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Posts Tagged ‘school’

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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We are well into the new school year by now. In my family, we have settled into a routine of driving to schools and then driving to sports after school. With three kids in three different schools and three different schedules, driving has been really hectic (no school bus system where we live). However, we believe it is important for our kids to have a balanced set of activities, that combines academics with sports and other things.

In my spare time, I have managed to squeeze in time to read a few really good books (mostly on planes when traveling for work). One that is worth sharing is “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, the author tries to share his observations of what he believes are the key elements that make people succeed. He highlights the importance of environment, talent, effort, and being at the right place at the right time. He points out that it may not be just coincidence that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Eric Smith (CEO of Google) were all born within a year of each other, signifying that the timing of the information technology revolution likely is a contributor to these super-successful innovators.

There are two things mentioned in this book that resonate strongly with me. The first is the 10,000 hours rule: He researched the experts in many fields, from computer programmers, to musicians, to mathematicians, and concludes that to truly become a master of something, one needs to not only have talent, but must also to put in about 10,000 hours to sufficiently master a subject, be it math or playing the violin.

The other is Gladwell’s observation as to why Asian children seem to be good at math. He points out two factors:

1) The Asian culture is such that parents and society believe that everyone can do math, and be good at elementary and high school-level math.

2) The Asian educational systems make students practice far more hours of math than what is expected in the U.S.. He believes that the cultural expectations (the environment) combined with the additional hours of practice drive the success of math education in China and other Asian countries.

Having grown up in China and gone through the Chinese education system, I cannot agree with him more. As far back as I can remember, adults around me, be it my parents, grandmother, or the neighbors’ children, who were just a few years older than me, would all ask me math problems as a daily routine and part of the daily play. When an entire community embraces math or education in this way, and in addition the schools assign significant homework assignments, it works: Children learn math extremely well. When a child in China was behind on his or her basic math skills, parents would find weekend tutors, or would tutor the kids at home themselves, to make sure their kids could keep up.

Will American culture evolve to the point where we will also expect all kids to be able to master basic math skills as do other cultures?

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Suicidal zero needs to be taught his value by No. 1

Zero, written 0, is both a number and the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals. It plays a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems. In the English language, 0 may be called zero, null, nil, “o”, or nought. [Wikipedia]

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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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You want your child to succeed in education.  You spend a great deal of energy getting your child organized, property dressed and fed, to school on time, only to find that they don’t to want to put the effort into getting their homework done, studying for tests, or learning the material they need for their subjects.

This seems to get worse as children get older, often reaching a crisis point in middle school when they begin to have different classes with different teachers, plus a host of other distractions and pressures that negatively influences their desire to succeed in school.

So how do you motivate your child to succeed in school? One tried and true method is to reward your child either with prizes, compensation, or other items that they value.

Providing your child rewards for behaviors you want to see reinforced allows them to gain pleasure in the task at hand knowing a desired outcome will follow (the prize).  Short term the child gets the prize they want.  Long term as a parent you achieve the objective of helping your child succeed in education by providing a motivation that is relevant to them.

You can offer your child various benefits for completing homework, preparing for tests and getting good grades (both at test time and reporting period levels).  Below are some ideas to try:

  • Have their weekly allowance vary depending on school performance; more weekly allowance for better performance and less allowance for poor performance.  For example, bringing home all their homework and completing it on time would earn them a high allowance week.
  • Offer a clothing allowance dependent on good performance, maybe for doing well on section or chapter tests; a good grade on a chapter test means they can pick out a new pair of sneakers, or a new sweatshirt their choice.
  • New video games: New DVDs can be good rewards for children, although of course it means adding to their screen time when they want to enjoy these prizes.
  • Trips: Awards of trips to the bowling alley, a video arcade or a pizza parlor serve as powerful motivation for your child to perform well.
  • Arranging for outside play, or playdays with friends, due to better performance or completion of work, is another good reward.

A good mix of these different types of rewards can really motivate your child.  When used sparingly (so that they do not come to be expected), rewards on the whole are highly appreciated and yet do not cause other issues (with the exception of screen time awards, which must be carefully measured).  Note: We do not recommend food awards, for example candy bars, sweet treats, or other such items, as we do not feel that food should be tied to performance.

Another way to incorporate a reward system into your child’s learning and development – specifically in math – is with GoldStudent.  GoldStudent teaches success in math partially through a reward structure.  GoldStudent rewards students for effort and progress on their math studies.  Students want to succeed in math with GoldStudent because the better they do, the more points they earn.  Students accumulate points and can exchange them for fun prizes (rewards) at any time.

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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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