1. What is the difference between Algebra and Algebra Reborn?
Algebra refers to traditional algebra education.
Algebra education is difficult because it is introduced in middle schools where behavioral issues and uninspiring curricula impede learning. Students experience intimidation and failure in algebra education.
Algebra Reborn is the next generation of math education.
Algebra Reborn is a struggle-free approach introduced in elementary schools where docility, curiosity, and practical curriculum conforms to the psychology of learning. Students experience discovery and success in algebra education.
If the difficulty in algebra education is a disease, then Algebra Reborn is the vaccine developed to eradicate it.
Algebra Reborn makes algebra practical and comprehensible to all students. From 1st grade to 12th grade, they learn algebra the EASY way.
2. Who initiated the Algebra Reborn program?
Under the guidance of a special teacher, a struggling math student has succeeded in algebra education and become an Electrical Engineer. The secret in algebra education is the teaching approach. Today, he brings this approach to all students.
3. What problems does Algebra Reborn solve?
Algebra Reborn makes algebra meaningful and comprehensible to students by:
Removing the abstractness of algebra.
Using a child-friendly language to teach algebra.
Teaching students to learn (not to take tests).
Dismissing memorization and exploring pattern discovery.
4. Which group of students is suitable for Algebra Reborn?
It is excellent for 1st-time learners (1st to 2nd grade). This very important introduction prevents students from experiencing math anxiety. They will experience success from the first lesson.
It is great for struggling students (3rd to 5th grade) as a prevention program. It builds or restores students' confidence and keeps them engaged in algebra education before it is too late.
It is best for "at-risk" or "disengaged" students (6th to 8th grade). This group of students has already experienced math anxiety. "I am not good at Math", and "I don't like math" are signs of withdrawal. As a rescue or intervention program, it shows practical algebra to them.
It is fast and effective for other students, returning students and adult students (8th grade and up) as a rediscovery algebra program. Struggling but motivated students will excel at a faster pace.
5. I have never heard or seen an algebra program for elementary students. Is it possible?
Traditionally, algebra is taught in 8th grade. Some exceptional students start earlier. Algebra is considered an abstract subject, and educators believe that students need to reach a level of maturity to succeed in it. However, national data shows that the failure rate in algebra education is in a state of crisis. In short, it is the worst timing to introduce algebra in 8th grade due to students' inattention, intimidating curriculum, and the inadequate preparation of teachers.
Algebra Reborn introduces algebra in elementary school because it can transform complexity into simplicity. This breakthrough renders algebra practical and relatable to even a 1st-grade student. Although not intuitive, it is more suitable to introduce algebra to curious, docile, and engaged elementary students. By 7th grade, most of our students have already acquired algebraic knowledge, skills, and completed algebra one.
6. How does it work?
Local students attend 2 sessions per week at the Algebra Learning Center (Saint Paul, MN).
Out of city or state students will receive 2 tutoring sessions per week (video conferencing).
The instructor guides students to learn and progress according to their schedules.
7. Does Algebra Reborn provide the content?
Algebra Reborn provides content. They are interlinked by purpose and geared to teach the principles of algebra. Algebra Reborn guides young students to use their childhood experience to construct their algebraic knowledge. Algebra Reborn selectively presents concepts as "building blocks" and delivers instructions in interactive, inquisitive, inductive and conclusive mode.
8. How many hours are needed? How is a session looks like?
The goal is to accumulate knowledge and develop problem-solving skills. 2 hours per week are the minimum requirement.
The instructor reviews the previous session, verifies and reviews homework.
The instructor introduces or demonstrates a new topic, guides students to practice worksheets, and assigns new homework.
The learning occurs during the introduction or demonstration of a topic assisted by the instructor. Homework is qualitative and not quantitative.
9. How do my children learn?
Math education progresses through accumulating knowledge and developing skills. it is a marathon.
Algebra Reborn assures success by optimizing both aspect teaching and learning.
Algebra Reborn has observed that student's behavior determines algebra success.
The most important traits are (1) curiosity, (2) observation, (3) focus, (4) persistence,(5) responsibility, (6) organization, and (7) smartness. Note that smartness ranks last, and it is not always an asset. Algebra Reborn customizes each student's learning path.
10. How do you teach?
The best description is to use a traditional example of teaching math. For instance, a teacher proposes 2 equations and asks students to provide the answers. ( ) + 3 = 5 and 9 - 3 = ( ). In this case, the answers are respectively (2) and (6).
This classical approach is not teaching but encouraging students to guess. The lack of constructive learning creates confusion and prevents students to progress. The harder equations ( ) +2 = -3, -4 -2 = ( ), and -7 + ( ) = -2 initially frustrate students and slowly cause fear that translates into math anxiety. When the approach teaches students to guess, it forfeits their thinking ability.
Algebra Reborn dismisses content that solicits guessing and pursue constructive learning. First, we focus on teaching arithmetic where students can master 4 main operations such as:
#1 2 +5 = ( ), #2 5 -2 = ( ), #3 2 -5 =( ), #4 -2 -5 = ( )
#1 and #2 are practical operations. #3 and #4 are abstractive operations. They are primordial to algebra success. Although traditional methodologies can effectively address the practical operations, they lack prowess to elucidate the abstractive ones. To remove the roadblock, we have developed scaffolding techniques to teach the mechanism of all 4 operations simultaneously, practically, and visually. They allow 3rd-grade students to master all 4 operations timely. Second, we teach algebraic principles, symbols, and rules. Students learn to identify the position and meaning of each number or symbol. Third, we teach the equality principle and finally, we introduce the basic procedure of problem-solving.
Equipping 3rd-grade students with prior knowledge, they learn to observe, develop skills and decipher these equations:
2X +4 = 10, 2X -4 = 10, 4 -2X = 10, -2X +4 = -10, -2X -4 = 10, -4 -2X = -10.
They notice the nuance of each equation and solve them using logical reasoning. As students mature, they accumulate and solidify knowledge, get better in accuracy, make fewer mistakes, and excel in algebra.
11. I am homeschooling my kids, can I use Algebra Reborn?
Algebra Reborn works well for independent learners and homeschooling. If they have been through public school, a "deprogramming" period may be necessary.
12. Do students need to memorize formulas?
Algebra Reborn teaches students to construct formulas by using algebra as a tool to symbolize objects, describe events, and establish a relationship between objects. It is through this constructive process that students learn to derive or retrieve formulas. To learn algebra I, they practically don't need to memorize formulas. However, they need to know their multiplication tables by heart (tables 1 to 9).
13. How do you measure students' progress?
Our priority is to build students' confidence because it contributes to the delivery of results.
Our case studies have shown that most if not all students are capable of learning algebra. However, progress depends on the learning pace. It varies as a function of students' behavior described in question 9.
Algebra Reborn integrates evaluation criteria into its content with minimum testing. Algebra Reborn maintains students' milestones.
14. How do you compare Khan Academy, Kumon, and IXL to Algebra Reborn?
Khan Academy, Kumon, and IXL are popular math education platforms, and they certainly help many students. Some students like them, others dislike them.
Khan Academy has many resources and they are free. The problem is that there are limited video instructions per topic. Students obviously need additional materials that could be located on youtube. Young students or struggling students lack the acumen to identify or recognize supplementary resources and the initiative to search for algebra topics that they dislike. Searching, navigating, referencing and learning are time-consuming and distractive activities for them. In order to do well in algebra, a student must obtain 12100 points for 8th-grade algebra. Khan Academy is undoubtedly suitable for self-assertive students that have the commitment to explore and learn. Unfortunately, the majority of students still won't grasp the complexity of learning materials presented in Khan Academy.
Kumon math is rote learning. It could be effective but not fun. It offers minimum instructions and feedbacks but imposes a lot of worksheets. It is a methodology that emphasizes forced repetition. Excessive practices eventually develop muscle memory that allows students to perform well on tests. At Kumon center, instructors supervise students. At home, Kumon requires parents to assist their children with homework. Kumon seems to fit independent learners who are relentless and can endure years of practice. It is less suitable for other types of learners. The criticism of Kumon is that students drill on worksheets mechanically without thought, meaning, joy, and get burnout along the way. Their interest diminishes and self-esteem gets hurt due to homework overload. Lastly, they may obtain good scores at the expense of creativity in the long run.
IXL is an online math platform for K-12 students. Many schools adopt IXL as an extension of their math program. Teachers assign work to students either during their math class at school or as homework. Parents can also independently enroll their children to IXL. IXL defines success based on the number of skills that students master according to their grade level. For instance, the cumulative skills from 1st grade to 8th grade that students need to master are 2916 for Algebra I. In addition to the10 hours that students spend in the classroom and homework, they still need to allocate at least 3 more hours to acquire these overwhelming skills. The content is similar to school math delivered on a digital platform. It is highly focused to meet the requirement of standardized tests. Students fight against time, multiple-choice, and a scoring system that exerts additional stress and frustration on them. Since they didn't know or understand the materials, they hastily execute tasks without learning. Parents and students express mixed reviews. Unless students already understand the materials that their teachers provide in the classroom, they won't find clarification or explanation in IXL. When students couldn't learn from their teacher in the classroom and are unable to find help in IXL, they may consider Algebra Reborn.
Algebra Reborn, in the scope of this comparison, combines the best aspects of these programs. As a newcomer, Algebra Reborn is taking math education out of the dark age. It uses a natural sequence of algebraic knowledge that empowers students and introduces algebraic tools and processes that facilitate learning. Algebra Reborn meets the need for active learners, passive learners, middle ground learners, and mysterious learners because it focuses on conceptual understanding and constructive learning. Algebra Reborn provides instructions that encompass what, why, and how. For example, what is a fraction? why do we need fractions? how to do fractions? and what is an equation? why do we need an equation? how to solve an equation?
Algebra Reborn executes simple things extremely well that make complex things simple. For instance, IXL and Khan Academy respectively demand their students to master 2916 skills and 12100 points for algebra I in 8th grade while Algebra Reborn only requires students to learn 5 algebraic tools, 1 principle, 3 concepts, and 1 natural process of problem-solving. They use, apply, and, reuse the enhanced knowledge and skills to solve unlimited problems.
The algebra Reborn team anticipates, based on data collected on private testing, 10% of the students will complete Algebra I by 6th grade, 20% by 7th grade, 30% by 8th grade, and 40% by 9th or 10th grade. The condition is, of course, start learning algebra in 3rd grade.
15. Could Algebra Reborn be an accelerated program?
Algebra Reborn is a unique program that requires minimum prerequisites such as 1st-grade math and reading level.
Existing methodologies introduce students to the abstract world of algebra. Algebra controls students and causes a disruption.
On the contrary, Algebra Reborn introduces algebra to students. Students control algebra and learn faster. A group of students (10%) could follow the following path:
6th-grade Algebra I
7th-grade Algebra II or Geometry
8th-grade Geometry or Algebra II
This chart illustrates other math programs Vs. Algebra Reborn