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Posts Tagged ‘math practice’

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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Happy summer everyone! Public schools are out and the summer has really kicked in. Some of you may be on vacation, and some may be involved with summer camps and summer schools. It never hurts to combine fun and relaxation with creative and productive learning. If you can find just 10 minutes a day for your kids to do some math, it would help them remember the things they have learned, and would make the next school year easier. Also, if your kids are a bit behind on any math concepts, you can take advantage of summer time to catch up.

Using GoldStudent as a resource will make it easier for you. In my family, we use dinner time to have stimulating discussions on various topics. Also, if we take a road trip, we play games in the car to make it fun. The most popular game in our family is “20 questions”, where one person thinks of an object, and the others try to guess what it is. The goal is to identify the object while asking less than 20 yes-or-no questions.

Have you checked out our problem of the day? It is an easy way to have a different problem each day to work with your child. It just takes a couple of minutes, and you can make it a family activity to get everyone to work together on a math problem. Give it a try!

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The school year is over for most of our families and summer is here. I don’t know what people’s plans are for the summer. My family is busy with plans for summer camps, schools, and a family vacation. As parents, we try to strike a balance between relaxation and fun, creative activities and being productive. We try to keep our children’s minds sharp, so we try to give them something academic over the summer, to try to ensure they don’t forget everything they learned over the past year. If you are thinking of giving your child some math during the summer, GoldStudent can be a good tool for you. You can think of a way to reward them for the worksheets they complete. It is amazing how well a reward can help.

The challenge with math is that it is a rather boring and dry subject for most people. However, math is also important, as we all need some level of math in our daily lives. How can we help our children master the basic math skills they need for the real world? If you have any good ideas, please share with us!

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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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We have begun to add video tutorials to our site, in order to help students learn or re-learn what they may be missing in their math education.  Each video is just a few minutes in length, and covers one concept.  We use examples similar to those on the worksheets.  These include an audio explanation created by a professional instructor.

You can find these videos linked on some of the worksheets, as shown in the image below, or on our math video tutorials page!  We are adding more videos, so if you need one that covers a particular topic, let us know.

Video Tutorial Math Worksheets

Try it yourself: this free math worksheet for 6th grade has a video tutorial linked to it.

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As parents we all want our children to succeed.  We often feel that they have the ability to do well in everything, and that all they lack is a little motivation or energy.  As a result we tend to push our children to do better, to try harder and to do a better job.  This is true in all things, in all school activities and school subjects.  And of course it is also true in math.  Math pressure, the stress of math homework, the volume of math skills necessary to master a topic it can all be very stressful for children .

But how do you know when you are pushing too hard, or maybe when you should push harder?

There is of course no one answer.  All children are individuals, and all will respond in individual way to pressure and stress.  Math pressure and math homework stress is no different.  Most children will respond well to some pressure, but most will also start to show negative reactions if pushed too hard.

Here are some key signs that indicate when you may be pushing your child too hard and/or they’re under too much pressure:

  • Your child seems depressed and does not communicate well.
  • Things that used to interest your child no longer stimulate him or her.
  • Grades begin to fall, homework is not completed, and your child displays inattention to school activities.
  • Your child exhibits antisocial behavior, such as lying, stealing and/or physical violence
  • Feelings such as restlessness, tiredness, or agitation become frequent occurrences.
  • You child refuses to cooperate, do chores, or seems to need much more attention
  • Your child has physical symptoms such as complaining about headaches or stomach pains

If you feel your child is exhibiting one or more of these signs, certainly you should consider changing your methods.  Take a step back and talk to your child about how they are feeling and where the pressure points are coming from.

Another option is to get some outside help. Talk to a counselor about your child.  If your child needs help with schoolwork, see what additional services are available to provide assistance.

One option for to help alleviate math pressure is the GoldStudent math assistance program. If your child is suffering from math stress, GoldStudent can help. GoldStudent provides math help, builds confidence, and fosters a learning environment where every student succeeds.

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Motivation in math, or the concept of motivational math is a rare concept indeed! There are very few children that really want to practice math.  Children often think math is hard.  They see math as a chore; boring, frustrating or just plain lame?.  There are no flashing lights in math, no action figures or warrior games – all of which are provided in abundance by video games and television.

But motivation for math is still possible.  And teaching motivation in math is what GoldStudent does.  GoldStudent does not provide flashing lights and action figures in their math program.  What GoldStudent does provide is a program that not only gives students motivation for math, it also delivers a program that will have students motivated and confident and actually practicing math on an ongoing basis.  Hard to believe but true; motivation in math is possible!

When watching a child play a video game, do you ever marvel at their ability to concentrate and their attention to detail? Those same concentration and attention to detail qualities are what help children excel in math, and what GoldStudent taps into to keep motivating kids to flex their math power.

At GoldStudent, we feel that the kind of attention and concentration that is needed to do math exercises should be rewarded, and that progress and success in studying math should carry a proportional reward. As a result, GoldStudent has developed a point system to reward success and progress (aka; motivation in math) through the curriculum developed for each student.

Here’s how GoldStudent’s motivation in math works:  Students earn points for completing math worksheets and for passing topic and chapter tests. The more math work that a student accomplishes (or the more math motivation that a student displays), the more points they earn.  More points are also earned for higher performance; the higher percentage of math problems a student gets correct, the more points they accumulate. Students can constantly track on the GoldStudent website exactly how many points they have accumulated, and they’ll see how their point total grows as they make progress.   Talk about creating a motivation for math!

The points are a reward in and of themselves, but GoldStudent also provides the ability for students to redeem points for prizes. GoldStudent offers a range of prizes for which students can exchange the points they have earned in order to receive the prizes of their choosing.  Larger prizes are redeemed for more points, smaller prizes for fewer points. Available prizes range from multicolor pens and stickers, to bracelets, earrings, Game Boy & trade games to Itunes gift certificates. Parents have the ability to choose which prizes their children are permitted to exchange points for, and all prizes are shipped care of the parents name, so that parents can review all redeemed prizes before giving them to their children.

Motivation in math is possible.  As parents ourselves, we know it can be tough to get children to practice math.  But when it comes motivating your children to work on their math skills, turn to GoldStudent for help.

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