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Posts Tagged ‘math education’

Our flash cards were just launched. We believe the flash cards provide another tool to help students polish their math skills. We are starting with four subjects (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), each with three levels of difficulty (easy, medium and hard). You can customize the flash cards to set how many problems per set, and whether or not you want a timer running during the practice. At the end, you will get a score and you can review problem by problem how you have done. To check it out, give it a try: GoldStudent Math Flash Cards.

GoldStudent Flash Cards - Options Screen

GoldStudent Flash Cards - Question and Answer

GoldStudent Flash Cards - Score and Review

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This summer just flew by. My family made a trip to China and visited our relatives. My kids also had a chance to interact with Chinese students of the same age as them, 13-18 years old. My daughter had a chance to share some American culture with the Chinese students, such as our major holidays, famous places in the US, and popular foods as well as American sports.

It is fascinating to see how the commercial companies have transferred US culture to other countries. All the Chinese students know McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Starbucks. They are amazed by the different types of breakfast cereals we have. You would be surprised to know which two holidays the junior high and high school students in China want to know about: Halloween and April Fool’s Day! We found that the Chinese students have much more homework and much more pressure to perform academically. All the students we met (about 80 in total) are taking extra classes to catch up from last year’s studies. Many will take just two to three weeks off during the summer, and will then start more supplemental classes to get a head start on next year’s classes, such as math, physics, and chemistry. For junior high and high school students, their typical school day goes from 8 am to 5 pm, and their homework will keep them busy until 11 pm every night.

I had a chance to look at the math textbooks for the 9th grade students. They are covering very similar topics to what is covered in the US. However, Chinese textbooks are much thinner, about 1” thick compared to the more than one inch thick books we use here. As a result, the textbooks are much lighter. Do our textbooks need to be so thick and heavy? I don’t know. I know that thicker does not mean better.

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Everybody uses math whether they realize it or not. Cooks use math to modify the amount of a recipe they will make. Shoppers use math to calculate change, tax, and sales prices. Vacationers use math to find time of arrivals and departures to plan their trips. Even homeowners use math to determine the cost of materials when doing projects. 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.

GoldStudent offers a new feature that allows every user to do at least a math problem per a day.

Every day, GoldStudent will give you a new problem to solve.

If you miss a problem you can access that problem by clicking on the See all problems link from problem o of the day pop up or Problem of the day link from the footer.


After that, you will be redirected to the problem of the day history page. On this page you can select the date of the problem you missed and the problem of that day will be displayed.

Problem of the Day History

You can exercise your math skills every day.

Try the Problem of the Day on GoldStudent right now!

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I attended a symposium on math education in Los Angeles.  There were many school teachers and administrators in the audience.  I learned something that I’d like to share with you.

Neuroscientists have found out that one part of our brain is used for learning new things (for simplicity,let me call this “new” part of brain), and another part of the brain is used for storing things we know (let me call this “knowledge” part of the brain).  When our children learn something new, they use the “new” part of the brain.  The “new” part of the brain is limited in capacity, meaning one can always learn new things, but there is a limit on how many new things one can learn at one time.  In order for our students to be able to learn other new things effectively, we need them to master things, so these things will be stored in the “knowledge” part of brain, freeing up space in the “new” part of the brain to learn other new things.

This helped me understand why math practice is important.  Take multiplication tables as an example: When a student learns it in the beginning, it is the “new” part of the brain that is used.  When it is a new subject, the student needs to process a lot of concepts to figure out what the answer is.  As the student practices and repeats the exercises, the multiplication table becomes knowledge and is stored in the “knowledge” part of the brain.  Once it is in the knowledge part of the brain, it will be called out quickly when it is needed.

What we see is that when a student has really mastered multiplication tables, he does not have to think each time, the answer comes to him automatically.

In the past, I only knew that to master something, practice is necessary.  Now I understand there is a physiological reason for it.  This applies not only to math, but to any new thing we want to learn.

I am interested in figuring out how to help our kids improve their math skills.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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