Connect, Engage and Succeed in Math – Why tutoring with HOTmaths can improve your chances of success.
For any parent or student considering or already engaging a tutor for math there are 4 keys to success to consider. HOTmaths (www.hotmaths.com.au) has been designed and built by math teachers to meet the needs of students who learn different things at different times at a different pace and for different reasons. Math is universal, whereas HOTmaths was born Australian – the birthplace of many inventions that we cannot do without today, such as the notepad (yes, the paper one!), the electric drill, plastic spectacle lenses and WiFi . Here are the 4 keys to success and how HOTmaths can help:
1. Build the foundations before the walls
Everything you learn in math is built on what comes before. Any concept that is being taught at any level beyond learning to count requires prior knowledge, understanding and application of prior concepts. This is why any teacher, tutor or student subscribing to HOTmaths has access to all topics, all lessons and all year levels of the site. In every lesson there are links to previous concepts that are needed in order to ensure the best learning outcomes, so students jump immediately to something they need to review or re-study. These links can also be discovered through the HOTmaths dictionary. Student topic and lesson reports show the teacher/tutor where individual students have struggled and allow them to direct remedial work where necessary through the Task Manager application that enables the teacher/tutor to set specific class or homework tasks that target specific student needs.
Fig 1 – links to prior content
Fig 2 – Dictionary showing explanation and links to prior content
Fig 3 – Setting homework tasks
2. Engage, don’t lecture
Technology in education has radically changed how we teach and learn – the new learning environment is flexible, expansive, interconnected and individualized. HOTmaths takes advantage of these new possibilities by providing students with multiple entry points into math content, then allowing them to choose to learn in the way that suits them best. Learning is personalized, varied and vitally, fun.
There are ‘widgets’ (interactive activities and games) that engage visual learners who may struggle with text-based or traditional teacher-led lessons. For kinesthetic learners, those that learn by doing, there is a range of open-ended investigations and problem-solving tasks linking math to the real world and turning theory into tangible, comprehensible ideas. Students who prefer to work logically and methodically, often text-based learners, are supported with walkthrough problems that guide students step by step through the skills needed to complete multi-step tasks. These activities break questions down into single, logical steps that the student can work through at their own pace and level, receiving individualized feedback as they go to reinforce their understanding of the processes.
Regardless of the way students learn or choose to study, their work is instantly marked and their level of understanding diagnosed. In this reflexive and highly individualized learning environment, teachers/tutors can customize a learning path for each individual student to give them the best chance of successful learning.
Fig 4 – Widgets and games engage students’ imagination
Fig 5 – HOTsheet investigations encourage problem solving
Fig 6 – Walkthoughs lead students on a step by step journey of discovery
3. Teach, don’t test
Regardless of how we might feel about standardized testing, we live in a results oriented world, and parents want their children to succeed. Teachers and tutors are expected to prepare students for examinations, testing what they have learned and practicing test-taking conditions and techniques. HOTmaths offers test-generating facilities that teachers/tutors can use to create practice tests and timed conditions. Tests can be customized with ease to focus on specific areas needing practice for whole classes, groups and even individuals. This allows for valuable class time to be spent teaching, not testing. Timed and time-limited tests can be assigned as homework with results immediately available to teachers/tutors in a format that is fully exportable for keeping parents up-to-date with their child’s progress.
Fig 7 – Test generator for creating bespoke, self-marking tests
4. Learn, don’t memorize
Benjamin Franklin once said ‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.’ The reason most parents employ a tutor for their child is because a good tutor identifies the individual needs of the student and adapts to her capabilities. As we have seen, HOTmaths provides the tools good teachers and tutors need to personalize lessons, engage student attention and create enthusiasm and interest that involves each student in math so that they learn, not just remember.
Learning and remembering are not the same. Anything remembered can be forgotten. Anything learned is for life. Is it possible to ‘un-learn’ how to ride a bicycle for example? Real learning comes when we take risks. We have to fall off a bicycle before we learn to ride.
The opposite of ‘remember’ is ‘forget’. There is no opposite for learning, nor is there a substitute.
To try HOTmaths free click here. For more information about trialing HOTmaths with a group of students with full access to reporting and assessment tools or for group pricing quotes, click here.
Mark O’Neil is CEO of HOTmaths and passionate about education. He believes that imagination and creativity need to be given a higher priority in schooling and that only a transformation of how children are educated will lead to more children succeeding. Follow him on twitter @moneil365 and @hotmathshq