Using Math-Whizz effectively
Recommended usage for optimum results
Based on experience and our track record with students, Whizz Education recommends usage times for Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus for students as follows:
Underachieving Students - 90mins
96% of students advance their Math Age by more than 1 year in a year’s worth of usage, with an average progress in Math Age of more than 2 years in the first year of usage.
The Majority of Students - 45-60mins
Expected average annual improvement in Math Age is between 1.3 and 1.6 years.
Gifted and Talented Students - 30mins
Student will continue to be challenged and will see improvement.
Present certificates at end of term for students who’ve earned most credits in each year group to create excitement and awareness around math.
These recommendations are based on analysis of 4,077 boys and 4,310 girls, mainly aged between 5 and 11, using Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus for at least 6 months and an average of 12 months during the year ended 31st December, 2010. Note that this represents time in the “Tutor mode” and does not include time spent in other areas of Math-Whizz such as the study, the shop or even Replay, though the latter is useful for reinforcing concepts previously learned.
Scheduling usage, tips and support material
A key role for schools and for teachers is to drive their students’ schedule so that they can get the recommended usage of Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus. Because of the simulated tutoring aspect and online delivery teachers have great flexibility with creating schedules for individual students. Here are some of the approaches schools have used:
- Using lessons in computer suites as Math-Whizz Tutor mode sessions for students. The teacher can act in a supervisory role and provide individual attention to particular students in the knowledge that other students are having their individual needs addressed by the Math-Whizz tutor.
- Breakfast and after school math clubs, similar to above. Again, there is less pressure to have a math specialist present, schools find a supervisor to oversee behaviour and attendance is often sufficient.
- Class teachers can set Math-Whizz as homework, provided students have internet access at home. For example a class can be assigned half an hour of Math-Whizz tuition for homework per week. In the class reports available through the teacher login, teachers can easily monitor student usage over the previous week to ensure students have been putting in the work. This is easy to implement and extremely time efficient, as the teacher does not have to set specific lessons or mark the work. They need to just check the reports.
- Print out copies of the weekly planner and allow students to choose their schedule for home usage of Math-Whizz.
Allowing parent access to reports related to their children and educating parents to encourage appropriate usage can have a huge positive impact on performance, and improve communication between school and home. Parents can be a huge asset by cooperating with teachers to create a sustainable weekly schedule for Math-Whizz usage at home that supports in-school usage.
The diagram at the beginning of this document shows the ideal dynamic between teachers, students and their parents to ensure that Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus helps to raise standards in math.
Here are some suggestions for communication with parents:
- Send a letter home to parents informing them about Math-Whizz, how it is being utilized in the classroom (download Math-Whizz sample letter)
- Provide parents with website details and student log in information
- Send a letter home to parents inviting them to a Math-Whizz Parents Evening (download Parent Evening sample invitation)
- Set up a progress report schedule for your classes. Twice a term send home the student’s progression report, highlighting growth. Make the progress report a positive experience for the student, especially those that are struggling. This will encourage the use of Math-Whizz
- Invite parents to a “Family Math Night” where the focus is Math-Whizz. Allow the students to show their parents what they are working on and how it works. This should take place after the students have been using it for awhile and know about the features – maybe the 3rd week of school/implementation (download Family Math Night sample letter)