What is DEEP PRACTICE, and why
is it important?
Activities on the First In Math® site employ Deep Practice
techniques to rapidly increase computation, problem solving,
critical thinking and other essential math skills. Deep Practice is
much more powerful than normal practice. Skills that may take
months of regular practice can be mastered in a matter of weeks, or
even days, using Deep Practice techniques. Research shows that up
to 90% of what students are taught in school is forgotten after 30
days. The 10% that is retained occurs from active learning-through
Deep Practice consists of stopping when an error occurs,
practicing that one skill until it is perfected, then continuing.
Students learn by repeating, reassessing and "fixing" their skills
in the process of learning them, with immediate feedback and
Scientific research shows that this type of learning causes
myelin, a neural insulation, to grow and thicken around axons,
which connect the brain's neurons to each other. Increased myelin
makes the information signal that passes through the neural network
faster, stronger, and longer lasting. The result is quicker
thinking, and better retention.
Engage their minds-win their hearts
Why don't children like to practice math? In reality, it is
because they do not receive immediate feedback. In sports, when we
swing a bat and miss the ball, the feedback through our senses is
immediate. When solving mathematics problems there is no built-in
feedback, and no opportunity for active learning. Math can quickly
become a meaningless, boring undertaking.
First In Math's game-style activities provide immediate
feedback, to ensure that students engage in the amount of Deep
Practice necessary for skill retention. In a scientific study
conducted by WestEd®, 72% of students using FIM agreed with the
statement "math lessons are fun." Teachers also overwhelmingly
agreed that students enjoyed the program and sought out time to use
the FIM website.