Monday, April 22, 2024

Wonder Math Helps Young Students to Discover That Yes, Math Is a Big Deal

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Story-based lessons. Real-world examples. Experiential learning. Gems that can be exchanged for prizes. Confident kids who excel at critical thinking. Is it possible that the solution to America’s math woes lies not in drills and rote learning but in storytelling? Wonder Math, an innovative online math-tutoring program based in California, is proving that through stories, fractions, decimals, and percents click in a child’s mind, lose their mystery, and become fun.

Wonder Math was founded by Ramit Varma and Jake Neuberg, two educators with a passion for showing young students that math is every bit as exciting and relatable as Netflix movies. Ramit and Jake are also the creators of Revolution Prep, the popular SAT/ACT tutoring company that has helped over 1MM families since 2002. In guiding high school students to excel on their college entrance exams, they noticed a disturbing trend: many were firmly convinced that they were not math people. In fact, their struggles with math went back to elementary and middle school, creating a cracked foundation that resulted in counterproductive mindsets and could block off entire areas of study and careers for them.

To set children up to succeed as teens and adults, Ramit and Jake knew that fostering their love of math would be crucial. They turned to storytelling-based lessons because of two primary advantages: their universal appeal and contextual, real-world scenarios. Kids of all ages and interests enjoy stories and their plots, visuals, and characters. By using them in lessons about measurements and other topics, students would be more engaged, understand the concepts more easily, and feel emboldened to think independently.

Since its inception, the techniques used by Wonder Math’s live expert teachers have been energizing learners in grades 2nd-6th, the most crucial years for cultivating math fluency and avoiding anxiety. With 92% of parents attesting that their children’s grades improved after using Wonder Math, it is clear that stories can mean the difference between understanding a math concept – or not.

While Wonder Math’s innovative program is eliminating math trauma and raising test scores, Ramit and Jake also work with parents to help them to understand their role in their child’s success. They emphasize that by connecting math to the real world, perhaps by helping them to extrapolate the height of a building or reason how long a trip will take, parents can show their kids that math is actually all around us. Also helpful is avoiding any positive or negative labels. A child who is told that they are an excellent student may feel crushed if they are not perfect. A student who makes a mistake may feel it is pointless to try since they are not a math person anyway. 

In Wonder Math’s sessions, teachers avoid labels and instead allow students to struggle while praising the effort. Rather than enforcers, they are guides, providing just enough instruction to give children the confidence to take risks and experiment. And, yes, when answers are correct, students are given gems. In doing so, however, Wonder Math teachers are not necessarily rewarding the right answers but celebrating the progress and the initiative. After all, the ultimate goal at Wonder Math is to build skills for life – to show children that there is nothing more satisfying than climbing that next wall and seeing what’s on the other side, waiting to be explored.

Wonder Math is the only online math-tutoring program that develops mathematical thinkers by teaching through active learning in the context of a story, making math fun, relevant, and easy to understand. Wonder Math protects a student’s well-being by building their confidence in math topics at school. By fostering math competency, instilling a positive attitude toward math, and establishing a foundation of confidence at the critical ages of 7 to 11, kids will be brighter, more hardworking, resilient, and independent adults who are prepared to achieve a lifetime of advantages. To learn more about Wonder Math, please visit https://www.wondermath.com/.

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