Do you have a student who’s tried just about everything to get those math facts memorized and nothing seems to work? We’re here to share with you an exciting new product that might just make the difference. This product is especially designed for an older student who has not yet mastered their addition and subtraction facts.
I want to first of all encourage you, the parent who is out there dealing with this, that you are not alone. Here are the answers to some questions you might have about AIM.
9 Questions About AIM
1) What is AIM?
The new product is a portion of our of Math-U-See curriculum. It’s called AIM (Accelerated Individualized Mastery) and its focus is on helping older students get their addition and subtraction math facts memorized.
2) Do we need to be using Math-U-See to use AIM?
Absolutely not. You do not need to be using Math-U-See as your core math curriculum to benefit from AIM. This intervention is tremendous to help students fill in the mathematical gap that exists in their fact knowledge with addition and subtraction.
3) How often do you support parents regarding mastery?
AIM is designed for a student of any age who has completed addition and subtraction coursework without achieving mastery. It seems like almost every phone call we have someone that has a student that doesn’t have their math facts memorized.
It’s tough because a lot of math programs and schools don’t put an emphasis on this. We’re finding that more and more students need to go back and achieve mastery of their addition and subtraction facts.
It’s a very common problem, and it’s actually the reason why we developed the AIM program with the help of parents of struggling students. From countless conversations with parents, we heard their needs, which helped us develop the program.
4) What are some signs that mastery needs work?
Some of the obvious signs are counting on fingers, using touch point math, relying on calculators, or hesitating when completing a math problem. Sometimes we see that in the non-telltale signs of, “I hate math. I don’t want to do math.” Parents avoid doing math with their kid and all of that usually speaks to one root cause: the child doesn’t have confidence in their own mathematical ability.
5) How can lack of mastery affect confidence?
We see a lot of times that as problems get bigger, confidence decreases. If we don’t have the confidence for those smaller problems, it’s hard to have them for the bigger problems.
At the same time, when we count on our fingers or count in our head, we tend to look away from the problem, come back, and forget where we were. We miss certain steps and we have all of this stuff in our head; when that happens we make easy mistakes. Memorization of facts is so important to the confidence and flow of doing well with these bigger problems.
6) How will AIM be better than flashcards and drills?
In all honesty, we often resort to flashcards and drills because that’s what we were taught. Unfortunately, flashcards or drills don’t teach. You have to have the fact committed to memory before you can become proficient at them through this repetitive practice. The techniques that AIM uses allows a student to step along a continuum. To go from initial understanding to complete memorization is an expeditious process.
7) Will AIM result in my student becoming behind?
It’s recommended to take a 6-8 week break from other math studies while working through AIM. This is a common question, and a very big concern for a lot of families: making sure that their student is up to speed.
We recognize that math builds upon itself. We don’t use grade levels because it’s hard to learn mathematical concepts if you haven’t mastered the previous concepts. Our goal is that we take the time to fill in those gaps in understanding, which AIM can do in about a 6-8 week period.
We sometimes see that other gaps that were there earlier might tend to disappear because of the work that we’re doing at the beginning. If we keep doing what we’re doing, the gaps are only going to get bigger; they’re not going to decrease. It’s more important that we go back and fill in those gaps to cause more success and greater confidence later on. The additional understanding and confidence gained by filling these gaps can mean greater and faster progress when you return to your regular math studies.
8) What if my student has a learning glitch?
We often work with kids who learn differently; we find frequently that even students who have been diagnosed with a specific learning challenge can use the principles of AIM and learn effectively. Those learning glitches seem to disappear when we give kids the ability to step along that continuum and learn in a different way.
9) Where can we learn more about AIM?
One of the things you’re going to notice is we’re very passionate about helping families find success for their students in math. We’d love to have an individualized conversation with you; we’d love to help.
You can learn more about AIM on our website and take the assessment there.