Igniting the Math Spark with Smartick
Math Gray Area
We all have heard that some students are just good or bad at math. And they either love it or hate it. The in between doesn’t seem to exist.
Kelly, teacher and Smartick supporter, found herself in an odd gray area which she describes in her blog Reviews by the Banks. She was great at math but didn’t necessarily find the spark in the subject. However, as a child, all she knew was that she had to do well in math. Math was her key to a successful future. But she questioned whether there was a way to make the subject more intriguing.
Nowadays, there are numerous ways to make math interesting and incorporating it into a child’s life early on. As a teacher herself, she has used numerous programs, some with solid content but not necessarily with a great curriculum exclusive to math. Luckily, Kelly found Smartick with it’s complete focus on mathematics for children ages 4-14 with content covering up to 8th grade, including geometry and algebra.
Sparks and Innovation
When Kelly initially started working on Smartick with her students, she found herself a bit perplexed. She thought her students were simply reviewing the same exercises. However, after a few sessions she understood that it was not a duplicate session. She learned that Smartick assesses her student’s level and focuses on their needs in real time. Repetition is part of the methodology. It’s imperative that students master and automate the simplest mathematical procedures, adding to their math skill set and ultimately helping them solve more complex problems.
Although repetition is an important facet, Smartick aims to provide dynamic sessions. Apart from mastering arithmetic, students work on logic and word problems to help develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They work on various types of sessions: normal, review, and logic which all add to the dynamic and diversity of Smartick. Kelly found the depth of the program exciting–a rigorous method applied through dynamic sessions that is individualized to each student.
Smartick strays from comparing students’ results with other students let alone standardized tests scores and grades. The program focuses on each child as an individual, stressing their strengths and weaknesses to provide the individualized attention they often miss at school. As Kelly acutely highlights, children’s learning is not directly related to grades at school or points on a test. Instead, we should make conscious efforts to use innovative methods to teach math, and perhaps help children find that spark!
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