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How to Use Multiplication Worksheets to Assess Fluency

Multiplication worksheets. Schools commonly use these to measure math fact fluency, yet aggregating response times is tricky, especially given the typical number of math facts measured. What's more, the resulting data rarely tells you which math facts a student knows fluently compared with facts they are still calculating. How to Maximize Effectiveness When it comes to multiplication worksheets, use these tips to maximize your effectiveness in the classroom: 1. Assess each individual fact. You can use a stopwatch or let a program like Timez Attack do the job for you automatically; but at some point, it's critical to measure which facts students can recall automatically and which ones they have to stop and calculate. If you don't measure each fact accurately, you won't fix it.
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Can Technology Stimulate Mental Development in Young Children?

A guest post by Dr. Eugene Emmer, medical entrepreneur and author Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.   As a physiologist and parent, I have long been interested in the impact of early childhood education on the child's developing brain. Over the years, an increasing number of scientists have devoted lab research to brain development and function. Their findings are not only fascinating, they also show how important proper stimulation is for the developing brain. For example, years ago I read an intriguing study that demonstrated a marked increase in hippocampal neurons in adult mice living in an enriched environment. Basically, the study showed that young rats raised in a stimulating environment had better-developed brains than rats raised in unstimulating environments. During this study, scientists raised two groups of rats. One group lived in an enriched environment that included toys, tunnels, wheels, and so on; the other group was raised in an empty cage with only food. Scientists showed that the rats raised in the enriched environment developed more hippocampal neurons than the rats raised in an empty cage. The stimulating environment had developed each rat's young brain much the same way that lifting weights develops muscle.
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Do Math Video Games Really Improve Mathematical Skills?

Math can be a frustrating challenge for some kids. Less so for most adults, generally because age and experience make math easier to comprehend. It’s not always so simple for kids. Each child has a unique learning style. Some children learn to add by counting on their fingers. Others may make up a song to help them with their times tables. The best teachers accommodate all learning styles. However, even when teachers use multiple strategies to teach basic addition and subtraction skills, it's sometimes hard to tell if kids are truly fluent in math facts. Flash forward to video games. They've been around a long time and are a huge hit with kids and teenagers. To many teachers (and parents), video games may seem like a complete waste of time. Because kids love them, they want to spend a lot of time playing--sometimes to the exclusion of other worthwhile activities. Enter game-based learning strategies, aka video-based math games. Educators may wonder if these, too, are a waste of time--or if they actually help kids learn. Current brain research seems to indicate the latter outcome.  A Case Study: Timez Attack Big Brainz is a case in point. Its designer, Ben Harrison, was tired of hearing his young daughter come home each day saying that she was "stupid." As she struggled with math, Ben knew there had to be a better way to give his daughter the math skills she needed to feel confident and successful.
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How To Make Multiplication Tables Fun

Learning multiplication tables can be a challenge for children who struggle to grasp these concepts quickly. Luckily, kids are more likely to pick up math-fact skills by playing games that test their knowledge rather than by simply doing math homework. Here are 5 fun ways to help kids memorize times tables:   Play Bottle Cap Multiplication Write the times table equation on the top of a bottle cap and write the answer on the inside of the cap. Once the child answers the question correctly he or she can turn the bottle cap over. Time your child and see how quickly they can flip all the caps over! (Alternately, see how many caps they can flip over within an allotted time).
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Imagine Math Facts Games: The Easy Way to Automaticity

    If you're a teacher, you may notice that some students who struggle with reading also struggle with math automaticity. Can such students recall math facts when they move on to more challenging math tasks? And how do you know that your students are completely fluent? In January 2016, Imagine Learning acquired Big Brainz, a Utah-based company known for its effective math-fact fluency software. Since then, Big Brainz was re-named Imagine Math Facts. This blog post will describe what the software is and how it helps students become fluent in math facts.
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