Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I seem to be posting a lot about our various uses of technology and the online extensions of our units of study. Earlier, I posted a bit of information about XtraMath. Here are some more details about this wonderful free tool.

Basically this website offers students an opportunity to become fluent with math facts. By the time students are in the fifth grade I expect them to know their addition and multiplication facts by heart. This is not only my expectation, but is also the educational standard expectation for fifth grade students. Many students, however, are weak in their recall of these facts and this hampers them greatly as we learn the processes of division and the concepts of fractions. Using XtraMath requires only 10 - 15 minutes each day (optimally) and will keep students working on specific facts that need more practice. Eventually students will master all required addition facts and will be moved on to subtraction. Mastery of multiplication is the next step, followed by division.

At first, undeveloped keyboarding skills prevent students from responding to each fact in a timely fashion. But, with practice, most students are soon able to master this hurdle. If your computer keyboard does not have a numberpad on the side, OR, if your child is a "lefty", inexpensive number pad peripherals are available at office supply stores such as Staples. These devices have a USB connection, are small and portable. Many of my lefthanded students use these with good results.

Please help your child use this website frequently so that they learn to be fluent in their math facts!