Learning mathematics for Primary Schools getting better with Boldungu

After the first early adopters and technology enthusiasts that gracefully embraced the digital learning technology for primary mathematics, the technology has now matured to deliver real value to learners, schools and teachers. See below for part of what boldungu can do.

Now fully delivered with color, honors, awards and gifts, learners can excel and build dreams to their full potential. As one primary three child said, he can write boldungu the whole day! Listening to teachers feedback and input has made the technology better and a supplementary resource for schools, teachers, learners and parents alike. Below is a team of experienced mathematics teachers test driving boldungu.

Get Boldungu from the Google playstore and help your child excel in mathematics.

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Engage, excite and challenge your child with mathematics

Many children simply fail mathematics because of lack of practice. You will notice that they have high scores in the daily school activities and homework, but get disappointing marks at the final examinations.  Yes, they learn and they forget!

What next? You can help them practice, because practice makes perfect. Our content rich and fun digital platform engages, excites, and challenge students:-

  • Where else will you see virtual gifts unwrap for each question passed?
  • Where else will you practice the same concept without repeating the same question?
  • Where else will you receive an answer for every possible question on the syllabus?
  • And where else will you receive progress report detailed to type of question teasing the child?

Checkout boldungu.com on the computer and on your phone.  No money needed! Get Boldungu form here or from the Google Play store, and let your child build confidence, improve mathematics and unlock dreams! Learn more about boldungu here. See here for what you can create, print, practice and win!

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Passing a math question is not a proof of mastery of concepts – Repeated practice is a must to link concepts to real-world meaning.

Today we share core-learning principle of  “concepts matter most” that we address in our learning platform after discovering that many children quickly forget after seemingly passing the homework’s.  Our research with several learners and teachers, shows that a good number of children just workout the numbers without understanding or appreciating what they are trying to achieve.

Let us take an example from our study when we requested learners to show what 90 degrees means from the geometric diagrams they were using in their homework’s. Although well drawn with the 90 degrees mark, most learners were oblivious of the fact that an angle is the amount of turn between two lines. Some suggested that 90 degrees was a distance along the vertical and horizontal lines.

From the learning point of view, it is okay for learners to start by working out the numbers as this is in line with booms taxonomy of learning.  However, without appreciating the underlying concept of an angle as the amount of turn, upstream concepts such as alternate angles, complementary angles, supplementary angles, interior/exterior angle properties of triangle become confusing and artificial because of the inability to relate them to real-world meaning.

Without any relation among the terms and terminologies, learners resort to rote learning or the try and error method where they will simply look at the numbers and either add, multiply or do whatever they can recall the teacher doing to numbers in class. This undesired state of affairs can be mitigated by allowing learners to do more directed practice on specific questions that seek to reinforce a linkage to real-word meaning.

Boldungu draws from the well-known psychology stimuli-response where repeated exposure and reinforcement will lead a natural linkage to concepts.  Learners get to create questions for themselves. This first and foremost gives the learners the notion that it is no the teacher against them by firing questions at them, but it is them exploring the world of mathematics.

Start today at zero cost, and build confidence and unlock dreams! Find boldungu on Google play store

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Let primary school children dream big – mathematics can help with Boldungu

Many children dream big and we love that about them! Kids want to be sculptors, veterinarians, zookeepers, pilots, engineers, doctors, dancers — they are only limited by their imaginations. As parents and teachers, our job is to give kids the tools they need to realize these dreams. Math learning is one of those critical tools that is a pathway to many dreams be it politics, business, arts, engineering and many others.

Although many people see mathematics as a tool for doing calculations, it is a language for expressing logical thoughts, which is learned through reasoning and logic. As Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group precisely said, “The best way of learning about anything is by doing

Tap into the drive time, Tv time, idle time and engage children with mathematics. Print Textbooks are paper homework’s are too boring and have same questions! Take a leap towards the dreams and join many parents that already trust Boldungu to make dreams come true.  Learn mathematics, the methods,  concepts and track progress. All is aligned with national curriculum for mathematics for classes from primary 3 to primary 7.

With Boldungu you can

  • Let children work directly on the computer
  • Print quiz and workbooks and let children work on paper a later enter  answers for marking
  • Let children work on the mobile phone where Internet only needed when creating the quiz and workbooks, after that they  can work offline.

Start today at zero cost, and dare you child to dream! Find boldungu on Google play store

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Boldungu in Pictures – Primary School Mathematics

Learn and practice mathematics. Get new questions, review answers and methods for arriving at the answers after trying. Detailed score card for topics, subtopics and questions. Choose topics and learn by doings. Lots of question types and explanation from best teachers.

Boldungu helps learners practice mathematics by providing a collection of questions, answers and explanation of concepts and methods.

As a person interested in improving mathematics scores for any grade, the questions are grouped into quiz sets based on the topics selected. The content is specific to the national curriculum of the selected countries. Unlike traditional text books, learners choose and have as many questions as possible for practice.

Boldungu works as follows:

Quiz Sets

Random fresh questions in groups of 10 makeup a quiz and this provides a short but challenging practice session. Questions come as multi-choice, drag and drop, and free text. They include beautiful graphics.

Linked Answers and Review

Each Question attempted is a chance to revise the answers and alternative methods. Each answer is linked to learning areas where further reading or practice questions can be selected. Lots of new question answering techniques are waiting for you.

Performance Board

Performance board is a simple score card that shows the questions attempted and improvement trends. A five-star rating gives a quick graphical view to allow you choose where to focus.

Recognition

Earn badges, certificates and virtual gifts when you excel in particular topics, subtopics or question formats.

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Children must cease hostilities with mathematics to excel – Parents can help

Mathematics has increasingly become too important to be left for a few to benefit. To help learners benefit most from the boldungu platform and excel in mathematics, we discuss two important aspects in this article – the need cease hostilities with mathematics, and  need to engage learners at home

Stop hostilities with Mathematics

As parents and teachers we need to do everything possible to make learners confortable and friendly to mathematics.  You are likely to get better output from a less nervous learner as opposed to a tense one. There is need to remove the mental barrier created by defensive instincts when learners perceive mathematics as an adversary which leads to a hostile mind set by learners towards mathematics.  Such hostilities are defense mechanisms unconsciously aroused in learners to protect themselves from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts or feelings about mathematics. The end result is that learners become too defensive to learn and there is no fun, no connection, and at best learners just do it because it is part of the school system.

Boldungu can help to deal with this challenge by building a rapport with mathematics. One parent suggested that we should start with very simple activities where a learner can pass and excel. Once a learner notices that he or she can excel at some part of mathematics, be it small or obvious, they will build trust and confidence because confidence is built on accomplishment. The psychology here is that if they accomplish something, they will feel good and confident about themselves.

Mathematics exists outside the classroom

Feedback from many parents and guardians currently using boldungu, show that parents often think that children learn mathematics at school and that it is sort of schools specialization. As a result they parents miss to reinforce learning of mathematics while at home. Practicing math concepts at home doesn’t have to be stressful, time-consuming, or involve pencil and paper.

Our remedy to this challenge is avail mathematics practice on mobile devices with the ability to create more questions that directly relate to the concepts just covered at school. Many activities that relate to home environment are available in every subtopic including hands-on practice activities where parents can actively participate.

Let us make mathematics part of the family tradition for our children keeping in mind that progress is incremental, and big changes do not happen overnight

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Interpret Mathematics result before congratulating yourself

Despite the presence of mathematics in the daily lives of most of us, it remains the most complained about subject and a source of serious stress for many. Most lives, be it a cook or a farmer, a carpenter or a mechanic, a shopkeeper or a doctor, an engineer or a scientist, a musician or a magician can be stress free in their day-to-day life if mathematics is well understood and utilized. In this article we share with the boldungu users how to help their learners improve scores and build confidence.

Below are some of the tips and tricks to maximize the benefits by working through the process for each problem:-

Reread some sentences

Avoid the temptation to start answering after reading the question once. Read and read it again to be sure you completely understand what the question is asking for. The aim of rereading some sentences is to confirm that you have fully understood the question. Do not be quick to conclude that it is identical to the one you have seen before. That is why at boldungu, we make available all sorts of questions in some cases with slight but significant variations to ensure the learners is in the habit of understanding the question before putting pen to paper.

Underline some important data in the text

Once you have read the question, it is important to underline some important data. Do not just underline numbers and value, there are words such as more, less, altogether, and others from the math vocabulary such as round off, power of, exponents that must be underlined. The trick with underlining is that it keeps you focused and serves as basis to verify your result.

Make a plan

For longer problems, a detailed plan is needed, for some just pointing to specific method or approach is enough.  At boldungu we relate each problem to specific methods and the reasoning behind.

Divide the problem into subtasks before solving it

This goes in hand with the plan. Larger problems need to be divided in subtask. In some cases there is need for intermediate results before the final results. This will help you to understand the problem before the solution

Interpret the result before congratulating yourself.

Does your answer make sense? This must be in relation to important data underlined above. Is the answer expected to be smaller than one of the data provided? For instance when adding, we expect the final result to be bigger. Before congratulating yourself, you must check the answer if it is approximately correct.

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Children who excel at mathematics continuously engage with the subject – Research shows.

Today  the importance of mathematics for students has never been greater.  As a partner contributing to improvement of  scores in mathematics, we are sharing some of the tips and tricks from different users,  experts and research.

Each problem has its characteristics

When it comes to mathematics, reading and seeing someone do it is not a substitute for doing it your self. The number one tip and trick to mastering mathematics is to sharpen your pencil and take it on. Each problem is unique and has its characteristics that can only be experienced by trying it out.

Reduce Mathematics Anxiety

Other than mastering mathematics, a repeated practice reduces ‘mathematics anxiety’- a phenomena that inhibits learning when a learner perceives mathematics as a ‘battle’ rather than a friendly familiar subject. To eliminate this anxiety, and do well in mathematics, you must have solved many problems.

Deliberate Practice is leading enabler

Research including Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, shows that deliberate practice is the leading enabler for acquiring knowledge and expertise. Continuous exposure to mathematics will build familiarity, turn concepts into informal knowledge and progressively make it possible to relate mathematics with the real-world occurrences. Whereas speed is not a common pattern for all good mathematicians, it is an added advantage that can be gained through repeated practice and continuous engagement with the subject.

Aim for Routine and consistency

Repeated practice does not imply taking life away from the child through endless hours of number crunching, it is more to do with routine and consistency. Daily or every other day practice of several math questions for about 45 minutes is a good enough.  This need for routine and consistency is well facilitated by the boldungu platform because it ensures assessment, syllabus coverage, fun, and relevancy to national curriculum.

Review Concepts from Previous Session

Before each practice session, we advise that you review the concepts covered in the last session. Here boldungu becomes very handy because learners not using boldungu will just read through or practice the same questions in their books or online tools.  No learner will pick a pencil to redo the exact question, so they end up assuming and with time they skip the pages.

New question all the time

Boldungu is designed to create new questions even for the same concepts while avoiding repetition.  It is designed to help learners intimately engage and conquer as much mathematics as they possibly can. For mathematics, practice is about mastering concepts not redoing the same questions. To keep learners engaged, boldungu also has  gifts that unwrap after every passed question which make learners to continue practicing while looking forward to new questions and gifts.

Since most learners cannot avoid mathematics, let us be friends with it.

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Did you store mathematics in the School Brain or Real Brain?

When I interacted with one parent during needs assessment for the Boldungu application, she could not understand why, Erica (not real name) – in primary seven vacation   could not estimate the number of floor tiles needed to resurface their living room and yet he had scored not only a distinction in mathematics, but aggregate 4 in total. Taking a good look at most national curriculum for mathematics, they elaborately cover how to workout areas of shapes including areas of combined shapes in form  “L”, “T”, “F”, trapeziums, and parallelograms to mention but a few. In fact they also cover measurements including instruments used to measure length.

As the mother explained, she expected Erica to determine the dimensions of the living room, determine the dimensions of each tile and proceed to calculate the number of tiles needed. As the discussion raged on, we formulated a belief that there is a disconnection between the school brain and real brain especially for mathematics at lower learning levels.  In the majority of the learners mind, the mathematics for school is understood and ends in class using the school brain. Questions outside the school are approached using the real brain, which encounters them as brand new concepts.

One approach to this problem is to try and bring real life questions into the classroom setting. But this does not help much as the learners still seem to store this knowledge in the school brain as long as it is delivered from the school. Our approach at Boldungu is to two fold. First, Boldungu is designed for use outside the classroom.  Secondly, we have weekly activity packages that are structured for practical hands on activities and learners share their results via whatsapp. That way, we hope to bridge the gap between the two brains. We are also working on other tools and technologies to fuse these brains, because we understand that all knowledge covered in the school setting must be applied in the real word.

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Master the mathematics and keep working on it to master it.

Most teachers and parents that have closely worked with learners will affirm that a good number of learners quickly forget mathematics concepts after learning them. They will get 100% on day one, less and lesser marks as the days pass by.  Few days later, the learner gives you a blank stare on the very concept he/she previously excelled on. In the same spirit, that’s why, although a good tool daily school home-works can be deceptive especially when they focus on the work just covered a few hours ago.  Yes, they learnt, and they forgot.

This state of affairs is the leading cause of gradual poor attitude towards mathematics because it dampens progress, confidence and morale for all.  To address this problem, their needs to be an easy way, possibly using technology to allow learners master mathematics and keep working on it. This is part of the issues that Boldungu – for bold learning aims to address.  Provide easy to use tools for schools, parents, teachers and learners to quickly spin up a cycle of questions to regularly test mastery of various concepts and keep learners fully checked.

So far, our toolbox that is helping many learners includes boldungu.com web version and the Boldungu mobile app available at Google Play store. Of course we spend lots of time and expertise from teachers to build and maintain these tools for other generations to come. That is why we change a small fee but make it affordable for weekly, monthly or even yearly payments.

Helping learners to master and perfect mathematics is matter of survival for future workforce because with automation, artificial intelligence and robots, future workers will need more analytical skills. The earlier we prepare our sons and daughters the better.

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