Friday, December 18, 2009

Multicultural Math: Way Cool!

Mathletics online math program will not only sharpen math skills but also lower blood pressure and increase lean body mass! OK...not literally! But, your kids will have so much fun participating in live, online math races that they will actually WANT to do math. This in turn could, conceivably, lower your blood pressure while increasing their brain capacity (a.k.a. body mass).

Seriously, Mathletics is definitely onto something with their web based math exercises. And, lot's of people are noticing this innovative site. They have been nominated for the prestigious BETT award in which digital products used in education are recognized. They also recently had a BBC piece aired about their safe online offerings.

My 6th grade daughter was not extremely eager to test yet another math program. However, it didn't take long to see that this wasn't just a bunch of drills; this was competition! She is a competitive child...thus a happy union was made! (Although their are loads of options that have no competition level, other than with themselves).

My daughter started off by getting to design her own cartoon version of herself. Really fun! Then, she had a choice to either practice various math concepts or compete in live competition against other children her age from around the world! Needless to say, this was her favorite. At any one time she could be competing agains kids from New York to Australia and many points in between. You can see where they are from, what school they are a part of, and their little icon person too.

One thing my daughter noticed about the other students is that many of them had some pretty crazy, animated icons that she could not do with her own cartooned self. Well, she found out she must earn credits through playing and practicing and then she can use those credits in the Face Maker store to add visually fun elements to her own character. Cool! She is past the age of being motivated by virtual trophies or instant feedback (i.e. "your doing great!") in order to play more, although the site does offer some of that which is perfect for younger kiddos. But, getting to add to your own self-starring cartoon, well that is just genius for older students.

The home page of Mathletics is enough to make me want to play. When you go to their site you see how many users are online at that moment, how many correct answers have been generated (in the billions!), as well as the names and scores of the top 100 students in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world! That is a screen full of motivation, right there! As a side note, there is NO actual communication between the other kids online. All that the users can actually see of one another is their first name and last initial as well as what school (if they listed it), and what country.

There is much, much more to this site but it would be a lot to go into for the sake of reviewing. Math games galore, math instruction and unit tests for practicing a prolific amount of concepts. The graphics are great and the site is very kid friendly while also being kid safe. The math concepts used are for K-8th grade and my 9th grader just asked if she could play the 8th grade level because it looked so intriguing.

Furthermore, the parent gets a detailed report emailed to them weekly, detailing what their child has been learning, as well as getting 24 hour support for their website. They are great fit for home schooling and there is a special brochure for homeschoolers that you can view by choosing the "About Mathletics" Tab on their home page.

Mathletics offers a bundle of math motivation for less than $2 a week. That's a bargain for every budget. This is a subcription based service and so each child is considered an individual subscription. A year membership cost $59.00, normally. However, if you know the anwer to their question that asks, "What is the Human Calculator's Favorite Number?" you can get a year for just $49.95. Good news, I can give you the's 9! (There are a lot of really cool things you can do with that number, if you haven't noticed). More good news: you have 10 days to try their product and get a full refund if you decide it isn't for you.

I would encourage you to click on this link and just check out the Mathletics site. See for yourself why it is gaining accalades and motivating students to do more math. What a painless way for kids to practice!

1 comment:

evision said...

I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site visited before a month.

earn and learn

At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.