KooBits ProblemSums – Effective Mathematics help for the kids (reproduced with permission from www.mychirpylife.com
What is KooBits Problem Sums?
To my children, KooBits is fun. To me, KooBits is almost my life saviour! Do I sound very exaggerated here?
KooBits ProblemSums is a mathematics e-learning platform, highly personalised and fun for primary school kids. I am grateful to our primary school for subscribing to KooBits. We now have a fabulous resource at home for my children and even myself to catch up with the kids’ mathematics syllabus.
Why KooBits is my saviour
KooBits is highly personalised. It caters to a family like mine comprising of children with varying learning pace. I spent time standing in front of the shelves of Popular, having difficulty finding books at foundation level. The time spent there made me realised that there is a gap. There are numerous assessment books available to lend a hand to the kids who are chasing for As and stars, but there aren’t many books to help those who need to establish their foundation. That reminds me of what I recently told my son. To build a skyscraper, you need a strong foundation.
Last year, we were fortunate that our school introduced an excellent assessment book Targeting Mathematics for helping students build their foundation. I couldn’t find this same book from Popular!
This year, the school bookshop introduced another set of books under Fan-Math. The Diagnostic Maths book under Fan-Math is lovely for establishing my child’s foundation. There are however limited practices under each topic. Targeting Mathematics has limited practices too.
My child’s Maths result for Term 2 was worrying, and it became apparent that my child needed a lot of extra help. But we were bounded by limited options. There were limited assessment books for students at the foundation level; the school’s promise to arrange for extra lessons did not materialise; we were not so keen on engaging tutors at this junction. Because we have four children, education expenses gonna be high for us and we hope we don’t ever need to hire tutors. Fingers crossed.
Our school subscribed KooBits for the students’ home practice. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what KooBits is. I ignored its existence until I stumbled across a set of login IDs and passwords my children have. I started to question the necessity of having so many platforms to log in to; thus I decided to see what KooBits is all about.
We spent the first few weeks fiddling with the online platform, doing the daily challenges and homework set by KooBits. The kids earn KooBit points from doing these which are in turn used for playing one session of KooBits Brain Game. Each session is limited to 25 minutes. The kids had a lot of fun, and they felt motivated every day to return to KooBits to earn their points and play their games.
I started to explore the platform and discovered how we could personalise KooBits by the children’s mathematical competency, from foundation to genius. Then, I began to create homework and daily challenges based on each of my children’s learning needs. Gradually, KooBits became part of our daily rhythms, something that the children would do to end their daily afternoon work. Understandably, they like to celebrate the end of their work session with a round of fun games.
The outcome was great! They both felt more motivated to tackle challenges designed for each of their ability. From facing cranky children disinterested in answering math questions and relying on me to help them with every single problem, I now see motivated self-starters working through each problem, independently every single day.
I felt a great sense of relief seeing my two children so motivated, and I gradually became less involved in their learning process.
How does KooBits workOnce you log in, you see the dashboard. We typically go straight to the left column for our Daily Task, which is to collect the daily KoKo Credit that we use as points for games. Next is the Daily Challenge where kids will earn between 1 to 4 Koko Credits upon completing ten questions assigned. The amount of credits varies following the difficulty level of the challenge. Completing the Master Level will gain the child 4 Koko Credits. Imagine ten questions a day, that would potentially be 240 questions a month.
What I like about the Daily Challenge is the ability for us as parents and educator to customise the practice following the child’s requirement. For example, my children had their Holistic Assessment in May, with specific test topics. So I limited the topics in their Daily Challenges to the test topics. Nearing the test date, I further narrowed down the topics to those that they didn’t quite mastered. Looking back, KooBits has helped me saved a sum of money which I could have spent on assessment books. And like what I mentioned earlier, there are limited assessment books for the foundation level students.
Another section that my children like to visit is the Homework section, where the KooBits portal will automatically generate some questions for the children to attempt every 5 or 6 days. Teachers and parents can also create customised homework to focus on the child’s weaker topics. My children love to do the homework because completing each set of homework earns them another 5 Koko Credits
Problem sums are often found in Section C which is the last section of the test and examination papers. These questions typically carry a higher weight.
I like it that the platform provides solutions after the question is correctly answered. This is especially important for me as a parent who does not know how to do modelling. I learn along with them, and these models are used in the daily school work too.
When the kids answer a question incorrectly, they get a youtube video tutorial to watch. The video will show a similar question and demonstrate to the student the method used to solve the problem.
Koobits Brain Games
Most of the Brain Games aim at strengthening the memory, reflexes, and cognitive skills. With each session limited to just 25 minutes, I can safely leave them with the computer and not bothered with timing their gaming session
Other ways of motivating the childrenSome children get bored after a while doing just Daily Challenge and Homework. In my daughter’s case, she got a little bored after a while and started challenging her friends via Peer Challenge. The questions are mostly the same, but when there is a competition involved, things became a little more exciting for her.
After going through my children’s learning through KooBits for the past one term, most of the questions look quite similar. I began to wonder whether I was limiting my children’s scope of learning. So I reached out for some other physical assessment books like the ones I mentioned earlier – the series from Fan-Math.
Further, while there are videos that show the children how to tackle a problem sum, it seems like Koobits doesn’t explain the logic behind using a particular approach.
However, to be fair to Koobits, the platform is smart enough to detect progression in the kids and will not post questions that are too elementary for them to waste their time on. So, the questions do get more difficult along the way. Perhaps it’s my sense of insecurity and unfamiliarity with the portal that causes me to think that KooBits is still not good enough.
I tried out some of the Maths Olympiad questions for this post, and to answer some of my insecurities. For the primary two sums, some kids may require more thinking to get the correct answer.
Despite my sense of insecurity, I believe KooBits will continue to be my life saviour and motivate my children in learning their mathematics. I approve the platform for its flexibility and the countless questions my children can repeatedly practice until they can conquer the problem sum. Of course, KooBits appeals to my children for the games they get to play after that. This platform works for busy parents who are unable to be there for their children’s studies all day long.
Disclaimer: I write this post because I think it helps the kids with their schoolwork, and I am not affiliated with KooBits in any way. www.mychirpylife.com