BETHLEHEM, PA—Schools who are already a part of the First In Math family are aware that it builds and reinforces a wide range of math skills through the power of digital gaming. They also know that the program fosters unparalleled student engagement when compared to other online math resources. But they may not know that new, premium content is available for subscribers: the VIFs™ system.
Teacher John Phillips and his third grade class at Marvine Elementary were among the first to try the new VIFs™ system. photo ©John Phillips
VIFs—short for Very Important Facts™—is the quickest path to fact fluency. Using clear, concise instructional videos integrated with digital games, the VIFs system helps students become automatic with basic facts, better preparing them for higher-level math.
“Too many students find math difficult, and may even get left behind, because they do not achieve basic fact-fluency early-on,” according to First In Math creator Robert Sun.
Sun, who did extensive research before designing the new module, describes it this way: “The best athletes have their basic moves down cold, virtually automatic, freeing their conscious mind to approach their game at a higher level. It’s the same with math: students need to become automatic with basic facts.”
“The VIFs™ system is an efficient way to master basic facts in all four operations, helping students uncover the 16 facts they need to know from memory,” says Sun. “Once this foundation is built, students will learn how to decompose numbers and discover a straightforward way to add and subtract numbers—even double digits.”
“VIFs may sound like a short cut, and in many ways it is,” explains FIM Implementation Specialist Monica Patel. “The unique three-tier system isolates essential rules and fundamentals that students must master to develop automaticity—instead of the hundreds of facts they are typically expected to memorize—but they’re still learning everything they need to know.”
VIFs short instruct/play/feedback loops help students learn to perform mental math with automaticity, according to Sun. “A short cycle of play is very important. It syncs with the way today’s student consumes information and executes tasks. Most of all, it gives the moment-to-moment feedback and reward children so desperately crave.”
The optional VIFs system is available to schools that select First In Math to provide the practice their students need to succeed in math. There is one annual, fixed site-license cost per school for both the Add and Subtract modules.
In addition to VIFs, First In Math still offers ALL of the great modules schools know and love: Practice GYMs to build fact fluency with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, & integers; Know & Show activities to target specific grade-level practice in solving word problems and an incredible variety of activities that incorporate Deep Practice techniques to reinforce essential math skills.
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