By: Twana Young, Education Consultant, MIND Research Institute
Did your child use the ST Math (JiJi Math) program at school this year? This summer, your child can continue to play ST Math at home using a computer or a tablet!
In ST Math, the puzzles start off simple and then get more challenging as the child progresses. When they reach a challenging problem, your child should attempt the problem and use the visual feedback provided to help them figure out why their answer did or did not work. The feedback provided with each puzzle will help students figure out how to solve the problems.
How to help your child when they get stuck
You should not give your child the correct answer to get them past the game with which they are struggling. The goal of ST Math is to promote problem-solving. Ask your child the following questions to help them think through the problem:
o What do you notice about the puzzle?
o What can you do to get JiJi across the screen?
o Describe the strategy that you are going to use.
o Once you have used the strategy, pay attention to the feedback. What did you learn?
o How will you change your strategy based on the feedback?
You may need to ask these questions several times to help your child think through the math in the game. Encourage your child to take risks and ask them to explain what they learn from the wrong answers.
Another idea is to encourage your child to go back to the previous level and play that puzzle. What did they learn from that level that can help them with the level on which they are stuck?
Questions to ask to help your child explain what they are learning:
o Can you explain how you solved the puzzle?
o Can you solve it in a different way?
o What math skills are you using to solve the puzzle?
More summer activities to promote mathematics:
1. When your child masters a level it will turn green. Have your child go back through and select a green level they have mastered. Have them teach a family member the game. Make sure they share their understanding of the math in the games. This is a good opportunity to encourage communication. Take note of the vocabulary words that they use and build a summer math word wall.
2. Have your child identify their favorite game and do one of the following:
o Create word problems that go along with each level in that puzzle.
o Write a math story based on the visual picture in the game.
o Create a physical game that can be played by the entire family. The game should include directions and a title. Enter your game in the Game-a-thon challenge by July 15th to share it with students and families across the nation.