My student is struggling with XtraMath

XtraMath’s goal is to measure what basic math facts students can recall, not what they can calculate. Before starting the XtraMath program, the mathematical operations should be taught conceptually in the classroom. It is important that students can solve their math facts with confidence with no time pressure before using the program.

XtraMath has each student practice near the limit of their abilities. This makes the program effective, but it can be uncomfortable for students, since they won’t always answer correctly within the fluency threshold. They should not think of this as a personal failure, but as a normal challenge of the XtraMath program. The goal is to gradually improve over time!

Here are some common concerns, and how to deal with them:

  • Slow typing speed: Most students become comfortable with typing numbers after only a few sessions of XtraMath. If typing speed remains a problem, take a break from XtraMath and have the student practice typing numbers. A web search will turn up many number-typing games.
  • Fine-motor difficulties: For some students, a touch screen may work better than a keyboard or mouse. Another option is for the student to say the answer aloud, and an adult or older child to type it in on their behalf.