August 27, 2014

How We Started Reviewing with Khan

So far I’ve had the kids doing Khan in parallel. This is what that looks like.
They sit side-by-side, each at a laptop.
When there’s a video lesson that I think would benefit both, I make them both watch it. I actually launch the video on one computer so they can watch, then simultaneously launch it on the other with the sound off. That way both kids get “credit” for watching the video. I pause the videos occasionally to ask them to predict what’s coming, to reinforce a point, or to ask about a related topic. “Wait a minute,” I’ll say. “How is he doing 12 times 15 in his head?”
They do the exercises on a topic individually but simultaneously—each at a laptop. I monitor both from behind. Since Khan seems to serve exercises randomly, they’re working on similar, but different, problems. We have a strict rule that they can’t advance past a wrong answer ‘til Dad has a chance to ask about where it went wrong. I frequently ask them to narrate through problems even before getting them wrong, just to see their thought processes. I’m pretty adamant about letting them make mistakes, though. If I guide them to the right answer, then the “5 in a row” rule will fail to serve enough exercises.
Since the exercises keep coming until you get 5 consecutive problems right, it’s likely that one of them (generally Jessica) will finish before the other. I tell the one who finished first either to do Mastery Challenge quizzes or to repeat the exercise, getting another 5 in a row, if I think it needs further reinforcing. A couple of times I’ve let her call it a day while I’m still finishing up with Nathaniel.
I generally stop the lesson when I feel like they’ve had enough, after something between 30 and 75 minutes. Khan presents no more than a few Mastery Challenge quizzes, then introduces a 16-hour delay—we have to wait until tomorrow for the next Mastery Challenge. I usually stop when the kids have worked through exercises on one or more topics and no more Mastery Challenges are available to them.
As of August 1 they were both at about the 55% mark for pre-algebra. I hope they make it by Labor Day.

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