About Guzinta Math
Click on this blog post and this one for more information. You may want to right click and Save As to download any of the packages. You also may need to disable your Ad blocker to download. The Grade 7–8 package is still in beta testing, but feel free to download for a test drive.
Thanks for checking out Guzinta Math. You can download the Grade 6 desktop app (15 lessons) for Windows or Mac by clicking the appropriate button over there on the left. Guzinta Math produces free supplemental math lesson apps for middle school. Click on Home above to see all 31 Chrome apps (15 Grade 6, 8 Grade 7, and 8 Grade 8 lesson apps). Below is some information on the new desktop Grade 6 package. If you have any questions or concerns not addressed by the information below or elsewhere, please Email qanda[at]guzintamath.com.
As of Version 6.1.0 users can now login with a personal nickname to keep track of individual Practice Meter levels. The first time through, just enter any nickname you like (from 5–16 characters) and go. The next time you come back, enter your nickname and we'll remember you. (Don't forget your nickname!)
Click on one of the lessons to be taken to the lesson homepage. Every lesson (with the exception of Plotting Ratios) in Grade 6 contains five modules. At the right, the lesson homepage for Ratio Names is shown. Notice the green Practice Meter level in the center icon. This mirrors the level shown on the main home page. Hover over this icon to see the numeric Practice Meter level (the one shown is at 36 currently).
Notice also the Home button in the bottom right corner of the lesson homepage. This can be found on all lesson homepages and will take you back to the main home page.
The 3 main modules, located in the center quad-panel are numbered 1 to 3 (Algebraic Expressions shown at right). The fourth square in the quad-panel is a link to the Instructor Notes for the lesson. Click on that to download a PDF of these notes.
The modules do not necessarily have to completed in any particular order. However, completing them in the order given is recommended.
Adult Interaction Is a Must
Each of the first modules in every lesson is labeled with Guided Practice (Equations and Inequalities shown at left). This means that if it is used in a classroom, it should be used at the center of an activity involving teachers and students. If it is used at home, the first module in particular should be the focus of both parent(s) and student.
The Instructor Notes provide an outline for interactive teaching and learning discussions with this material. It is recommended that every module—when first completed—be done together with adult and student.
To use Guzinta Math at home, a teacher may assign a module for homework or practice. Parent and student then discuss and complete the module together and, if it is requested, return the student to school the next day with the completion certificate or email it. (Parents can follow the Instructor Notes for each module as well.) The material can be used also at school or solely at school. In that case, different modules can be completed as a class and others may be assigned for homework. It is not the case that adults should be doing all or even most of the work during these interactions, but they should attend to them, rather than plop students down in front of a monitor to complete these activities alone.
After you have completed at least one module in one of the 15 lessons, this will activate your Practice Meter for that lesson, and you will see a meter level to the right of the lesson on the homepage. This will allow you to, at a glance, see what concepts need your attention. The Instructor Notes link at the bottom right allows you the ability to download the complete PDF of all the Instructor Notes for the grade level (280 pp).
At 25 and below, the Practice Meter color is red. Between 26 and 79, the color is green. And, a level of 80 or above makes the color blue. Once a module has been completed—either at school with a teacher or at home with a parent or caregiver, the time is recorded for that lesson, along with the Practice Meter level. As time passes, the Practice Meter level decreases to represent a forgetting of the content.
In the first 7 days, the meter decreases at a rate of about 54% each day. That is, it loses a little more than half its value each day. The Practice Meter level of 36 (green) mentioned above would be about 16 or 17 (red) a day later, if no work is done in the lesson. From 7 days to 28 days, the meter only loses about 17% of its value each day. From 28 to 90 days, only 6% is lost each day. And from 90 days on, only 1% is lost each day.
The purpose of the Practice Meter is to provide a visual indication of forgetting and to alert students, teachers, and parents when it is time to revisit a lesson. Forgetting is very useful for learning, so it is important to allow time for the Practice Meter level to decrease before recharging it. A good schedule to keep would be to use a module together as a class or with parents and students as homework and then check in 1 day, then 1 week, and then each month after this first start. Have students get their meters out of the red or in the blue, at least for these check-ins. The goal is to keep this content alive throughout the year—yes, even if students are repeating the same questions. Repetition is excellent for novice learners!
Time-Released Practice Questions
Because the application timestamps the beginning of a student's work in a lesson, this allows it to reveal new practice questions over time. The table below shows the number of questions (excluding Module 0) asked in each lesson, starting on Day 1 and then the extra questions revealed on Days 4, 9, and 22. These days are measured separately for each lesson, and the timer doesn't start until after adults and students together complete at least one module in the lesson.
There are a few reasons for time-releasing new questions: (1) This ratchets up the challenge level for a lesson. The answers for questions revealed on and after Day 4 are not included in the Instructor's Notes. And, more questions in a lesson means that it becomes slightly more difficult to raise one's practice meter up to any given level (though the difficulty increase is very minor in most cases). (2) It helps break the repetition a little. (3) Transfer is facilitated when students revisit a previously learned topic in a slightly new context.