PROGRAM DESIGN

Funnix Beginning Math is divided into 100 lessons. Each lesson has 6 or more exercises. The lessons and the exercises are to be presented in order, starting with exercise 1 of lesson 1 and continuing through the last exercise of lesson 100. The ideal schedule is for the learner to complete a lessons a day.

The Funnix Beginning Math narrator provides the teaching for all activities. Jeanie, his assistant, models new responses that children will be expected to produce.

In all exercises, the narrator asks the children questions or directs them to do things like count or write symbols. Children answer all questions out loud and in unison.

Some exercises are strictly oral; others are coordinated with displays on the screen.

Children use their workbook for some exercises in each lesson. Children do all written work in their workbook, not on lined paper.

PROGRESSION OF SKILLS TAUGHT

The root of all operations in Funnix Beginning Math is counting. Counting begins on lesson 1 and continues through the end of lesson 100. Children learn to count by 1 to 100 and to count by 10 to 100. They learn counting operations for the 4 problem types in this order: regular addition (7 + 1 = [ ] ), regular subtraction (7 – 3 = [ ]), algebra addition (5 + [ ]  = 8), and algebra subtraction (9 – [ ]  = 3).

After each operation is well practiced and familiar, children learn to solve word problems that involve each operation. They also learn extensions for solving word problems involving coins and dollar amounts. For example this workbook exercise from lesson 92 requires children to count the coins and bills to figure out the answer. Note: these extensions involve 2-digit numbers, which are taught after students have mastered writing and reading 1-digit and 2-digit numbers.

Children learn to represent 2-digit numbers in a way that shows the relationship between ones and tens. For values less than 10, they make only lines. For values of 10 or more, they make T’s and lines. For the problems above children count the Ts and lines and write the answer in the box. They start counting by 10 for the Ts and counting by 1 for each line. For the first problem: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 52. The children would write 52 in the box.

Children learn to identify fractions that are less than one whole, more than one whole, and equal to one whole. They also represent fractions as pictures: Students learn basic math facts: +0 facts, +1 facts, +2 facts, –0 facts, and –1 facts.

PROGRAM SEQUENCE

Exercises for counting and symbol identification occur on each lesson. Other exercises in each lesson teach specific operations or provide review or application of familiar problem-solving procedures.

Only 10% of the material presented in each lesson is new. The rest of the lesson consists of material, facts and operations that were taught earlier and are now used in new applications.

For example, all the steps that students take in solving a problem like 4 + 2 = [ ]  are taught as separate skills earlier in the program, each appearing on four or more consecutive lessons. After all separate skills have been taught, the skills are combined to create the steps that children take in solving addition problems like 4 + 2 =[ ].

This operation involves the following steps: 1. Children read the problem as: 4 plus 2 equals how many.
2. They make lines under the 2.
3. Children then get it going with 4, count the lines, and write the number in the box.
4. They read the completed equation: 4 plus 2 equals 6.
Before the operation is introduced on lesson 20, children learn these skills starting at the lesson indicated: When the basic addition operation is introduced on lesson 20, students are well practiced in all the components so it is a small step from what they already know to the new operation.

After students have learned the addition operation, they learn a streamlined version that has lines for only the number after the plus sign.

Students start with the first number in the problem, 4, and count for each line (5, 6, 7). The answer to the problem is 7.

This operation involves a counting pre-skill, counting from different numbers, so children have already learned to count from various numbers: 6, 3, 18, 10 and so forth. With this skill, the streamlined addition operation is a very small step, which means it is easy for children to learn.

The same small-step development is used for all skills and operations taught in Funnix Beginning Math. Funnix
805 Lincoln Street
Eugene, OR 97401
541-284-2441