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Boost Elementary Math Skills with an Adaptive Learning Environment

By Jim Wheelin Subscribe to RSS | February 23rd 2012 | Views:
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The modern elementary school math curriculum is based around a common set of standards designed put all children on the same level at the end of each grade. However, simply following guidelines doesn’t ensure the comprehension necessary for academic success. When teaching math skills to kids at any age, an adaptive learning environment that incorporates play along with instruction can be an invaluable tool.

Individualized Instruction

It’s an unfortunate fact of the modern school setting that teachers can’t provide very much individual attention to their students. With class sizes growing and available funding for teacher aids shrinking, it can be hard to address specific needs outside of the standard curriculum format. Interactive online teaching tools such as math games and virtual manipulatives can help to solve this problem by providing an adaptive learning environment that tracks student progress and changes the level of difficulty accordingly. Online tools and games that monitor each stage of interaction can react in real-time to the growing aptitude of each individual student, thereby providing individualized instruction that may not be possible through traditional teaching methods.

Building Proficiency

A solid foundation and clear comprehension of each new idea is essential to math more so than almost any other subject. Kids who fail to become proficient in math will have difficulties in other subjects that require a solid grasp of numerical concepts. Online games that use an adaptive learning model to teach math can be invaluable to students who are struggling. When these kids engage in an online environment, they learn critical skills while having fun at the same time. And each time they play a game or use a particular learning tool, the level of difficulty and even the sequence in which concepts are presented is automatically adjusted to meet their individual needs.

Tracking Progress

Different schools have different ways of tracking student progress in math and other important subjects. Whether it’s benchmark testing throughout the year or unit tests meant to review a subset of skills, teachers need some kind of tool that shows them where the strengths and weaknesses lie among their students. One of the basic ideas of adaptive learning is to take this progress monitoring and use it to present the most helpful learning environment possible for each child. The use of online games and virtual lessons gives teachers a powerful way to track advances made by every student in a particular class. This provides a far more comprehensive picture than can be gleaned from standard testing, thereby allowing teachers to better serve students throughout their elementary school careers.

With an adaptive learning environment that includes online math games, teachers can help their elementary students built proficiency and master important numerical skills at all grade levels. Parents can use the accompanying in-depth progress monitoring to see how their kids are doing and keep up with what is being learned in school. Between supplemental online learning at school and parental involvement at home, kids can get a comprehensive math education that prepares them for higher learning.

Jim Wheelin - About Author:
Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents and teachers. To make sure that children are grasping basic math concepts he has tested an adaptive learning environment in a game format. Jim strongly encourages others to try this innovative online platform (http://www.dreambox.com) which provides progress reports, free virtual manipulatives and fun games for the little ones.

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