by Michael Leppert
The Number DNA Pre-Algebra online software is designed to provide a simple, effective math curriculum for students, that is superior to other current math curricula in that it provides immediate feedback on the student’s performance. It is ideal for struggling students or those who need to strengthen their concentration and ability to function accurately in time. Each 3-5-minute workout provides time and precision goals. For instance: A multiplication workout has 20 problems to solve to 90% accuracy within 7 seconds per problem. Each problem is corrected as it is answered, so it can be repeated if necessary. This requires the student to concentrate and figure out what s/he may have done incorrectly the first time the problem was answered. The workouts are fun to do and gratifying when one achieves a high score in the allotted time or less.
The program requires mastery of a unit before the student can move on to the next unit; there are 20 such units in all. The program identifies and focuses on a student’s weak area, which is what the immediate feedback is for. Number DNA replaces the brain-numbing tedium of previous math programs, with short chunks of information and the immediate reporting of correct/incorrect answers so the student’s performance is clear and registered quickly. The program also provides guidance for the next steps in development. Number DNA is a skill-builder, not a math-book-completer. What matters is that the student knows how to get a correct answer and why it is correct, enabling him/her to build math skills.
The Numerical Reasoning Module section shows math problems in 3 different expressions, so that the student mentally grasps the concept and facts in his/her head, rather than relying on a calculator. An analogy is learning the alphabet forwards, backwards and from the middle to the end and then to the beginning. Math facts lend themselves to this approach and it develops retention and thinking skills – 3 x 8, 8 x 3, 3 x ?, ? x 8, etc. The goal of Number DNA is to have students be grounded in the concepts and create the foundation of understanding to serve them for life.
The cost of Number DNA is minimal, $9.95 per month for an individual subscription. Teachers and school districts can also have group subscriptions at very reasonable prices. The subscriptions to Number DNA includes complete Fraction and Decimal units.