Train My Brain: Total Math Recall
Quick Info: Total Math Recall is an app to help kids (K-8) master math fact automaticity.
App Status: We are currently testing with schools and making revisions to meet the Common Core. See below to get involved.
Release Date and Platforms: release date TBD; initial platform will be iPad with more to follow.
This is my son, Jackson, 3rd grade...
In state math tests, he scores in the 99th percentile of kids in the US. Yeh!
Yet, for math automaticity, he isn't even at the new Common Core Standard expected of Kindergarteners. Oops!
Academic Researchers argue that math fact automaticity (recalling basic math facts from memory as opposed to using logic to work them out) is important because it free's up the brain to do more complex things (like balancing oranges on your head while sticking your tongue out, apparently).
I thought it would be fun to write a little app for that.
It turns out that there is a lot of research on how to move math facts from working knowledge to recall brain.
It also turns out that many systems in use today aren't very effective. They push kids to get faster at using their working brain, but don't enforce automaticity.
There are some programs that are built on this research, but they cost $1,000's per classroom. Yes, really! And they are really dull and boring for kids.
In Total Math Recall you have 60 seconds to feed your brain as many correct facts as possible.
Simply touch the correct answer and your brain will chomp away and store it in it's automated memory.
Science stuff: by only giving enough time for the fact to be pulled from recall memory, the player isn't able to use other strategies (i.e. their working brain). New facts are introduced in a carefully controlled way based on the findings of academic research.
Flow: by using some video game design tricks, the game adjusts timings to pull the player into a state of 'flow'. Players typically chomp over 50 facts a minute, far more than other methodologies.
The release date is TBD - I would love to get it out this quarter (before April 2013) but this is a project of passion and I'm working on it in my spare time between other projects & consulting work.
We would love to hear from educators and parents who are interest in the app or have an opinion on teaching Math Automaticity.
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