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Case Study - Little Lights Urban Ministries

Exploring a fast and fun route towards better math comprehension for kids

Little Lights' Challenge

Mentoring around sixty children each week ranging from elementary to middle school and beyond, Little Lights Urban Ministries leverages the dedicated work of eleven full-time employees and scores of volunteers and teen interns to help under-served children in Washington, D.C. improve their academic performance while gaining exposure to the arts and to scholarship and values. The charity's desire to provide meaningful support and guidance to its pupils is matched by a strong drive to help kids progress quantitatively in both reading and math, goals which are likely to be difficult to achieve within under-served communities, as teachers around the country are sure to experience.

In particular, Little Lights' students struggled with basic arithmetic; teachers noted that many of the kids were still counting on their fingers well into grade school, and some students proved to be very far behind in addition and subtraction. Tutors tried using traditional flash cards, but a lack of progress-tracking and arbitrary time limits resulted in little to no improvement.

Solving Little Lights' Equation

Following a simple installation of UberSmart Math Facts, a computer program designed to help students memorize basic arithmetic, Little Lights was able to effectively solve its students' math woes. The program is featured on each of the charity's computers, where children practice with the program at least once per week. Adapting to the program is easy, and Little Lights' teachers found that kids were quickly able to start using the program with minimal orientation. Featuring incremental levels that challenge students with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations based on their previous performance, the program gives users a straightforward and dependable way to effectively memorize basic operations.

Instead of working with cumbersome flashcards or other programs that fail to acknowledge a student's progress and to provide useful drilling and testing functionalities, UberSmart Math Facts gives the kids at Little Lights the structure and reward system they need to memorize math facts quickly and permanently without getting bored or discouraged. When users achieve mastery of a particular discipline, they're given certificates to help make the memorization process personalized and fun --and students and educators can easily view what they've grasped and what needs to improve with a few clicks.

Summing Up the Success

Less than six months after installing UberSmart Math Facts, Little Lights has witnessed dramatic improvement in math scores in every grade. One student has fully mastered all of the math facts, while several others are growing closer to total mastery and have successfully completed a number of levels. Children who previously exhibited very poor basic math skills now triumphantly proclaim their progress to teachers, who themselves now have time to touch upon more advanced topics.

Perhaps most striking is the improvement in the kids' confidence, a benefit that profoundly influences their enthusiasm for learning both in math and other subjects. As scores of children across the country and around the world struggle with anxiety over basic arithmetic, Math Facts' proven ability to raise scores and empower students is of great value to children and all who hope to see them excel. For Little Lights, achieving the dream of basic math proficiency in a tough environment has relied heavily upon a simple program that gets kids' scores - and spirits - soaring.

UberSmarts Math Facts is a very effective learning tool. In our homeschooling, we use it alot! My kiddos love the challenge and the visible results of their progress.

I love to see their faces when they "master" a particular set of math facts. Their confidence soars!

-- Amy Douglas

Connecticut public schools have embraced the Common Core math standards which eschew traditional math procedures in favor of conceptual explanations. This means that children are encouraged to draw pictures of math "sentences" rather than actually memorize them as facts, thereby robbing them of the computational fluency needed for higher math. UberSmart software is the ONLY reason my son knows his math facts and will be ready for Algebra in spite of his public school education. Highly recommend.

-- Susan Curlee

Thank you so much for this program. This is just perfect for my special needs boy. I like it because I can change the seconds for answering (or have no time limits) and also because it does not have lots of bells and whistles to distract.

-- Janet Quam

I purchased the flash card software for my daughter when she was in 4th grade. She practiced every night for ten minutes and within a couple of months she was one of the 'experts' in her class during math games. I only wish I had bought it a couple years earlier!

-- Virginia Clark

I loaded the math software on my children's computer and within a short time they had discovered it and voluntarily began using it! They love trying to "master" each number set... even my 3 year old asks to do computer math almost every day :-)

-- Heather Harbaugh

Ubermath helped me with my math facts A LOT! I love the way you can try to reach mastery goals and see how much progress you've made.

-- Hannah, Age 11

I think [Math Facts] is great, my son thinks it is more of a game than a learning tool! I love that it tracks his progress and grades it for him! I highly recommend this software!

-- Janelle Cole

UberSmart is the perfect warm up before a math lesson. After a round of UberSmart we are able to get right into the math without waiting for "clearing of the brain fog" that my kids seem to have at the beginning of most math lessons. This makes my time much more productive and effective. The kids get better grades when they do UberSmart first. We love UberSmart Math Facts!

-- Marcy Morgan