, building something all these things require math skills.

      Life is full of math and math is full of life.  At GoldStudent, we think that’s a beautiful thing indeed! GoldStudent is a math resource for those children who need a bit of help with math as well as for those kids that just need a bit more of a challenge than their schoolwork provides.  GoldStudent has a customized math program for each and every student, with personalized math worksheets to help children build their math skills over time.

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      Mathematics education is the practice of teaching and learning mathematics, as well as the field of scholarly research on this practice. Researchers in mathematics education are primarily concerned with the tools, methods and approaches that facilitate practice or the study of practice.

      History of mathematics education

      Elementary mathematics was part of the education system in most ancient civilisations, including Ancient Greece, the Roman empire, Vedic society and ancient Egypt. In most cases, a formal education was only available to male children with a sufficiently high status, wealth or caste.

      The first mathematics textbooks to be written in English and French were published by Robert Recorde, beginning with The Grounde of Artes in 1540.

      In the Renaissance the academic status of mathematics declined, because it was strongly associated with trade and commerce. Although it continued to be taught in European universities, it was seen as subservient to the study of Natural, Metaphysical and Moral Philosophy.

      In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the industrial revolution led to an enormous increase in urban populations. Basic numeracy skills, such as the ability to tell the time, count money and carry out simple arithmetic, became essential in this new urban lifestyle. Within the new public education systems, mathematics became a central part of the curriculum from an early age.

      By the twentieth century mathematics was part of the core curriculum in all developed countries.

      Objectives

      At different times and in different cultures and countries, mathematics education has attempted to achieve a variety of different objectives. These objectives have included:

      • The teaching of basic numeracy skills to all pupils
      • The teaching of practical mathematics (arithmetic, elementary algebra, plane and solid geometry, trigonometry) to most pupils, to equip them to follow a trade or craft
      • The teaching of abstract mathematical concepts (such as set and function) at an early age
      • The teaching of selected areas of mathematics (such as Euclidean geometry) as an example of an axiomatic system and a model of deductive reasoning
      • The teaching of selected areas of mathematics (such as calculus) as an example of the intellectual achievements of the modern world
      • The teaching of advanced mathematics to those pupils who wish to follow a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
      • The teaching of heuristics and other problem-solving strategies to solve non-routine problems.

      Methods of teaching mathematics have varied in line with changing objectives.

      Standards and methods

      Throughout most of history, standards for mathematics education were set locally, by individual schools or teachers, depending on the levels of achievement that were relevant to, realistic for, and considered socially appropriate for their pupils.

      In modern times there has been a move towards regional or national standards, usually under the umbrella of a wider standard school curriculum. In England, for example, standards for mathematics education are set as part of the National Curriculum for England, while Scotland maintains its own educational system.

      In North America, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has published the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. In 2006, they released the Curriculum Focal Points, which recommend the most important mathematical topics for each grade level through grade 8. However, these standards are not nationally enforced in US schools.

      The method or methods used in any particular context are largely determined by the objectives that the relevant educational system is trying to achieve. Methods of teaching mathematics include the following:

      • Conventional approach – the gradual and systematic guiding through the hierarchy of mathematical notions, ideas and techniques. Starts with arithmetic and is followed by Euclidean geometry and elementary algebra taught concurrently. Requires the instructor to be well informed about elementary mathematics, since didactic and curriculum decisions are often dictated by the logic of the subject rather than pedagogical considerations. Other methods emerge by emphasizing some aspects of this approach.
      • Classical education – the teaching of mathematics within the classical education syllabus of the Middle Ages, which was typically based on Euclid’s Elements taught as a paradigm of deductive reasoning.
      • Rote learning – the teaching of mathematical results, definitions and concepts by repetition and memorisation typically without meaning or supported by mathematical reasoning. A derisory term is drill and kill. Parrot Maths was the title of a paper critical of rote learning. Within the conventional approach, rote learning is used to teach multiplication tables.
      • Exercises – the reinforcement of mathematical skills by completing large numbers of exercises of a similar type, such as adding vulgar fractions or solving quadratic equations.
      • Problem solving – the cultivation of mathematical ingenuity, creativity and heuristic thinking by setting students open-ended, unusual, and sometimes unsolved problems. The problems can range from simple word problems to problems from international mathematics competitions such as the International Mathematical Olympiad. Problem solving is used as a means to build new mathematical knowledge, typically by building on students’ prior understandings.
      • New Math – a method of teaching mathematics which focuses on abstract concepts such as set theory, functions and bases other than ten. Adopted in the US as a response to the challenge of early Soviet technical superiority in space, it began to be challenged in the late 1960s. One of the most influential critiques of the New Math was Morris Kline’s 1973 book Why Johnny Can’t Add. The New Math method was the topic of one of Tom Lehrer’s most popular parody songs, with his introductory remarks to the song: “…in the new approach, as you know, the important thing is to understand what you’re doing, rather than to get the right answer.”
      • Historical method – teaching the development of mathematics within an historical, social and cultural context. Provides more human interest than the conventional approach.
      • Standards-based mathematics – a vision for pre-college mathematics education in the US and Canada, focused on deepening student understanding of mathematical ideas and procedures, and formalized by the  which created the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

      (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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      Children can need help in math whether they are at grade level, working above their grade, or if they are struggling to keep up.  But few children will speak up and simply say help me in math! Instead, children react in many ways to math at school. They could be bored, frightened, they might lack motivation, they may need more drilling, or they may need more opportunities to take tests to reduce their stress or fears.

      Whatever their skill level, here are ten ways to decide if your child needs additional math help:

      1. Your child understands the math worksheets and material, but makes careless mistakes.
      2. Your child understands the math worksheets and material, but takes too long to complete problems, resulting in poor results or test scores.
      3. You would like your child to do more math homework, but are unable to find math worksheets and other materials at the right level and in sufficient quantity.
      4. You would like your child to do more math homework, but you do not have time (or the ability with more advanced work) to grade the extra work or provide test situations.
      5. Your child seems unmotivated and does poorly on math homework and tests.
      6. Your child seems to understand the math worksheets and material, but does poorly on homework or on tests.
      7. Your child panics in test situations.
      8. Your child is baffled by one math topic, although in general does well in math.
      9. You are unable to help your child with their math schoolwork, either because you do not have time, your schedule does not allow it, or you simply cannot follow the assignments.
      10. Your child is very advanced in math, and the teachers at school seem unable to meet his or her needs, resulting in boredom or poor performance.

      If any of these ten situations sound familiar, there are math resources available to you to help.  One option is supplemental online, computer-based math instruction.  Online computer-based instruction in math can be a huge benefit for many children, whether they are accelerated past their age group or are having trouble.

      Online computer-based instruction provides children with additional problem-solving opportunities, more experience and practice with sometimes stressful test situations, and most of all distinct focus on a particular subject.  These three benefits can greatly speed up and ensure better, more in-depth math learning coverage. Participating in supplemental computer-based instruction gives your child a better chance to excel in math at school.

      Online computer-based instruction ensures children will develop better study habits, better self-esteem, and can lead to significantly improved grades and faster coverage of material.

      GoldStudent is a successful online computer-based math assistance program that works for kids that need help in math. See how GoldStudent works.

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      Most people would agree that math is important.  But few would take time to realize exactly why math is so important in life.   When you stop to think about it, the important knowledge that math provides helps us every single day of our lives. The skills and confidence gained by having a solid mathematics foundation can’t be under-emphasized. These skills and the accompanying increase in confidence is what GoldStudent seeks to optimize by teaching children the reasons why math is important and enabling them to apply the skills they learn to their everyday lives. Math in the real world is an everyday reality, and one that children can master with the help of GoldStudent.

      Students often wonder why is math so hard, but with GoldStudent’s daily reinforcement through practice similar to their daily interaction with math concepts in life students will soon see that math will become easier and easier to understand and apply.

      Just think about all the things we use math for:

      • balancing a checkbook,
      • figuring out taxes,
      • determining mortgage payments based on rates,
      • statistics,
      • calculating hourly wages,
      • playing Monopoly.

      The list is endless. Every single day everyone encounters some type of math situation, either in personal finance, buying things in a store, trying to close a purchase contract, or interpreting some statistics in a news story.  Making sense of all this, and staying on top of what people are offering you, or asking you to pay, is far easier if your math skills are tuned up and if you are comfortable with numbers. It’s easy to see why math is important in life!

      GoldStudent understands why math is so important and was created to help students practice their math skills, and learn new ones, through a personalized computer-based learning program that provides access to millions of different math problems. GoldStudent is one of the finest math resources available to help you and your children. The basic but true fact is that the more a student practices math skills, the more those skills will improve, and the easier it will be to use math in every day situations.  Because math is important in life everyday, GoldStudent has made a special effort to develop problems that relate to everyday situations, including calculating sales tax or how much a price will change when a sale is on in a store, as well as other common situations.

      The important knowledge that GoldStudent teaches will enable children to excel in math and to excel in life because of their solid math skills.

      Although parents know why math is important, convincing children can sometimes be a daunting task. 

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      GoldStudent is a fun, easy and effective online math enrichment and assistance program for students K-6.  With customized study guides and over 4 million math worksheets, GoldStudent is designed to help children improve their problem-solving skills, gain confidence in their math abilities and have fun while they learn.

      GoldStudent’s 5 Keys to Successful Learning

      1. Personalized study guides provide maximum results for every student.
        See study guide.
      2. Over 4 million math worksheets to improve math skills through practice.
        View worksheets.
      3. Keep learning fun with points and prizes as rewards for effort and progress.
        Check out prizes.
      4. Regular testing to monitor and track progress over time.
        View quizzes.
      5. Online student progress reports make parental involvement easy.
        See reports.

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