Some facts about our math practice

I get a weekly update from Khan Academy showing how many minutes each student in class works, and I noticed there is quite a range. It led me to look at if the number of minutes of math practice makes a difference with a student’s math level. Here are some facts to consider, using data from September through November:

  • The average number of minutes our class has worked for the entire year is 800 minutes. The lowest value was 400 minutes, and the highest was 1750 minutes. So the hardest workers are working 400% more than the lax workers.
  • The top 25% of our class is working an average of 1300 minutes with an average math level of 5.1.
  • The bottom 25% of our class is working an average of 471 minutes with an average math level of 3.5.
  • The middle 50% of our class is right where you would expect them to be, in the middle of minutes worked and math level.

Here’s the data in a table, sorted by the number of minutes worked:

By Minutes WorkedAverageMinutes
Bottom 25%3.5471
Middle 50%4.4700
Top 25%5.11314
Class Average4.3796

It’s clear from above that the students that are spending the most time working are improving their math levels. The students practicing the least are below grade level.

Here’s the table sorted by math level:

By Math LevelAverageMinutes
Bottom 25%3.0543
Middle 50%4.5811
Top 25%5.51021
Class Average4.3796

What this table clearly shows is that the students that need the most practice, the lowest level math students, are working the least in the class. However, the average minutes in this table are higher for the bottom and middle percentiles than in the table that was sorted by minutes worked. That shows that some of the lower level students are spending more time trying to improve their math levels. Over time, that practice will pay off.

Two takeaways:

  1. Practice time makes a difference. While not a guarantee, the more time your student spends practicing math (or reading or any other subject) the better their level will be. This is why a daily homework time is essential.
  2. Grades will follow minutes. If your student has a lower math level than you would like, nothing is likely to change until you find ways for them to practice more at home. It would be great if your student would take initiative and practice on their own. But if they are struggling, it is likely that they are not practicing. You’ll need to step in and help them organize your time if you want to see a change. Over time, more practice will make a difference.

  • Both comments and trackbacks are currenlty open for this entry.
  • Trackback URI: http://www.mrhowd.com/2017/12/04/some-facts-about-our-math-practice/trackback/
  • Comments RSS 2.0

Leave a Reply