Frequently Asked Questions

How to prepare for the start of the school year

Delete all your students. The easiest way to do this is to use Bulk Changes > Delete Students > Select All, and then add the new students. (We do not yet have the ability to move students between classes or teachers, but, after a summer off, starting with new data is a good idea. We can add your rosters in from a spreadsheet for ten cents/student. To arrange for payment, send us a message in the question form below.

What is the best number of facts to assign per session.

50, which takes about 5 minutes, then encourage them to play Mars Defense all they want. Students who play Mars Defense average an extra 60 facts per session, just for fun!

What do the grade levels determine?

The grade levels are ONLY used to determine which type of jokes to give a student. 1st graders and 6th graders have different senses of humor.

Is it OK to assign all my first graders the same password, such as "1"?

Yes. But you need to watch out for abuse.

What does it mean if the practice history has a green background square?

It means that for that day (today or yesterday) they practiced at least the number of facts you selected per session. For a week, (this week or last) it means that they practiced 5x a session, so at least 250 facts if you have a session set to 50 facts.

My students' practice is not showing up!

For their practice to show up, they must log in, using your username, their name, and their password. They also must get to the results page, either because they clicked the results button, or because they were taken there automatically when they reached the assigned number of facts. This is when their data is uploaded. In order to see their practice, you must be viewing the same operator they practiced. If the default is multiplication of 12’s, but they did multiplication of 10’s, you’ll have to select that in order to see what they did. Also, the teacher dashboard is not live. If students practice after you login, you’ll need to refresh to see their practice. If these things are in order, and their practice didn’t show up, they didn’t practice. The only two possible exceptions to this are a) if our server went down. We are hosted on the Amazon Web Services network, and we very rarely go down. Usually we will post a message if that happens. or B) we have received reports of McAffee VirusScan Enterprise causing students to flash back and forth between Lite and the paid version. We would really like for someone who has this issue to work with us in figuring it out.

What is the generic teacher demo?

When we were testing Mars Defense, we needed a way to experience the game as a student, not knowing all the facts. So we created a version that goes up to the 16’s. It assumes that you know the 11’s, and some of the 12’s, but none of the 13’s etc. One of the problems with learning something is that you forget what it was like not to know it. This is a problem with teaching. So we thought we would give you the same experience, if you are up to the challenge of learning math facts again! It is not exactly the same experience, because it isn’t tied to your assessment and practice app results (It doesn’t even use that part yet.) But it will give you the general idea. Try it! You can also create a student account inside your teacher account and play as a student. If you paid for a few extra seats, that would be a good way to make use of one of them.

How do I pay?

During a free trial, you can login to the teacher dashboard with your username and password, and then click the Account tab in the upper right corner. Then + 1 Year or Purchase button. This will walk you through paying through PayPal with a card or an account, or with a purchase order. The price is $1/seat/12 months. ($5 min) For renewals, the button doesn’t show until you are in the last month. Anytime you need to add extra seats, click the “purchase more seats” link to do the same thing. Extra seats are pro-rated until the end of your subscription term, with a $5 minimum purchase.

How is mastery determined?

Mastery is determined as

  1. perfectly correct and fast enough, or
  2. only 1 mistake or too slow if there have only been 4-10 attempts, or
  3. correct and fast enough the last 9 out of 10 attempts

What is the cutoff speed for determining if a fact is fast enough, and can it be changed?

The cutoff speed is unique for each individual. It is based on their fastest average times, with a cushion added in. If, using their current input method, they can answer facts like 0 + 0 in less than a second, they will have a faster (shorter) cutoff speed than someone whose speed is longer than a second. Students think that they miss facts because of problems with the input method, but the problem is usually that they had to stop and think before they could respond, and the algorithm picked up on it. (Which is what it is designed to do. Try it yourself on division to 12’s and see.) This cutoff speed is calculated after each attempt, and is not adjustable manually.

Can I do mixed operators or fact families?

We do not yet have that ability, but we hope to add it, and become fact family based at that time, with the option of one operator at a time. A great way to practice multiple operators is to play the dice game, Contig.

Can I select which facts my students will be working on, such as the 3's?

One of the huge benefits of individualized instruction is that your students are all in individualized situations with their math fact learning, and it adapts to each one uniquely for optimal growth. They are not all learning the 3’s, for example. Some students will be frustrated working on 3’s, because they don’t know the 2’s yet, others will be frustrated because they already know up to the 6’s. And the path of fluency is not straight across the fact table. it jumps around a lot. That’s why Math Facts Pro’s algorithm now considers relational factors. If a student knows 2x3, they may know 3x2, 2x4, 4x2, 3x3, 2x2, 1x3, and 3x1. (We will get to complete fact families in a future version.) However, if they don’t know any facts related to 6x8, they probably don’t know 6x8, either. The algorithm hunts down which facts are fluent and which facts can/can not be figured out. It is also figuring out which facts are closest to becoming fluent, and focuses on them. However, to avoid frustration, it adapts the questions asked to achieve 90-95% accuracy (zone of proximal development).

I can't remember my username/password.

You may log in with your email address instead of your username, and then the username will be displayed on your teacher dashboard. (Remember, your students will be using your username as well.) This is a good reason to verify your email address. Without it all you can do is contact us and guess at the username. Passwords can be reset with the password recovery link via email, if an email was registered. You may need to check your spam folder.

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