Mindsprinting.com is a great, fun Internet resource for any student needing assessment testing and instruction in math -- either as a supplement or a full curriculum -- and reading comprehension from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and even for adults who want to freshen up their basic skills! The core curriculum Mindsprinting uses has been developed and honed over 20 years and now can be delivered to your computer at nearly the speed of light!
MINDsprinting is a specially designed, "directed" (the program assigns the work) printed worksheet program. Traditional worksheet programs focus on memorizing through repetition. Mindsprinting’s worksheets were designed to instill higher order thinking – not merely memorization – through practice, and thus MINDsprinting actively encourages cognitive and emotional development. Their materials teach students how to learn through easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations, so they can respond successfully to different types of problems (ones they have not practiced) – something you can’t do if you simply memorize rules and facts. Mindsprinting also functions from the belief that doing lessons by hand, rather than on-screen, is the best way to learn. So all of the lessons are printed by the user from their website, rather than being done interactively on the computer screen. (The initial assessment test is done interactively, of course.)
Mindsprinting presents skills in units or sets and builds the specific skill each lesson upon the last one. At the end of each unit, the student takes an exam to demonstrate that s/he has mastered the skills covered in the unit. If the student does not pass the unit exam, the program can assign specific lessons to address the un-mastered material. However, Mindsprinting’s program also allows the parent/student flexibility to take a fast track progression through the program, to avoid wasting the student’s time. This is a strong aspect for homeschoolers -- let’s say your child comes into the Mindsprinting program and is placed into a unit with 30 lessons, and s/he has the unit mastered after 5 lessons, s/he is not forced to complete the rest of that unit. The parent can "fast track" right to the unit test. If the child passes, he moves on to the next unit. If not, the child will be prompted to repeat certain lessons over. This gives the parent the flexibiltiy to move the child along a little faster. (Mindsprinting offers over 11,000 Math lessons -- from pre K to geometry, algebra and trigonometry, everything but calculus.) Obviously, Mindsprinting is perfect for homeschoolers and the math program can be used as a complete stand-alone program in itself.
When you enroll your student in the program and proceed to the website, s/he will begin with an online assessment test that allows the staff at Mindsprinting to determine the appropriate grade level to begin teaching at and then tailor a custom program for your child. Let’s say that your child is lacking skills in two or three different grade levels, the program addresses those weak points. However, to avoid simply creating frustration, the Mindsprinting program begins with a skill the student can master and then moves on to the next challenge. Mindsprinting is designed to provide positive reinforcement by never letting your child know what grade level s/he is working at.
Once you become a Mindsprinting family, you, the parent, receive an access code that allows you to bring up a "dashboard" which is the central control screen. From your dashboard you can access a wide variety of functions. There, you’ll see "at-a-glance" a bar chart identifying the number of lessons done in each of the last 4 months, the date and score of the last few lessons done, a Problem-solver which shows the parent (but not the child) the correct answer, information about the next assignment, and even your child’s Star Bank total (more on this below). And at the click of a button you can produce a Progress Report (a motivational tool for students) and a detailed Transcript, both of which you can easily e-mail or print. If you have more than one child, you will have a different "dashboard" for each child.
Your child can see a progress report, stars s/he earns, but not know the actual grade level that is being worked on. S/he attains rewards through accumulating stars in the star bank and the prize catalog but these are not based upon the grade s/he receives, but rather upon doing the lesson. In the math program, if a child does poorly, s/he will earn 1 star for doing the lesson; but the system analyzes how the child did and if poorly done, it will bring up a homework assignment -- upon completion the child earns the other star that is available.
The first several lessons in each unit are very detailed and by unit’s end they get harder. If a parent wants the child to work further on a skill there are supplementary lessons available. The parent checks the answers for how many errors. The system generates a transcript report so the parent can check the records for performance.
Of special interest to elementary and middle school grade levels, Mindsprinting’s program also offers two incentives at the end of each unit: (1) a printable Certificate upon completion of each Unit; and (2) stars awarded for completing certain lessons and homework assignments, which can be redeemed for prizes from the online catalogue. Students earn stars redeemable for great prizes as they work through the Mindsprinting program. Students can earn stars in two ways: Completing lessons and homework, and referring friends who enroll in Mindsprinting. For instance, students can earn a maximum of 6 stars in reading comprehension and 6 stars in math each "week" by doing their assignments (and reporting the results). A "week" is Sunday through the following Saturday. [At that rate, they could earn 12 stars per week.]
1 star - completing a math lesson
1 star - mastering a math lesson (80%) or completing a homework assignment
2 stars - completing a reading comprehension lesson
75 stars - referring a new student who actually enrolls
The increments of stars needed to redeem for prizes are: 300, 600, 1200, 1800, 2400, 3600, and 4800. Examples of available prizes are: 300 stars - a curvy desk watch, CD player & disk holder, mesh backpack and more; 600 - 48-CD disk holder, Messenger Groove Pack with a detachable CD player/disk holder with the main interior pocket padded for laptop. Mesh water bottle/cell phone pockets; 4800 - Canon Elph underwater camera, RCA DVD/CD player, and in each increment there are many more prizes available.
Mindsprinting does the lesson planning, monitoring and reporting for parents and they offer e-mail help within 24 hours. The computer serves the same purpose as the instructor at a bricks-and-mortar tutoring service. And the developers of Mindsprinting have kept cost in mind and have tried to make their program affordable for all families. Currently, the cost is only $15 per subject per month plus a $180 flat registration fee per year. This fee includes the initial assessment testing, which would normally be quite a bit more.
In the very near future, Mindsprinting’s math program and the website navigation will be offered in Spanish and French. Since the reading comprehension program is designed for English, at this time, it is offered only in English.
Please visit mindsprinting.com and discover this exciting and unique program for yourself!
|Copyright © 2006 Modern Media - Subscribe to The LINK for FREE|