Crevette has been trialling The Maths Factor, Carol Vorderman’s online Maths practice site for primary school aged children, and we decided to share our experience.
Recent research and academic report shows that a ‘little and often’ approach to maths can boost progress. With this in mind, The Maths Factor has been hosting a ’30 Day Maths Challenge’ in September designed to encourage a little bit of maths practice every day – the key to building maths confidence and increasing attainment – and can be started here for £1 until 30 September.
“Primary-aged children, who regularly completed 15 minute sessions on The Maths Factor, have demonstrated how Maths learning can accelerate dramatically. Those who completed an average of three or more sessions a week for 12 months saw their ‘Maths age’ advance by 19 months. That’s seven months of additional progress in the course of one year.”
The Maths Factor adventure started before Crevette even tried the programme for the first time. As we signed in, he had to choose his own username and password. He was pretty excited as it was his first time doing that.
Crevette’s first task was to choose his avatar. He went for a penguin and had a quick tour of The Maths Factor to understand the sequencing: video, warm-up, practice.
Crevette found out about the rewards he will get when giving correct answers: correct answers count up as well as new games which will unlock when completing activities.
Crevette started with a simple mental Maths activity. He was given 40 seconds to complete as many simple sums as he could (e.g. 3+5), before moving on to more complex sums using numbers 1 to 99 (e.g. 68 + 4). This activity dis not have a time constraint, but Crevette found it quite difficult to start with. He was worried he would get some of the answers wrong and counted on his fingers to complete the sums. He still managed to get 23 out of 24 correct.
The following session was a video of Carol Vordeman giving a clear explanation of how to add 2 to any big number on a 100 square. Focusing on units rather than the big numbers really helped Crevette not panic. As the demonstration, was unfolding, Crevettte started finding answers more quickly.
He was then able to complete the following activity, dragging sheep to complete sums. No fingers were used!
After each session, I receive an email to keep me updated. I think this little email makes a lot of difference. It means I can allow Crevette to be completely independent in his learning. There is no need to check on what he is doing. I know I will get a report on his progress and I can help him later on if needs be.
Since each session takes an average of 15 minutes, it is not a daunting exercise for Crevette. It has now become part of his after-school routine, just like reading and practising spellings. He has been making progress in micro-steps and enjoying his successes.
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The Maths Factor
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