Math is a wonderful subject, however it doesn’t always come easy to everybody. That being said, it is a subject that can be learned and mastered with practice and effort. When I find a student that is struggling at math I often hear:“I have never been very good at math.”
This truly bothers me for two reasons. First, math doesn’t have to be hard and somewhere along the line someone made that student feel like it was an impossible task. Second, if allowed to continue, this mentality can cripple a students ability to believe in themselves as they get further along in their studies. Therefore, it is important to help students see they are capable of not just doing math, but they are capable of being great at it! Below you will find links to several resources I believe can help aid students in their mathematic studies. Not every resource is ideal for every student, so I recommend that as a parent you consult with your child’s teacher to see what kind of resources are needed. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by clicking the contact link in the main menu above.
Xtra Math – This is a site that promotes math fact practice. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are cornerstones to mathematics. Being able to complete these mathematical functions with accuracy, in a limited amount of time, can help students to process more sophisticated mathematical problems as they get older and enter into pre-algebra, algebra and higher level math. If students are struggling with these cornerstone skills they will have a harder time in math class as they progress through their education. This site can be challenging because the practice problems are timed. For some this feature can be a stumbling block. However, timed tests are a large part of how students are assessed both in the classroom and as they get older. Important tests like the ACT and SAT are timed and the faster students can process information with accuracy, the better they may perform on these important scholarship determining tests. This site is not a replacement for learning how and why these functions work the way they do, but good instead it is good practice that helps parents and teachers alike understand just how quickly their students can process standard math facts.
Xtra Math Compatibility
IXL Math – If your student really struggles with math, this site can help be a more comprehensive tool to helping assess student strengths and weaknesses. IXL is a site that administers practice questions in a form called a smart test*. Smart tests are tests designed to adapt to student answers. This way if students know a particular skill, the computer can recognize it and move on to other questions. However, if a student answers certain questions wrong the test will try to provide the student with questions that test the same skill but word the questions differently. It does this to assess whether the wording of the question is at fault or if indeed the student struggles with the skill. If the student continues to answer questions wrong the test flags those skills that are aligned with the questions so that teachers and parents know which areas their student may be struggling. Think of a smart test as a tool that helps diagnose weaknesses in a student’s mathematical repertoire. As an analogy, think about a child being tested for allergies. You may have a panel of of tests run only to find out that most allergens have little to no effect on your child. All is well, except for one or two particular allergens. That knowledge then helps you to help your child live a better life by removing those things that cause your child to be sick. The same is true with a smart test. It more effectively assesses those areas your student struggles so that they can be targeted quickly and effectively. One nice feature of IXL practice is that it provides feedback to help students try and figure out what they have done wrong. Access to all features does cost a little money but students can practice a few problems everyday for free.
Front Row – Front Row is a lot like IXL except that much of it is free and it is available on iPad and computer. It is a smart test designed to work with the iOS operating system. It is not as advanced as IXL in its options but still a great choice; especially for apple users.
Front Row Compatibility
Kahn Academy – Kahn academy has many great resources for students of all ages! Not only does Kahn Academy have information but tutorial videos and practice tests and examples. If you are looking for a good supplemental resource that has many of the great features of the resources above then I recommend you check out Kahn Academy!
Kahn Academy Compatibility