Math levels - where to plug in?

posted Sep 15, 2014, 5:58 AM by Michael Schoeffler   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 6:16 AM ]
Eeny, meeny

Math is enormous. You can study counting,  cosines, or calculus. Or continue much further. 

Breaking it down into manageable chunks (like grades) helps the student see progress and allows coaches to celebrate achievement. 

BCT starts kids out a little behind where they are in school. They cover the foundations of their grade level (or maybe even the grade they just finished). How come?

Mathematics needs strong foundations

Kids are in danger if they move past their solid subjects too quickly. They get frustrated, slow down, and mistakenly think they're dumb. School likes pushing children forward to look good, but they eventually graduate without actually knowing math.

When students master subjects, they move along without the frustration. They learn the hard stuff quicker and end up much further ahead. This is especially important when starting out with new tools and ways of learning math.

Plus, kids wind up seeing some of the same math across grades. So a child who nails down fourth grade subjects can see massive improvement on fifth grade tests without ever touching fifth grade work.

We help kids blaze through the math

We want students to advance through math as quickly as possible. There's no set time per subject and kids can quickly demonstrate mastery without suffering through unnecessary lectures. 

Besides, even the "baby" math is fun. My daughter sometimes spends extra time mastering little kid math, even though we both know there's no real point to it.

BCT uses great tools where available

The free math tools out there are fantastic - but not in every area. There's no quick, accurate assessment test - yet. Even Khan Academy's test is stuck in "Labs" for now.

So we take a rough guess, get teaching, and make adjustments after we know the child better.

Does this approach get results?

Our goal is to improve standardized test scores - it's the best way to judge if the kids' hard work is worth the effort. The answer so far is a definite YES. As we learn more results, we'll keep adjusting and building on what works.