To what extent does math competence depend on informal math practice (IMP)? Surprisingly, there is very little research on this question, which stands in sharp contrast to the amount of research on informal reading practice. We argue that IMP faces practical barriers: Math practice is far more difficult to carry out informally than reading practice, creating a “math-practice gap”. Thus, to help students develop math Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies, a solution to the math-practice gap needs to be found. In the current paper, we look at the use of online math apps as a possible solution. Specifically, we ask whether tablets are sufficiently motivating for children to engage in math practice outside of school-required assignments and homework.
In what follows, we will first justify the need for IMP to supplement in-class math education, focusing Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies on elementary-school arithmetic. We then discuss the practical barriers to IMP and how tablets could address these challenges. Central to our argument is that math practice needs to be interactive and individualized, providing students with a sustained positive experience of success. This cannot be done easily without online support, which is where research on tablet feasibility comes in. We carried out such a feasibility study, using a community-based participatory research design. While this method does not allow for a precise control of variables, it has the advantage of maximizing ecological Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies Nature of Math: How Important is Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies importance of practice is well known: No matter what the Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies, practice is likely to benefit competence (e.g., Kanive et al., 2014). At the same time, mindless drill has fallen out of favor, along with memorization and busy-work (cf., Delpit, 2012) Indeed, a search through the literature reveals a focus on didactics (how to convey a math concept) – more so than a focus on math Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies. This leaves little empirical guidance to determine what kind of Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies practice might be best. We will go another route to look at this question: We will first examine the mental activities "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" to solve a math problem. We will then contrast them with the mental activities that are needed to read. Reading, as it turns out, is a domain that has enjoyed a "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" track record of established findings on informal practice (e.g., Rasinski, 1990; Pikulski and Chard, 2005). Thus, "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" side-by-side comparison between math-related mental activities and reading-related mental activities allows us to make inferences about math practice.
Our focus is specifically on elementary-school arithmetic and the concepts outlined in the Common Core State Standards Initiative (2011). They include operations with integers (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), operations with fractions (e.g., ordering of fractions on the number line, equivalent fraction, improper fractions) and operations with decimal numbers (e.g., place values, correspondence between decimals and fractions). Overall, this domain has several advantages for the purposes of the current feasibility study: For example, there is a high variability in concepts (e.g., National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000), making it possible to derive generalizable claims. Elementary school is also Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies time which children learn to read, giving credence to a side-by-side comparison. Table 1 summarizes our reflections on mental activities likely to be required at each grade level. As can be seen from the table, the challenges for the mind are likely to be far greater for math than for Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies, independent of what Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies covered at each grade level. In the remainder of this section, we fully describe these differences.
TABLE 1.Assumed mental activity for reading and math in K-6 grades.
In Kindergarten, math is primarily about mapping symbols to quantities, which requires attention to detail. This mimics the mental activity that is required for reading. But beyond attention to detail, the mind also needs to apply a precise counting routine. And it needs to detect the abstractness of number (i.e., that a number refers not just to entities, but also to "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies," distance, or events). None of Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies mental activities are required for reading, suggesting that the amount of practice needed for math may already be higher than the amount of practice needed for reading.
In 1st grade, math is about addition and subtraction, which is yet another set of routines. By 2nd grade, children need to expand this fluency to multi-digit numbers, which further adds to the set of precise routines. Note that multi-digit numbers provide mental challenges of their own: Consider, for example, the numbers  and . Even though the individual digits are the same in both cases, their "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" is vastly different, even unconventional in the latter case. Thus, the meaning of Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies digit is defined by its spatial location – a feature that has very little ecological validity for children (i.e., few entities change meaning because of where they are in relation to other entities). Furthermore, there is no statistical regularity or context that children could rely on to derive meaning. The mind must provide meaning entirely on its own.
Notice, from Table 1, that the complexity of reading has reached its peak by the end of 2nd grade. After this grade, it is simply a matter of becoming a fluent reader. Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies contrast, conceptual challenges for math keep piling on. For example, in 3rd grade, a whole new domain is introduced: multiplication and division. Unlike addition and subtraction, these operations are not grounded in everyday language, thus requiring a certain level of abstractness. Furthermore, these operations come with a set of procedures and routines that need to be followed precisely. The mind also needs to attain a certain fluency in these procedures – one that interferes with the fluency acquired for addition and subtraction. Finally, the fluency in multiplication and division cannot be achieved through the gradual removing of a scaffold, but requires studious memorization – all enormous challenges for the mind (e.g., Welsh et al., 1991; Zelazo and Müller, 2002).
Then comes 4th grade – and with it a whole slew of conceptual challenges of abstraction, precision, and fluency. In this grade, children need to master fractions, which requires nothing less but to re-learn the very meaning of a number. Prior to fractions, numbers referred to whole quantities. Now numbers refer to either the number of parts (numerator) or the total number of parts (denominator). Both meanings must be accessible smoothly, and they must be understood in relation to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies other. The challenge continues with decimal numbers and negative numbers (5th and 6th grade): Numeric symbols change in meaning because of a "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" detail (e.g., [2.0] vs. Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies [2-] vs. [-2]). The location of something as little as a decimal point, or of something as little as a negative sign, decide on the meaning of a number.
Consider, by contrast, what it takes to make sense of printed material. Individual letters appear in stable configurations that have largely unique meanings. For example, the word [duck] largely means [duck], no matter what context it appears in. When a word has more than one meaning, as is the case for homophones or metaphoric expressions, a readily available context will disambiguate the meaning. Rather than having something as miniscule as a dot to provide meaning, the entire sentence is available to give clues. There are ambiguities, of course (e.g., in [The "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" man the boat], [man] is used unexpectedly as a verb and [old] is used unexpectedly as a noun). But these ambiguities are exceedingly rare, and the larger context of the story often provides the necessary clues to generate meaning.
Taken together, we have shown that the nature of math is likely to be very challenging for the mind, namely from the very beginning, and exceedingly more so with every new grade. This is attributed to the need for fluency; the need for abstraction that changes with the context; the need for attention to detail, miniscule as the detail might be; the need to keep in mind different meanings and switch between them fluidly; and the need for relational reasoning. This analysis of math content (vis-à-vis reading content) should make it abundantly clear that math competence depends crucially on practice, more so than Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies competence. It is even possible that a lack of sufficient math practice could conceal the source of a math learning difficulty. Thus, the shortage of research in this area is likely to be a problem for the field of math education. It is urgent to investigate math practice and how it can be done most effectively. In the next section, we turn to this question, focusing specifically on the barriers to math practice and how they can be overcome.
Math Practice: What Does It Take?
What kind of practice is most beneficial? The American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to read with their children long before children reach the age of formal schooling (American Academy of Pediatrics News [AAP], 2014). Once school starts, there are multiple ways in which children are encouraged to practice, Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies example, through library memberships. Indeed, the 2013 report of the Pew Research Center found that 70% of interviewed parents visited a public library with their child in Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies past 12 months. Furthermore, 55% of children owned their own library card, and 87% of children’s visits to the library ended in children borrowing a book. Even without family support, many schools have their own libraries to provide children with exposure to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies materials and make reading practice attainable. Formalizing these efforts, many schools have adopted the Accelerated Reader program to further encourage and track reading practice (Stefl-Mabry, 2005).
Furthermore, the AAP (2014) recommends for parents to establish a daily reading routine and allow children to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the books themselves. Along the same lines, the Accelerated Reader program encourages children to choose their own books and work toward personalized reading goals (Renaissance Learning, 2016). The idea is that individualized practice, carried out frequently and in the context of a positive experience, is likely to strengthen reading competence (e.g., Nunnery et al., 2006). This approach agrees with the theoretical models of learning motivation, namely to provide children with mastery, autonomy, and purpose (Pink, 2011). Reading at one’s own skill level allows students to feel competent; being able to choose Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies reading material allows for a high degree of autonomy; and the joy that is part of reading provides purpose to the activity.
A very different picture emerges with math practice. There is no general call for students to practice math at their own level. Instead, math practice is largely confined to school assignments and prescribed homework. The content and pace of such formal practice is dictated by the curriculum, leaving students little choice. For example, students are expected to complete all math problems on their worksheet or homework, by a deadline, and they are judged on their performance. The consequences of this state of affairs is much worse for students who are already behind in math. Having to work on something that is above their competence level is likely to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies to a negative experience and rob students of a sense of purpose and mastery (e.g., Slavin and Lake, 2008; Re et al., 2014; Kucian and von Aster, 2015).
An alternative is to encourage Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies to practice math at home, mimicking the initiatives for self-guided reading, over and above homework. However, this is likely to face substantial Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies barriers: It is rather difficult to orchestrate self-guided practice and encourage children to carry it out. An adult would need to develop practice problems that have the appropriate difficulty Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies for the child. The adult would also need to provide meaningful feedback to the child, to allow for discovery of potential gaps in the required skills. On top of that, the adult would have to provide a positive context and motivate the child to practice math. Together, this provides a substantial time investment and competence of an adult.
Apps on touch-screen tablets might be a viable solution: practice problems are already Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies, they are delivered in a playful format, and they provide instant feedback – all without the time investment of a trained adult (e.g., Kyanka-Maggart, 2013; Warman, 2014; Hilton, 2016). For instance, Kucian et al. (2011) found that 8- to 10-year-olds, instructed to practice math at home for 15 min a day, 5 days a week for 5 weeks, showed improved performance compared to pre-test performance. The benefit of computer-assisted interventions to support math competence has made it become more embedded in the educational context (e.g., Fuchs et al., 2006; Räsänen et al., 2009; Burns et al., 2010; Kesler et al., 2011; Kucian et al., 2011; Stickney et al., 2012; Doabler and Fien, 2013; Gross and Duhon, Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies Jansen et al., 2013; Kanive et al., 2014). Here, we seek to expand these efforts and look at whether online apps are conducive to IMP.
We chose the math app IXL.com, without necessarily endorsing it over and above any other practice programs (see commonsensemedia.org, for other math practice apps). The IXL app currently has approximately 5.6 million school licenses and 400,000 family licenses in use (IXL staff, personal communication, October, 2016). It provides extensive opportunity to practice math skills relevant to Common Core, ranging from pre-K basics to high school pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. This continuity in math skills makes it possible to find the appropriate difficulty level for a child, independent of grade level, background information, or motivation. Math practice problems Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies organized by grade, math topic, and problem sets. And each problem set features an example problem to facilitate the decision about what to practice. The setup delivers encouraging feedback when a math problem is solved correctly, it uses a point system that advances like a video game, and it downplays mistakes. When children make a mistake, the app provides a brief explanation of the concept, allowing children to learn from their mistakes, if they so choose.
Overview of Our Study: A Community-Based Participatory Research Approach
Our specific approach followed the design of community-based participatory Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies (CBPR). This approach emphasizes that research activities are decided upon in partnership with community agencies, namely to meet the needs of the community and maximize the likelihood that the activities benefit their members (e.g., Minkler and Wallerstein, 2003). Even though CBPR is rare in the context of math learning, it offers unique strengths to feasibility studies. CBPR allows the research to consider real-life complexities, including the presence of multiple stakeholders, as well as their Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies constraints, priorities, and challenges. Such complexities often pose substantial hurdles for experimental results to be translated into a viable program and Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies on the ground – even very promising experimental results. CBPR makes it possible to anticipate these hurdles and help find ways to circumvent them.
At the same time, CBPR Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies not without shortcomings. Most importantly, the details of the methods are not entirely up to the researchers. They are instead designed in collaboration with the community partners, considering the existing structures within the organization and the goals of the community. Consequently, the research activities at a site are unique, mapped onto the needs of the community and the realities on the ground, with far less regard for precise data collection, control groups, and randomization. To circumvent these shortcomings and obtain meaningful results, our strategy was to implement the same general intervention in more than one setting.
For the current purposes, we partnered with three organizations, all of them serving elementary-school children from low-SES communities (two elementary schools and one non-profit organization). The effect of SES on early math achievement has been explored widely (e.g., Griffin et al., 1994; Jordan et al., 2002; Tucker-Drob and Harden, 2012). Children from low-SES communities Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies unlikely to have broad and frequent access to touch-screen tablets (cf., Bradley et al., 2001; Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies and Sonnenschein, 2015). This allowed us to establish math-practice feasibility for Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies population that might lack extensive familiarity with this medium.
Working together with community partners, four settings were used to introduce tablet-based math practice. "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" first setting was a weekly enrichment Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies with one-on-one mentoring. Our program took place during one of those enrichment events, to observe tablet feasibility in a large group of child–adult pairs. The second setting was a summer camp implemented with camp counselors and volunteers. Our program took place for approximately 40 min per week, for "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" sessions, the goal being to observe large-group feasibility when one-on-one pairing between children and adults was not possible. The third setting was an in-school tutoring program. Here, we integrated the tablet-based practice with ongoing paper-and-pencil practice, to understand how the tablet-based practice interfaces with traditional tutoring. Finally, the fourth setting was an after-school program, offered alongside after-school homework help. Here, our program was carried out exclusively with tablet practice, to explore voluntary attendance to a math-practice program.
Our general approach was to bring touch-screen tablets to each of the settings and to observe the behavior of children as they engaged in math practice. While adult volunteers were always present, whether for small group or one-on-one support, their role differed slightly from that of a (cf., Fuchs et al., 2008, 2013). Volunteers were asked to merely encourage children, Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies actually provide didactic support. This was done to get a better sense of a child’s spontaneous interaction with the tablets. Note that we did not look at the effect of tablet use on math competence, as this was not possible in the current study design. Nevertheless, our design provides an important window into the question of whether tablets with math apps are a feasible tool for math practice.
Materials and Methods
Table 2 provides an overview of the settings used for our observational study, including the ways in which they differed as a result of our CBPR design. For each setting, iPad tablets were used and outfitted with the IXL math practice app. We used a bulk of 30 generic log-ins that were shared between children across the different settings. Adult facilitators were available to guide children’s math practice and provide encouragement Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the sessions. In what follows, we describe each setting, the students, and the math practice activities "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" were carried out at each setting.
TABLE 2.Overview of settings.
Setting 1: Enrichment Program
Students were 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at risk of, or currently experiencing transient living situations (determined by the school). They participated in a weekly enrichment program, organized by a Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies nonprofit agency that serves youth experiencing homelessness. Its goal was to provide students with unique experiences throughout the course of the Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies year, namely by "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" them up with a college mentor during each meeting. Each enrichment event occurred weekly for 90 min, and our intervention took place during one of those enrichment events.
The 90-min math-practice intervention was presented as ‘Math Olympics’, complete with team flags, score charts, and medals. There were four ‘competitions’ students were asked to participate in, namely addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, the goal being to complete as many problems as possible within a certain amount of time. Student–mentor pairs were organized into teams, although each student–mentor pair worked on their own math problems Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the tablet. Mentors were instructed to help students find a problem set that they could complete independently: not too easy and not too difficult. Then students were given a few minutes to practice, which allowed to check whether their choice of problem was appropriately challenging. Once mentors were confident that they had chosen a good problem set for the students, the competition started. At the end Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the competition, the team that won the most games received a prize and the other teams received smaller prizes for participation.
Setting 2: Summer Program
Students were in grades K-6, ranging in ages between 6 to 11 at the onset of the program. The students were selected to be a part of a 7-week summer camp because they were at risk of, or currently experiencing homelessness (as determined by the program administrators). They were recruited from personnel within local homeless shelters and case managers of local schools. There was no charge to attend the summer program, and general attendance rate was about 70%. Students were organized into three groups 20 to 25 students per classroom, based on their age. Each group had a teacher, an instructional assistant, and a college mentor to lead the group, in addition to a small group of volunteers who Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the program (3 to 5 per classroom).
Our intervention took place a week, for a total of five sessions of approximately 40 min per group. At the beginning of a session, students were given a tablet and told to start with a common problem set. This initial problem set was chosen in such a way that all children in a classroom could complete it, as per camp counselors and prior sessions. Once children completed the common ‘warm-up’, they were asked to find a problem set that was appropriately challenging for their level, with the help of adult facilitators. Overall, only minimal training was given Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the facilitators; they were merely instructed to assist the students in finding problems that were tailored Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies their ability and to motivate the students during the session. Due to the high number of students (compared to the number of adults), student-adult pairing was not possible. Thus, students were typically in groups of five, with one adult per group. Sometimes, parents joined in as well, working one-on-one with their Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies 3: In-School Program
Students were 4th graders ranging in age from 9 to 11 at the onset of the program. All students attended an inner-city public school that Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies families from disadvantaged communities: According to this school’s most recent Ohio School Report Cards (2016), 99% of the students are considered economically disadvantaged, 97% of them are African-American, and only 14% of 4th-graders passed the state test in math. The setting was a tutor program held once a week for 45 min during school hours for students with low performance in math (per teacher recommendation). Each student was paired "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" with a college mentor to work with. For each meeting, a work-sheet was provided and mentors were asked to help their student the way they see fit.
Our intervention took place during the tutoring program. In addition to the college mentors were also given tablets with the math app. Students were asked to use the tablets to practice single-digit multiplication facts at the beginning of each session. The college mentors were also asked to find appropriate problem sets for the student. Specifically, they were told to work on worksheets administered by the school staff and switch to the tablet practice when the worksheet problems were either too difficult (i.e., they perceived the students to benefit from extra practice) or too easy (i.e., they perceived the student to benefit from more challenging problems).
Setting 4: After-School Program
Students were in grades 4 to 7, Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies in age from 9 to 12 at the onset of the program. All students at this location attended an urban private school, where 85% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch and "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" large majority of students are African American. The students were recruited to participate in this intervention due to a need for additional help with math (as determined by their math teacher). Many of these students attended an already existing after-school tutoring program.
Our intervention took place alongside the existing tutoring program, offered on different days so as to not interfere with the ongoing homework help. Our intervention was offered twice a week during a 7-month period, and students had the freedom of choosing when to attend (once or twice a week). The students were paired one-on-one with a facilitator to practice. Facilitators were encouraged to assist in finding problems tailored to their ability and to motivate the students during the session. Students received incentives for attendance, which included snacks during each session, as well as larger incentives when they reached attendance milestones. Prior to the onset of the program, facilitators participated Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies a 3-h training session focused on protecting children from harm; and they participated in a 2-h training session designed to help them interact with children.
Given the nature of this community-based participatory research project, settings differed in what kind Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies data could be collected to evaluate feasibility of the math-practice intervention (see Table 3 for an overview). Use of data was approved by the institutional review board, following ethical guidelines for research. In what follows, we describe each of the measures and how they were analyzed, after which we turn to describing our findings, separately by setting.
TABLE 3.Data collected, separated by setting.
Informal Observations (Used in All Settings)
Informal observations are Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies important part of community-based participatory research, making it possible to describe the impact of "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" intervention in ecologically valid ways (e.g., Malterud, 2001). Observations were Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies out by the authors, all of whom have been trained in the best practices of observational research (e.g., on how to minimize reflexivity and preconceptions, and how to maximize transferability). Field notes served as basis for the qualitative analyses.
Systematic Observations (Used in Settings 2–4)
During each session, facilitators were asked to record the problem sets that a child worked on. Facilitators also Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies how the child felt after each session (“How do you feel about doing math today?”). A 5-point Likert scale was used, each level being conveyed with a line drawing of a face (e.g., happy face, sad face). "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" used two versions of this scale, one version assessing degree of happiness (ranging from feeling ‘very sad’ to ‘very happy’), and another version assessing the degree of nervousness (ranging from feeling very nervous to not nervous at all). Each child was presented with only one type of scale. Results were analyzed in terms of the number of sessions children participated in the type of problems children worked on, and their rating of the sessions.
Math Attitude Survey (Used in Settings 3 and 4)
We developed a survey to assess children’s attitudes toward math at the onset of our program. It included items on how they feel when they are asked to complete math problems, whether they picture themselves Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies a job that will involve a lot of math, and how they feel about their math skills (compared to girls, boys, or others in general). We also asked them to report on their coping mechanisms when faced with a challenging math homework. In a series of yes–no items, five items were specifically geared toward coping behaviors that are productive (e.g., getting motivated; “Do you ask somebody for help?”), and five items were specifically geared toward coping behaviors that are negative (e.g., getting distracted; “Do you try to get out of having to do it?”) The difference between the number of positive versus negative coping behaviors reflects the degree of successful coping strategies a student had (ranging from -5 to +5). Results were analyzed in terms of average responses across items. Regarding validity and reliability, this measure is still under psychometric testing. For this reason, we treated each item individually, as Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies indicators, directly expressing the desired construct regarding a given attitude. Rather than report the findings as a math attitude “score,” we merely counted the Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies of positive and negative items.
Math Fluency and Calculation Competence (Used in Settings 2–4)
To get a better sense of children’s math skills, we measured math Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies and calculation competence, using two subscales from the Woodcock-Johnson test battery (Version IV). The subscale T10 measures math fluency with a 3-min-long timed test. It consists of two pages of simple operations with one-digit numbers, including addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The subscale T5 measures a student’s calculation Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies. Students are instructed to do as many problems as they can until it gets too difficult, with no time limit. Items on this test range from simple operations (e.g., single digit addition, subtraction, etc.), to more difficult problems (e.g., multi-digit division, fractions, operations with negative integers, etc.) to advanced problems – too advanced for our purposes (e.g., logarithmic operations, calculus operations, etc.) Both subscales return Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies child’s grade equivalent score. Results were analyzed in terms of average grade equivalence at the onset of the program (math fluency; calculation competence), as well as in terms of amount of change in these measures, from the beginning of the program to the end.
Student Exit Survey (Used in Setting 4)
We developed a survey to assess student perceptions of the program after it was completed. This was a standard satisfaction-type survey that directly probed expressed constructs. Our reporting of findings mirrors this, by simply reporting counts, and not a composite score for the exit survey. Students were told that their answers will be used only to gather information about the program and would not impact their grades or be shared with teachers or parents. The first part of the survey used open-ended questions about likes and dislikes of the program (e.g., “What did you like about the program?”). The second part had a series of items that measured children’s beliefs about the program on a 3-point Likert scale. For example, children were asked to judge how much the program helped them with math (with the answer options being: “not very much”, “a little bit”, and “a lot”). The survey was one page long and took about Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies min to complete individually. Results were analyzed qualitatively, to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies at children’s experience of the program.
Facilitator Exit Survey (Used in Setting 3)
We developed a paper-and-pencil survey for facilitators, administered at the end of the intervention. This too was a satisfaction-styled survey with single items directly expressing given constructs. Facilitators were asked to rate the frequency with which they used the math practice app (compared to the paper-and-pencil worksheets used in this setting), and to describe the most common ways in which they used the app. Facilitators were also asked to describe the strengths and weaknesses of the math practice app and tablet use, and to provide suggestions for intervention improvement. Results were analyzed qualitatively, to shed light on the experience of facilitators.
Teacher Interview (Used in Setting 2)
We developed "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" semi-structured interview for teachers, administered at the end of the program, to examine teachers’ Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies and feelings about our tablet-based math intervention. The interview had three questions, but were allowed to express new ideas and concepts outside of the line of questioning. First, teachers were asked “What are your thoughts on the math program?” Next, they were asked, “What works about the math program?” Finally, teachers were asked, “What would you change about the math program?” Each interview took approximately 10 min to complete. Field notes were used to record comments and were analyzed for themes. Results were analyzed qualitatively, to shed light on teacher experience.
Setting 1: Enrichment Program
Results for this setting pertain merely to our informal observations, but they are nevertheless telling. Overall, students involved in this setting were visibly engaged in the math practice from start to finish. There were no behavioral problems, which is unusual for a size "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" about 30 "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" working on math. Additionally, students were to use the tablets and the math practice app with minimal instruction, pointing to the user-friendly design. At the end of the session, the organizers of the enrichment program commented on the positive behavior and engagement of the students while practicing math. One of the organizers even stated that you could hear ‘the drop of a needle’ Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the students were so focused during the session. Thus, this setting provided the first indication that tablet-based math practice has the potential to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies young children and motivate them to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies math. Given this success, the organizers of the enrichment event invited our team to implement our intervention in their summer program (Setting 2).
Setting 2: Summer Program
Students were often quite excited when we arrived to their classroom and tablets were handed out. Many worked silently and diligently during the practice, showing no difficulty with using the tablet and the app. Despite the little amount of supervision and instruction, the students could navigate the app and tablet, and they worked independently throughout the entirety of the session. At the same time, there were some challenges, most notably since there were far Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies children than facilitators. Some of the older students were bored with the problem sets that were chosen at the onset of a session, while younger students were overwhelmed with the chosen problem set. had difficulty finding problems that are appropriately challenging, and even facilitators sometimes struggled with what to practice next.
Students attended between one to five sessions, with the attendance rate being 2.75. Students in Grades 1 and 2 typically worked on "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" and picture-based addition problems. Students in Grades 3 and 4 typically on addition, subtraction, and multiplication. And students in Grades 5 and 6 typically worked on multiplication and fraction problems. Students in all grades usually reported that the sessions they participated in were either fun or super fun, with only 14 students ever reporting that the session was either ‘bad’ or ‘super bad’ (which is less than 5% of the responses). This high level of reported enjoyment was confirmed by our observations.
Math Fluency and Calculation Competence
Students performed largely Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies grade level when entering the summer program. First-grade fluency was even above grade level. However, students 3rd grade Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies older often performed below grade level, especially for math fluency (being about one grade level behind). While calculation competence for older grades was typically grade level (on average), there was very high variability in individual student scores, far higher than was observed for the younger students. Older children therefore are more strongly in need of a math intervention. Across the summer program, almost all the younger children improved in math fluency (82%). However, only approximately half of the older children did so (52%). In terms of calculation competence, only the first-graders improved as a group (by half a grade level on average). All other averages were lower at the end of the program, compared to at the onset. While these findings cannot be attributed to our intervention (positive or negative), they are nevertheless informative in terms of the challenge that comes with what a successful program needs to accomplish to counter the summer learning loss (cf., Cooper et al., 1996).
Teacher responses were in line with our observations. They noted the benefits of tablet learning, even for children who were known to have behavioral problems or math learning difficulties. Given that children differed significantly in their math ability in this setting, teachers expressed the importance of children working at their own skill level and at their own pace, without being pressured to perform at the level of other students in the class. Teachers also mentioned structural issues that provided a challenge to the tablet intervention, including the Wi-Fi connectivity. Even so, all teachers advocated for the tablet intervention to return in the next summer due to the reportedly "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" results they felt it had on the students.
Setting 3: In-School Program
Students were visibly eager to Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies their session with single-digit multiplication practice using the math app on Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies tablets. However, multiplication was a challenge for some of the students, and those weakest in math would sometimes get frustrated. In these instances, the facilitator would intervene and move them to something simpler, often single-digit addition. Students were often reluctant to put the tablets away when Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies was time to work on the pencil-and-paper worksheets, and they would frequently ask to switch back to the tablet. Especially when the worksheet was too easy or too difficult, students often went back to the tablet, working on problems Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies were either more challenging or simpler than the worksheet. In one instance, a child completed a worksheet on calculating rectangular area and perimeter within a few minutes. Rather than continue to work on material that was not challenging or engaging, the facilitator found a problem set "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" the tablet for calculating area and perimeter of more complicated shapes.
The tablet was also used to specific weaknesses that were leading to further problems. For example, when difficulty in rounding decimals was traced to a lack of understanding place values, one student was directed to a problem set that focused specifically on identifying place values. student had been struggling with rounding decimals for numerous weeks, but it took only one session of math-app practice to master this skill. Overall, students were observed Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies benefit from the tablets in ways that would have been difficult to address with class-wide paper-and-pencil practice.
Students used the tablets for an average of 5.56 sessions. most frequently reported type of tablet practice was multiplication (75%), followed by fractions (24%). When asked how students felt about a session, a large majority of children (81%) reported ‘not nervous’ on all of the sessions.
Math Attitude Survey
All students reported liking at least some part of math. However, almost half of them reported disliking some part of math (43%), and over a third of them reported to be at least somewhat nervous having to do math (36%). Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies children hoped to get a job that involves a lot of math (75%), and they consider themselves to be good or very good at math (75%). Interestingly, over half Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies the children believed they are worse than girls in general (55%), compared to being worse than boys in general (28%). In other words, for this group of children, girls were more likely to be perceived as Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies competent than boys. In terms of coping strategies, the average degree of successful coping was 2.82, with only three children obtaining a score of "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" or below (i.e., reporting no more motivating than distracting behaviors). One child obtained a score of 1 (i.e., reporting 5 motivating and 4 distracting behaviors). All other children (86%) obtained a score of 2 or Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies, with four children obtaining a perfect score of 5 (reporting only motivating and no distracting coping behavior).
Math Fluency and Calculation Competence
The average grade-equivalent score for math fluency was 4.1 (based on 23 4th-graders), and the average grade-equivalent score for calculation competence was 3.4 (based on 24 4th-graders). Thus, while students performed at grade level on fluency, they were behind on calculation competence. At the end of the program, only about half of students improved (44% for math fluency and 50% for calculation competence). Again, this finding (whether positive or negative) cannot be attributed to the tablet practice exclusively. After all, children participated in daily math instruction during school, and thus should improve in math fluency and calculation competence, with or without the tutoring program. These post-test results are nevertheless included here to highlight the challenge of math learning for children who are already behind in math.
Facilitator Exit Survey
The following attributes were used to describe the strengths of the app: the app was convenient (45%), the app was exciting or fun to the students (30%), the app provided immediate feedback (25%), the tablets engaged or interested the students (15%), and Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies app motivated the students (5%). Facilitators also stated that students preferred practicing on the tablets compared to practicing using the worksheets. The weaknesses reported by the facilitators were that the students’ preference to work on the tablet distracted them from the worksheets (35%) and that there were problems related to technology glitches and Wi-Fi connectivity (25%).
Setting 4: After-School Program
Initial student buy-in to this program was a significant challenge. Throughout the first few weeks of this intervention, our team often had Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies facilitators than children present. Once children became more aware of the program and got to know the facilitators, more children became involved on a consistent basis. In fact, many students formed distinct bonds with the adult facilitators. However, consistent student attendance remained a challenge throughout, as this intervention was not offered within a program students were already attending. Over the course our intervention, improvements could Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies observed in overall student engagement, attendance, and performance. For example, one student initially experienced extreme difficulty engaging in math practice. The student would often merely guess on problems and present little affect to the facilitators and the program in "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies." By the end of this program, however, the student began expressing excitement toward the app and even math practice in general. In fact, the student said to the facilitator, “Come on already, I want to practice some math!” This transformation in student behavior and attitude was a common narrative for many students, pointing to the potential benefit of IMP.
Student attendance in this setting was voluntary and highly variable, ranging from one to sixteen hours of participation (M = 6.8). Students overall felt that the sessions were fun or super fun (80%). The most commonly practiced subject was multiplication (28%), followed by fractions (23%) and addition (16%).
Math Attitude Survey
Many students stated that they liked at least some math (79%), while almost half of the students reported disliking at least some math (42%). About half of the students stated that they felt happy or super happy when it was time for math (53%) and about a third of the students reported that they would feel happy or super happy if they would never have to do math again (32%). Almost half of the students reported that they would like to have a job that requires a lot of math (47%), and almost half of Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies students thought that they were good or very good at math (53%). More students believed girls "Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies" good or very good at math (63%) compared to boys (42%). In terms of coping strategies, the average coping score was 3.36, the lowest score being 0 (one student), and only one student obtaining a score of 1 (reporting Asmr Homework Motivation Strategies positive coping and three negative coping strategies). All other students obtained a 2 or higher (90%), with one student obtaining a perfect score of 5 (thus reporting 5 positive coping strategies and no negative coping strategies).
Math Fluency and Calculation Competence
When it comes to homework, parents get burnt out hearing these hollow and suspicious words: "I did it at school," "They didn't give homework today," "It hardly counts for my grade," "My teacher never looks at my homework anyway," "That assignment was optional." As parents, hearing these words is enough to drive you crazy. As I write in my book, 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child, parents must not let their emotions get the best of them when their kids are not getting homework done. The strategies below are for helping your child or teen get unstuck:
• Nix the nagging! Pestering creates an adversarial, shaming dynamic that backfires. Instead, try my Calm, Firm and Non-controlling approach. Gently empower your child or teen by supportively saying, "I see that you are frustrated. Let's think of ways to help you get back on track with your homework/schoolwork."
• Encourage effort over perfection. Be mindful that kids tend to get intimidated when they have a hard time understanding material. They may get into negative self-talk like, "I can't do this." Even if they're truly thinking this way, parents may instead hear comments like, "I hate this." or "This is stupid." Remind your child or teen that doing his best effort is better than not doing it at all.
• Prioritize. Coach and encourage that the order that homework is done based on urgency, complexity, and workload. At the same time, realize that some students do better by starting with easier tasks and that this can help spark them to tackle more demanding assignments.
• Break it down. Reinforce breaking up homework time into manageable chunks and encourage taking regular breaks. Encourage moving around and walking away for a bit. Remind that an apple really does provide the same effect, and is healthier than an energy drink.
• Think "15 minutes of pain." Have the student set a timer for only fifteen minutes. Keep it lighthearted and explain that even if it "hurts" doing the work, she can stop after fifteen minutes. Like most things in life, once we push ourselves and get going, it's not so bad.
• Don't be consequence ravenous. Imposing consequences for homework not being done can backfire with defiant behavior. If you use consequences, don't present them with yelling. Keep them reasonable and ask the student to help you be able to move towards rewards (don't go overboard) and minimize consequences. Remember that real, natural consequences are the best motivators.
• Encourage Connection. Encourage the student to make or re-establish a connection with his teacher. I have seen hundreds of kids "shoot themselves in the foot" with incomplete homework if they don't have a decent relationship with their teacher.
• Change up the homework/study surroundings. Try putting an inspirational poster by the desk, moving to a different room, or silencing the cell phone. New changes can create more changes.
• Use those study halls. Encourage the use of them as much as possible. Some kids lose sight of that more done at school, means less to do at home.
• Allow for some fun. Notice if your student is racing through the homework just to have fun. Fun time like, TV, phone time, or surfing the web, is welcome, but make sure you put limits on it.
Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein is a psychologist with over twenty-five years’ experience specializing in child, adolescent, couples, and family therapy. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and completed his post-doctoral internship at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Center. He has appeared twice on the Today Show, Court TV as an expert advisor, CBS eyewitness news Philadelphia, 10! Philadelphia—NBC and public radio. Dr. Bernstein has authored four books, including the highly popular 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (Perseus Books, 2006 & 2015), 10 Days to Less Distracted Child (Perseus Books 2007), Liking the Child You Love (Perseus Books 2009) and Why Can’t You Read My Mind? (Perseus Books, 2003).