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Interesting Math Facts:
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Compiled by H. Larsen
Timez Attack Research Results
Summary: The majority of your students are failing at fluency. Timez Attack
completely overcomes this bottleneck for 95% of students in 1 to 10 hours.
When it comes to statistics, the phrase that always springs to mind is "Lies, damn lies, and statistics."
To avoid that tendency, we work hard to be transparent with our research. Our data is astonishingly
simple, but it's also just plain astonishing. And game-changing for most educators. We don't need to
exagerrate or cherry-pick our results, so please let us know if our efforts to be succinct leave you
feeling skeptical in any way. Even better though, put Timez Attack to the test with your own students
so you'll have your very own, live data—because you seriously won't believe these results until you
see them for yourself, with your very own students.
We partnered with 500 districts across the country to demonstrate the efficacy of Timez Attack. Each
student was given a pre-test that simply asked them each of the multiplication facts, 2 - 12,
evaluating their response for speed and accuracy, factoring in the time required for typing. They were
then given a matching post-test after completing Timez Attack. Over 500,000 students took the pretest and then 35,000 of those students were allowed sufficient time to finish the program. A
histogram of their 35,000 pre-test (blue) and post-test scores (red) is displayed below. By definition,
many of the the 35,000 students who finished Timez Attack were the Fast Finishers, so their pre-test
scores were much better than the national average.
However, those 35,000 finishers also included a significant sampling of struggling students. The
bottom quartile of the "Finishers" averaged below 25% mastery initially, yet STILL finished with a
94% average, giving a solid understanding of Timez Attack's effectiveness with struggling students.
Students who start out lower obviously need more time to finish. But they still walk away fluent--and
they do it in record time. (See "It's About Time" below)
We've known for a decade now that Timez Attack always delivers astonishing fluency, so for us the
surprising research results came from the larger group--students that started Timez Attack, but didn't
have enough time to Finish it. We feel like we know more about fact fluency than anyone has ever
known in the history of the world, but we were surprised by how deep the fact fluency problem is.
Finishing vs Improving
Most other programs only track improvement. There's no mention of finishing and little mention of
time. This is a critical oversight. First, why would a product settle for "improvement" when complete
mastery can be obtained in a matter of hours--absolutely free if necessary? As an educational
community we need to raise our standards so that we genuinely demand fluency, rather than
It's About Time
Second, any tool, from flash cards to Flash games can all theoretically deliver fluency eventually. So
once we start demanding fluency, the only real differentiator at that point will be time.Schools have
so many competing priorities that they run out of time long before students are fluent. Because our
high-end gameplay engages so intensely, we can also teach more intensely, delivering complete
fluency in just 4 to 5 hours--in 3rd grade! Note very clearly though what a wide range of learning
times exist. Some students will be done right off the bat, while some students will linger on for quite
a while. Furthermore, as you can see from the difference between 3rd and 5th-grade, the time needed
will vary depending on how much instruction students have received prior to Timez Attack.
Because time is so critical, we've released a new version that teaches significantly faster. We will
post data on that new version as soon as possible.
Students who finish Timez Attack show near-perfect results, regardless of grade
Here is a smaller chunk of data broken out by grade so you can see the fluency progression over
But however much time a student needs, it is vital that they get that time. Otherwise we are
forcing them to learn advanced concepts while simultaneously struggling to make basic
calculations. The brain can't do both things at the same time. That means we're essentially
requiring students to fall further and further behind every year from 4th grade on.
An average 3rd grade teacher will normally spend 30 hours on fluency. We only need 4 - 5,
giving teachers back those 30 hours to focus on struggling students or more advanced math.
Typically that means 30 minutes per week for 3 to 4 months. That's it. Some will need more
time, some will need less. But if we give them that time, put it in the schedule, then all 4th
graders will finally know all their facts. They will all get the associated surge of confidence
and they will be able to spend the following years learning and progressing, rather than
falling further and further behind and getting more and more frustrated.
The Causes and Prevention of Math Anxiety
by Marilyn Curtain-Phillips, M. Ed.
Mathematics anxiety has been defined as feelings of tension and anxiety that
interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems
in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations Math anxiety can cause one
to forget and lose one’s self-confidence (Tobias, S., 1993).
Research confirms that pressure of timed tests and risk of public embarrassment
have long been recognized as sources of unproductive tension among many
students. Three practices that are a regular part of the traditional mathematics
classroom and cause great anxiety in many students are imposed authority, public
exposure and time deadlines. Although these are a regular part of the traditional
mathematics classroom cause great deal of anxiety. Therefore, teaching methods
must be re-examined. Consequently, there should be more emphasis on teaching
methods which include less lecture, more student directed classes and more
Given the fact that many students experience math anxiety in the traditional
classroom, teachers should design classrooms that will make children feel more
successful . Students must have a high level of success or a level of failure that they
can tolerate. Therefore, incorrect responses must be handled in a positive way to
encourage student participation and enhance student confidence.
Studies have shown students learn best when they are active rather than passive
learners (Spikell, 1993). The theory of multiple intelligences addresses the different
learning styles. Lessons are presented for visual/spatial, logical/mathematics,
musical, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal and verbal/linguistic.
Everyone is capable of learning, but may learn in different ways. Therefore, lessons
must be presented in a variety of ways. For example, different ways to teach a new
concept can be through play acting, cooperative groups, visual aids, hands on
activities and technology. Learners are different than they were forty years ago.
These learners today ask questions why something is done this way or that way and
why not this way? Whereas years ago learners did not question the why of math
concepts; they simply memorized and mechanically performed the operations
Students today have a need for practical math. Therefore, math needs to be relevant
to their everyday lives. Students enjoy experimenting. To learn mathematics,
students must be engaged in exploring, conjecturing, and thinking rather than,
engaged only in rote learning of rules and procedures.
Students’ prior negative experiences in math class and at home when learning math
are often transferred and cause a lack of understanding of mathematics. According to
Sheila Tobias, millions of adults are blocked from professional and personal
opportunities because they fear or perform poorly in mathematics for many, these
negative experiences remain throughout their adult lives.
Math is often associated with pain and frustration. For instance, unpaid bills,
unforeseen debts, unbalanced checkbooks, IRS forms are a few of the negative
experiences associated with numbers. Parents should show their children how
numbers are successfully used by them in positive pleasant ways, such as in cooking,
sewing, sports, problem solving in hobbies and home repairs.
Math must be looked upon in a positive light to reduce anxiety. A person’s state of
mind has a great influence on his/her success. Many games are based on math