If you’ve ever struggled with math, whether you were learning or teach- ing it, you’re not alone. It can be an in- timidating subject for kids and parents
alike. But it doesn’t have to be. CTCMath
says its program removes the burden of
teaching from parents, while truly enlightening students. We talked to its social media manager, Nadim El-Rahi, about what
makes the program so successful.
TOS: Tell me about CTCMath’s three-pronged approach.
Nadim: The three-pronged approach is
unique, and CTCMath has done it really
well. It’s simple but effective. We use synchronized audio and animation, which har-nesses both audio and visual styles—the
first two prongs. Students get the audio and
visual simultaneously via our video tutorials. And the third prong is kinesthetic, and
that’s the ability for students to interact
with the questions . . . and practice what
TOS: How do you know when children
are ready for formal math instruction?
Nadim: It comes down to each individual
student’s ability. How they react to those
young puzzle games, coordinating blocks,
building blocks, and similar toys at a young
age gives you an indication about when
they’re ready to start math instruction. The
beauty of CTCMath is the student doesn’t
necessarily have to read yet. The questions
are read aloud, and students just press the
speaker button and answer the questions.
TOS: What do you look for as far as focus,
attention span, and development?
Nadim: This is where CTCMath has done
it really well. We stay away from the game
space but keep it engaging. We do that
through interactive questions, and we don’t
have students waste time, get bogged down,
and spend hours building avatars and what
TOS: How does your program help with
retention of facts?
Nadim: It’s retention through repetition.
We have both a spiral and mastery ap-
proach. The lessons are structured using
a mastery method. Each video tutorial
teaches one concept at a time, which is very
effective for the student to understand that
concept. Math is a building block and does
require previous knowledge, but we don’t
try to introduce too many new concepts
at once. The questions focus solely on the
video tutorial, but at the end of each topic
we have a diagnostic test. And this is where
the spiral approach comes into play.
The questions test students’ abilities on
that topic and previous topics and will
outline any gaps that need to be filled or
revisited. And CTCMath gives you access
to all lessons from all grades. So students
can go back and plug those gaps. We’re
introducing weekly revision tasks which
is a sheet of questions sent weekly to students, to test their understanding on concepts previously learned. It’s important in
terms of retention to continuously test and
assess previous concepts taught. I think it’s
prudent to identify a student’s weaknesses
and revisit them once every two to three
weeks. That doesn’t necessarily mean you
need to re-teach it. Just have the student
answer those questions, and if needed,
revisit a few concepts.
By Kathleen Conway Nadim El-Rahi
(And Teaching) Easy
We learned parents are sick of wasting money
on a math curriculum that doesn’t work.