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The main menu shows the last lesson and exercise number viewed. If the lesson was completed, the menu shows next lesson and exercise 1. To enter the program, click on Okay.
During the lesson you will respond to the performance of the children by directing the program to Continue, to Pause, to Repeat the last task presented, or to start Over and present the entire exercise from the beginning.
Here’s a brief description of the buttons that you’ll click on to direct the lesson.
|Continue button: the Funnix Beginning Math narrator gives directions and allows time for children to respond. After some directions the program stops, and the Continue button turns green. After the children have responded correctly, click on Continue or press the return key.|
Pause button: To correct mistakes or stop the presentation at any time, click on Pause. The sequence will stop until you click on Pause again or on another command button.
|Repeat button: If you hear a mistake and the Continue button is not green, you can press the return key on your keyboard to pause the program. Tell the children the correct answer and repeat the task. Click on the Repeat button, and you will return to the beginning of the task.|
Over button: If you need to provide several corrections during an exercise, it’s a good idea to present the entire exercise again. Click on Over to return to the beginning of the exercise.
Fast Forward button: If you want to move ahead to another part of the exercise or to the next exercise, click and hold the Fast Forward button.
Rewind button: If you are interrupted or want to go back to earlier frames of the exercise, click and hold the Rewind button.
Exit button: You may want to go to an exercise in another lesson. Click on Exit, and you’ll return to the main menu. Then type in the lesson and exercise number you want.
|Individual Turn button:After the group responds to the questions and directions in an exercise, the program gives the option of giving children extra practice by displaying the Individual Turns button. To skip individual turns press Continue. To present individual turns, click on the Individual Turns button. After the children have had individual turns, press the button again to proceed to the next exercise.|
Select a place in which there are not many distractions. A quiet corner, for instance, is good (with the computer in the corner and the children with their backs to the classroom).
When working with one child, the simplest arrangement is for you to sit next to the child, with the child positioned in front of the computer screen. The child should be able to touch things that are presented on the screen.
For more than one child, the children should be seated in front of the screen in a horse-shoe arrangement. You should be seated at one end where you can operate the mouse and see both the screen and all the children. If you have 10 children, you may want to arrange the children in two curved rows.
Lessons should be taught daily at the same time each day. Allow about 30 minutes to complete the instructional part of the lesson and another 5 minutes for children to complete their independent work. Lessons 1–19 will not be this long, but by lesson 20 and beyond they will be.
Try to complete a lesson a day. It’s a good idea to repeat lessons if children aren’t firm. One way to ensure that children are firm (are making very few mistakes), is to present lessons 1 through 5, then repeat any of those lessons in which the children made a lot of mistakes.
If it takes more than the 30-minute period to get through a lesson, but the children are not making a lot of mistakes, complete the lesson during the next reading period. Then immediately start the next lesson and get as far as you can during the period.
If you are not able to get through a lesson because the children made a lot of mistakes, start the lesson over during the next period and try to complete the entire lesson during that period. Use this same technique if the children don’t complete the lesson because they are performing slowly.
When you repeat a lesson, do not act as if it is punishment. Treat it as something the children should like to do. “Last time, we did a pretty good job with this lesson. This time, let’s see if we can get through the whole lesson this period.” It’s a good idea to repeat some early lessons just so the children don’t get the idea that the repeated lesson is punishment for not doing well.
For Best Results
Keep the lessons positive and the pace consistent. Don’t get bogged down in corrections. Move through the lesson then repeat the difficult exercises. The tasks that are presented in later lessons are the biggest reinforcers for children.
Before lesson 10, repeat entire lessons if the children make a lot of mistakes. After lesson 10 repeat only the exercises that presented difficulties.
Set expectations you know the children can exceed. A good plan is to tell children that these lessons are hard, only very smart children are able to master them, and even smart children have trouble finishing a lesson during a period. You may set expectations by saying, “This program has many lessons. I’ll circle the day on the calendar three weeks from now. By that date, I think we can get through lesson 10 if we work really hard.”
Frequently remind the children of their progress. Tell them what their progress implies about when they may finish lesson 10. Say, for example, “Wow, you’ve done 6 lessons in only 8 days. If you keep going that fast, you’ll finish lesson 10 three days early. That’s pretty amazing.”
Remember, meeting your expectations is reinforcing for the children. Exceeding your expectations is even more reinforcing.