Monday, March 26, 2012

A Resource for Learning Math... And More

Learning mathematics requires that students grasp simple concepts and procedures and then build upon these to understand more complex or abstract material. When students have challenges with learning math in early grades, it makes it difficult for them to jump in, even with strategies and support, to learn higher mathematics as they move into middle school, high school, and beyond.

One tool we often recommend to students who struggle with math is the Khan Academy website. Founded by Sal Khan, a former hedge fund analyst with degrees from MIT and Harvard, the website and the nonprofit organization behind it grew out of videos Khan posted to YouTube in 2006 to help tutor his cousins in math. Now supported by grants from organizations such as Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Khan Academy offers online tutorials in a wide range of subjects including science and social studies and is now replete with sophisticated interactive features. But the heart of the Khan Academy website is step by step instruction in fundamentals, especially math, that can be accessed by students on their own or in class groups, to fill instructional gaps or build new knowledge.

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