The Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) – an initiative out of Stanford University, aims at harnessing data to help policymakers, educators, parents - learn how to improve educational opportunity for all children. Earlier this year, a study by this initiative provided evidence for what educators have long feared: Sixth graders in the best faring public school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest faring districts.

  • Q: What happens when a child in 2nd grade is learning double digit addition (22 + 19 = ?), when he is not fluent enough at single digit (9 + 2 = ?) addition?.
  • A: A recipe for poor results and decreased confidence.

This is a common problem that can be helped. Math requires and relies on a strong foundation: Each Grade of math relies on a very good understanding of math from a previous Grade. What matters is simply this: “How do we ensure Adaptive Learning?”. In other words, how do we cater to the needs of 3rd graders that are not yet fluent in Grade 2 or even Grade 1 math?

Here in the Learn & Earn team, our entire focus is on addressing real issues that hamper learning in kids:
- Motivation – “how do we get kids to practice math every day?” and
- Adaptive Learning – “how can we adapt to each child’s learning curve, especially if they’re lagging behind their grade?”. With the Learn & Earn app for math – parents or teachers set up the app with a child’s profile, and this includes the child’s grade.

When the child starts working on math skills in their grade, the app automatically assesses the child’s performance – and decides whether they should be working on simpler, foundational skills instead. These could be skills from their current grade – or quite often, they could be skills from an earlier grades – even two or three grades below their current grade!

Consider the earlier example of double digit addition. If a child is performing below par with double digit addition – making repeated mistakes – the app will recommend that the child works on single digit addition instead.

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Recommended skills are shown with a star next to them. This way, a child can easily identify skills that have been especially recommended for practice.

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Designed by educators, the Learn & Earn app has a built-in understanding of foundational skills that are requires for every skill in grades 1-4 math – and is able to point them out at the right time depending on each child’s learning curve. We recommend these skills ever so discreetly – never explicitly telling kids that these are skills from an earlier grade. Moreover, the Learn & Earn app never enforces these recommendations: Kids are always welcome to keep trying skills of their choice regardless of what we recommend.

Combining adaptive learning with the Learn & Earn rewards approach yields results rapidly: Practicing recommended skills ensures that progress – and math confidence - come slowly, but then surely.

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