‘Maths Practice’ is a group of dedicated people who, like many other parents, wanted the best for their children. They worked on producing a product that will deliver results. ‘Maths Practice’ was initially designed to help a struggling student to master ‘multiplication tables’ by providing a stimulating and controllable ‘rote learning’ environment. Without other distractions and a bit of parental help, this proved a great success and other components were gradually added. What started out as a simple ‘no frills’ module soon evolved into several modules and the same successful results were noticed.
A general lack of quality educational software was one of the major reasons for what followed. While software games could be purchased everywhere and most claimed to be educational, few actually delivered. This inspired us to strive to build a range of truly educational software products. There were several key reasons for the initial success – the simplicity of the software was just one of them. A joint effort by parents and teachers moulded a larger number of activities together, in order to increase the scope and usability of the software.
Over the next few years, new activities were continually being added. We now have over 330 different activities to offer, structured to the curriculum framework, and graded accordingly. Software upgrades have always been regular, and freely provided. We make sure the uses are able to get the most from our ongoing efforts. Our commitment does not stop after a license sale.
In addition to the software, some key simple recommendations were provided to get the best results for students. While the list below is not conclusive, it represents the most common components that should be in the forefront of the minds of parents and teachers alike.
The basic principles for success are :
Make sure that the exercises are done without distraction. Focus on maths, not games.
Set aside some ‘prime time’ before school or before TV shows and games.
Make sure that the length of time is short (5-10 minutes) and within the student’s concentration span.
Use the first set of test results to form a baseline.
Highlight improvements so that the student experiences pride and confidence in their abilities.
Provide motivation and encouragement to improve on their previous result.
Set realistic goals and make sure they are reach before moving to the next level.
Repetition – it needs to be practiced regularly.
‘Maths Practice’ has been moulded by these guidelines and progressively expanded to cover most areas of the curriculum. We have focussed on those areas where students commonly struggle with concepts and need additional practice to become confident.
Software alone is not a solution to learning, but a valuable component that needs to be used in the appropriate manner. Combining the above principles with a ‘rote leaning methodology’ has been noted as a key success criteria and one of the reasons why results have been so high.
‘Maths Practice’ has been built upon student needs and not commercial gains. We strongly encourage schools to circulate the software, freely, to all students under their ‘Extended Site License’ agreement. Many have done so, some have charged their students a nominal amount to be able to use the software at home.
This latest version has concentrated on making the teacher’s life easier, with additional reporting and graphing of results, and a better integrated network installation. The software can also be purchased as a single ‘stand alone’ license for parents that cannot obtain it from their schools.
The fundamental approach has seen the software evolve and produce exceptional results. ‘Maths Practice’ started out as a challenge to help students achieve, it is now recognised as one of the best ranked educational software products, now used world wide.
We sincerely thank all those that helped, especially in the early stages. Without their support, commitment and passion to help the children, we could not have achieved the results and recognition we have today.