In the late 90s Valiant pioneered the use of mobile technology in math teaching and the need for management systems … But all of this only has a point if the system helps raise students understanding of math. We learn math by doing math; by engaging in mathematical activity. The nature of these activities is the crucial part of the whole system.
Valiant did not invent the activities. Their researchers and consultants scoured the World to find math activities that were proven to help students understand the ideas and would be enhanced when working in the MathAmigo environment. In fact a teacher called Alcuin of York first used the oldest activity circa 870AD. It is now called decanting or the two-container problem.
MathAmigo Problems fall into 3 categories:
Our students started working with MathAmigo using the equivalent fractions lessons and Improper Equivalent Fractions questions. Working with these lessons have paid off in ways unanticipated. Not only did the student learn to determine if fractions are equivalent, they learned to calculate common denominators in their heads. This ability also helped them when we began a unit on ratios and probabilities. Students were able to express ratios and probabilities as fractions and use the comparative skills they had learned from the MathAmigo fractions practice to make comparisons of Ratios and Probabilities as well.
Kenton L. Morrison
Fifth Grade Instructor
Evergreen Elementary, Washington State