WHY HOT DOGGER IS SO DOG-GONE EFFECTIVE
KEY STRATEGY: LEARN MULTIPLICATION FACTS IN GROUPS OF 10
The key to Hot Dogger's success is that students are taught (and must learn) only a small set of math facts before advancing to another set of facts. We do not practice all 100 facts randomly because this is beyond the scope of human memory - is not efficient, and generates nothing but failure and frustration. Our strategy is to simply test your student on 10 facts, find which ones the student cannot answer - practice these facts - and when they are mastered - move to the next set of 10 facts.
|| STEP 1: PRETEST: FIND OUT WHICH FACTS ARE KNOWN OR NOT KNOWN
The program begins with you (as the teacher) selecting the multiplication fact sets you wish for your student to practice. (This can be the 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's etc.) Let's say you chose to practice the 7's and 8's facts (a total of 20 facts). The program begins by testing your student on the ten 7's facts including: 7x0, 7x1, 7x2, 7x3, 7x4, etc, but in random order. One math fact at a time is shown on the screen. Your student uses the onscreen keypad to select the correct answer. If an answer is correct, we move to the next math fact. If an answer is wrong, we also move to the next fact - we do not intervene during this "mini-pretest." Here, we simply want to find out which of these 10 facts your student cannot answer or answers slowly (typically >4 seconds). If your student doesn't know an answer after 10 seconds, we flash the answer on the screen, thereby allowing your student to continue without frustration, but the computer remembers this and marks it as "incorrect" in the database. After answering all 10 math facts in the set, the facts and selected answers are displayed at the top of the screen: Green (if correct), Red (if not correct) and Yellow (if answered slowly).
LEARNING PHASE 1: BOO BOO PRACTICE (Short Term Memory & Search & Recall)
Once your student has completed the mini-pretest covering the 10 math facts in the set (and sees which are correct, wrong and slow), we begin what is called "Boo Boo Practice." Here our cartoon characters teach only the first two wrong or slow facts. Teaching 2 facts at a time is very important. The reason being that the human brain has the ability to easily retain 2 separate pieces of information in its short term memory. We take advantage of this by then incorporating another important memory transfer activity known as "Search & Recall." While saying or hearing something repeatedly begins the learning process (such as writing math facts 5 times each), studies of human memory also show it is also important to try to bring this information out (such as in answering a question). In other words, while the information is in the brain somewhere, we still need to practice getting it out. Therefore, we give the student two pieces of information (2 math facts) and ask the student to answer these two facts but in a back and forth pattern for a total of 10 times, thereby stimulating Search & Recall. When this is done correctly, we tell your student "Good Job" and teach the next two wrong or slow facts from the original mini-pretest of ten facts. If a mistake is made while practicing this second group of 2 facts, a cartoon character appears and teaches the correct answer. The student must then start over again to try to get all 10 facts correct.
LEARNING PHASE 2: RETEST
Once the student has demonstrated the ability to correctly answer all wrong and slow facts we identified from the original mini-pretest of ten math facts, we are ready for the next level of challenge. Here, the student begins what is called the RETEST. The RETEST goes back and tests the student again on the original ten math facts from the mini-pretest. This will find out how our strategies were learning the wrong and slow facts. During the RETEST, the math facts and answers are displayed directly beneath each math fact from the original mini-pretest (for comparison). This time, however, we require perfection: If a math fact is answered incorrectly or too slowly during the RETEST, a cartoon character immediately appears and teaches the correct answer. All completed problems and answers are then erased from the screen and the student must now start again from fact #1. This strategy of providing immediate feedback on wrong answers, along with restarting the RETEST, is another powerful technique in helping to further solidify the math fact in your student's memory. Since the student wants to finish the set of 10 facts, they will be trying hard to remember the fact that was just answered incorrectly (or too slowly). This process continues until all 10 facts in the set have been answered correctly, at which point, your student advances to the next set of 10 facts to continue this entire process again. We do understand that some students have elevated learning disabilities that may prevent them from successfully completing the RETEST easily and moving to the next math fact set. To accommodate this, we have a system set up so that after 10 unsuccessful attempts on the RETEST, a pop-up appears asking if they would like to keep trying or move to the next math fact set. This allows a way to continue if frustration is developing. What's interesting, is that when doing this same test tomorrow, the student will almost always be able to pass the set that they were unable to pass today. This is explained by the fact that the human brain literally grows new connections in the long-term memory areas of the brain during the deep stages of sleep. In other words, Math Fact Genius is still working hard even while your student is sound asleep at night!
WE DID IT... NOW BEGIN NEXT SET
Once your student has demonstrated the ability to answer all 10 facts in the RETEST set correctly (and under the required time of 4-7 seconds per math fact), we then advance to the next set of math facts you selected at the beginning of the program. This allows for successful and steady progress.
OPTIONS AT THE END OF TESTING
After the student completes the math fact sets you selected at the beginning of the program, the final page shows the specific math facts answered incorrectly during the exercise. As an excellent follow-up, we recommend you have students write each math fact 3 times each on a separate sheet of paper to further enhance the learning process. Therfore, if students are in the computer lab for this activity, you have a solid 20-30 minutes of powerful uninterrupted learning.
Buttons are also shown on the final page at the end of testing allowing users to do the following:
BOO BOO TEST
Here, you have the option to provide additional practice on all the incorrect and slow facts using the RETEST format. This is an excellent next step in really burn-in those difficult facts.
Take the same test again using the same math fact sets.
Begin a new test and select a different math fact sets to practice.
VIEW SUMMARY PAGE
You can also view and print a detailed summary page of your student's performance.
Our summary page is laid out in an easy to read row and column table format. Each row displays ten separate boxes (cells), one for each math fact in the set. Wrong and slow answers are marked with a red "X" or yellow "S." We recommend you print a copy of the summary page to monitor progress or show parents.