Thursday, 5 September 2013

Support your Daughter in Mathematics with Khan Academy

What is a growth mindset?
There are two types of mindsets and they are important to understand, especially in the teaching of math. A fixed mindset basically says that I am good at math because I have an inherent talent for it. I'm either born with the math gene or not. This is the mindset most people have and it severely limits the accessibility of a deep understanding of mathematics. A growth mindset says that I am good at math because I work hard. The importance of this is that it opens the door to a deep understanding of math to everyone! You don't have to be born with the math gene you just have to be willing to take responsibility for your understanding, ask questions, and work hard. There are things you can do to encourage a growth mindset.
(Read more at Changing Parents Mindset)

Many of us (teachers and parents) have a fixed mindset about our own maths ability, which dates back to our school days or some negative experience we had.  Unfortunately, it is all too easy for us to pass this on to our daughters and students especially when confronted with a teenager asking for help on something we haven’t looked at for 20 years or more and don’t have the resources to even begin to find a way to help.

That’s about to change….enter Khan Academy.

What is Khan Academy?

Like our school, Khan Academy believes learning should be: 
  • Personalized for learners to move at their own pace 
  • Focused on mastery to fill learning gaps in foundational understanding
  • Interactive and exploratory

Benefits of Khan Academy 

  • Strengthen your child’s knowledge and fill in gaps in their learning 
  • Build your child’s confidence and engagement in learning 
  • Access detailed data about your child’s learning progress 
  • Don’t break the bank – it’s free to use any of our resources

Ways Parents can use Khan Academy

As a parent or mentor, here are a few suggestions on how to use Khan Academy:
  • Check on stats: Use the KA data reports to find out how much time your child is spending on KA, what is their focus and what they are struggling with 
  • Have routine check-ins: Work with your child to establish milestones on what they will accomplish that week or month. It helps provide transparency, as well as build motivation through periodic milestones. It is recommended to keep a physical notebook or tracking list to track milestones and mark them off. 
  • Encourage and support: Use the data provided in KA to identify your child’s strengths and empower your child to overcome any challenges. For example, you might acknowledge an impressive badge that was recently earned, or encourage your child to take the hints or watch a video for an exercise that he/she might be struggling with.
  • Learn with them: Role model what lifelong learning looks like. Either choose a new topic to learn together or just learn a topic separately.
  • Advocate for them: Talk to their teachers about how to get involved and be supportive, or how Khan Academy can be integrated into their formal education.

Where do I start?

  1. Create a Khan Academy account of your own (it's free) at
  2. When you first log in, you will be asked to do a pre-test, just like your daughter was.  Don't worry, just have a go - the questions will get easier if you click "I haven't learnt that yet". If you're interested in learning more your dashboard will have recommended  topics based on this pretest.
  3. Invite your daughter to be your student by entering her email address. Go to Coach > Manage Students

Note: if you have other children over the age of 13 you can also invite them via their email address once they have signed up.  If you have children under the age of 13 they can also use Khan Academy by you creating them a child account.  Click on child accounts on the left hand side (under Manage Students) and create an individual account for each child.

Create a "New Class" on the left hand side and add all your children to it.

Where do I view my daughter's progress?

By clicking on Coach then Class Stats you can see information about all of your children. 

Progress By Exercise

  • see exercises your daughter is proficient or has mastery in or is struggling in

 Progress By Table

  • the same information as Progress by Exercise in a table format
Delve further into which questions within the activity were correct and which were incorrect
And even further to see the attempts made to answer the question
  • Finally, a little video camera appears in the graph if the video was watched as well as a symbol if a hint was used.
  • Watching videos and taking hints are great strategies for students to use to problem solve how to answer the questions.

Other Reports - Activity

  • See home much time was spend and what activities were attempted.

Some Final Points

  • The more you use Khan Academy the more accurate it becomes in determining exactly what a student needs to learn
  • The dashboard will recommend exercises based on prior activities
  • Particular topics can be selected from the menu in learn
  • If you have any questions, please write a comment and we will endeavour to answer them for you.