It’s been a little while since I’ve actively seen the children learn new math concepts with mostly enthusiasm. I only say mostly because there are some concepts which are new and occasionally cause a little frustration. But persistence has been paying off.
LearnBop is an online program that is mainly for kids from grades 3-12, but there are some units that are for grades 1 and 2.
Tristan’s been working his way along the grade 3 Roadmap, which was quite straight-forward to set up, I simply had to click on the menu for this.
The grade 3 Roadmap consists of 13 units:
- Introducing multiplication and division
- Understanding area
- Addition and subtraction strategies
- Unit fractions
- Measurement and data with fractions
- Addition and subtraction with measurement problems
- Exploring patterns
- Multiplication and division strategies
- Equivalent fractions
- Solving area problems
- Polygons and perimeter
- Apply multiplication and division to measurement
- Computing fluently
Kallista is starting grade 1 math, but as there isn’t a learning path for the youngest grades, I must go in after she’s completed each unit and move her onto another unit that is appropriate to her grade (not each concept has math problems for each grade level so you must look for them).
Each unit starts out with a few videos for the kids to watch that will guide them through what they need to know to move ahead to the math problems. After a certain number, they have the option to watch more if they need clarification, or then they can move on to some questions.
Each question is in the form of a word problem. You’re given enough information in the question as well as a picture to answer the questions that follow. Sometimes this may be a simple one-step problem, while at other times there may be two or more steps involved in finding the correct answer.
If you answer the question correctly, you can move on the the next one. If you don’t have it correct, the program will then break the problem down into smaller steps for you to do in order to grasp a better understanding of what was needed to answer correctly. I like this method of going back and learning where you went wrong, rather than just marking it wrong and moving on.
A mark of 90% knowledge is needed before having the choice to continue with additional questions from the same concept or to move on to the next concept.
Throughout the program there are ways to collect ‘Bops’ which are like rewards to keep kids motivated. There are also achievement awards to be won; persistence, patience, achieving a goal or milestone…these seem to come around at just the right time – such as when a child is struggling with a section and they work and work over the same question…and then they finally get it correct and receive a persistence award, it helps make them feel like the effort was worthwhile.
I will note that it was frustrating a few times when a question was marked wrong that shouldn’t have been and then a child can’t move forward. There’s a way to send a message to let them know about it, but we’ve never heard back as to whether they received the message, if it was indeed incorrect, or if it’s been fixed.
From the parent’s dashboard, you’ll be able to see in chart and graph form how far through the Roadmap each child has progressed, which unit they’re on, how much time they’ve spent on each concept, and how well they’re doing.
After using LearnBop over the past 5 weeks for 4-5 days a week, my children have been stretching their minds with new math concepts (such as finding the area of a ceiling by being given the dimensions of the walls) and I’m pleased with their progress.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bit frustrating when answers are correct but not marked as so. I would love to see ‘proper’ pathways for grades below 3, and for those grades an option for the children to hear the questions being spoken would be so helpful. My daughter likes to work on her own but I had to be nearby to read the questions to her as she still needs a little help with some reading as she’s just finishing kindergarten.
However, with this being said, and amongst Tristan’s greatest frustrational outbursts, even he says that he likes this program and he’s been learning with it. The lessons are new material, and taught in a new way from what he’s had in the past, and he doesn’t like not knowing the answers straight away. Tristan says it’s a challenge, and he’s up for it.
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