A Note to Parents
Children need strong math skills to solve today's and tomorrow's problems. The Milliken Math Sequences, along with the Tl Home Computer, can help your child meet these challenges. The series allows children to work at their own pace and on the skill level at which they need practice. Children find that learning with the computer is fun, challenging, and motivating. The computer never tires of repetition or loses patience-it's like having a private math tutor!
The Milliken Math Sequences, developed for Texas Instruments by Milliken Publishing Company, consists of twelve Solid State Cartridges. Each cartridge concentrates on a different skill area in mathematics, such as addition, subtraction, decimals, or fractions. By providing different levels of difficulty, the series is suitable for children from the kindergarten age through grade eight.
The Subtraction cartridge is divided into 54 levels of difficulty, covering material generally taught in kindergarten through grade six. The program provides practice in subtracting whole numbers (numbers with no fractional part). Children begin subtracting one-digit numbers and advance level by level until they work problems involving five-digit numbers. Problems are presented both vertically and horizontally. At certain levels children practice "regrouping" ("borrowing") of numbers from one column to another.
The Subtraction cartridge offers several special features that increase its motivational and reinforcement value:
- ■ Colorful, rewarding graphics and sound effects that appear in response to correct answers.
- ■ An unintimidating, try-again approach to incorrect answers.
- ■ A progress report posted at the bottom of the screen.
- ■ Periodic reviews to maintain skill mastery.
- ■ A "help" feature that displays the problem step by step until the final answer is found.
- ■ Advancement to the next level if problems are answered correctly, or automatic return to a lower level if your child needs more practice.
- ■ A special regrouping feature to help students understand the concept of borrowing from one column to another.
- ■ Report screens personalized with your child's name at the end of each level's activities.
- ■ An "Exit" screen with a complete report on your child's score at the end of the work session.
Your Child and the Computer
The Texas Instruments computer is a rugged, durable device designed for easy use and care. Teach your child to give the computer the same good care and respect he or she would give a television set, record
player, or any piece of electronic equipment:
- 1. Keep snacks and beverages away from the console.
- 2. Don't hammer on the keyboard or place heavy objects on it.
- 3. Don't touch the cartridge contacts. These are recessed in the cartridge to help prevent accidental soiling and/or damage.
The letters and numbers on the keyboard are arranged in the same order found on standard typewriter keyboards. If your child is not familiar with a typewriter or has not used the computer before, take a few minutes to acquaint him or her with the keyboard. Point out the row of number keys at the top and the rows of letter keys below. Show your child how to insert the cartridge and how to select the activities. This brief "tour" of the computer will help reinforce the correct procedures for your child and instill confidence as he or she starts out in a new world of computers.
Today computers are involved in almost every aspect of life. Working with this cartridge can help your child become familiar with computers and their operation. Since computer-aided instruction is more common in the classroom every year, this knowledge can give your child an important advantage.
A Sample Activity
For easy use, directions are displayed on the screen throughout all the levels. This sample activity, however, can help to illustrate the way the program works.
When the Milliken title screen appears, press any key to begin. The screen then prompts you to enter the Beginning Level. Select any level from 1 to 54 by typing the number and then pressing ENTER. For this example, press 3 and ENTER. Next, the screen asks for Name. Type your child's name (up to ten letters long) and then presses ENTER.
Now a subtraction problem is displayed on the screen. A flashing question mark shows where the answer will go, and the directions on the screen tell you to "Enter the correct number." A progress report appears across the bottom of the screen, with the following meanings:
- PL = Problem Level
- TC = Total Correct
- TP = Total Problems
- AVG = Average
As your child works through the problems, these figures are updated to report his or her progress. TC, TP, and AVG are automatically reset to zero at the beginning of each level.
Let your child answer a few problems as you observe. He or she simply presses the correct number from the top row of keys. If the answer to be entered is more than one digit, the right-most digit must be entered first, as indicated by the flashing question mark. In other words, problems must be solved from right to left, just as they would be in the traditional pencil-and-paper method. This method reinforces the correct order of problem solution. (When selecting Beginning Level numbers, enter from left to right.)
How the Computer Responds
If the problem is answered correctly, an animated picture appears. Your child then presses ENTER to continue to the next problem. If the problem is answered incorrectly, the computer returns a screen message and encourages your child to press ENTER to try again. If a second incorrect answer is given, the screen border turns red and flashes. To continue, your child presses ENTER again, and the computer gives the answer, with a message to "Study the Answer." When your child presses ENTER again, the next problem appears.
Advancing or Moving Back
If your chi Id answers five of the previous six problems correctly, a "Good News" report is displayed. He or she then advances to the next level. If three problems in a row are answered incorrectly, a "Bad News" report appears, and your child moves back one level.
You can change levels any time the question mark is flashing. To leave this level, simply press the letter E for "exit." An "Exit" screen appears, which reports on your child's progress. Press ENTER to return to the title screen.
Let's try another level. Press any key to go to the "Levels 1-54" screen. This time, enter 24 (from left to right) as the Beginning Level. Then type your child's name again, and press ENTER to continue.
At Level 24 your child is given the choice of regrouping (borrowing) visually on the screen or of regrouping mentally without displaying the process. To use the regrouping option, press the SPACE BAR when instructed on the screen. A small question mark appears above the column from which the value is being borrowed or taken. Type the new value for that digit. Then a small question mark appears beside the column to which the value is being regrouped. Type in this number (it will be a 1), subtract the digits in that column, and type the answer. Finish the problem using the new value for the digit from which it was "borrowed".
If a problem has regrouping more than once, you must press the SPACE BAR the first time the option is offered on the screen if you want to use the option. The regrouping option is offered whenever appropriate in Levels 7, 14 through 17, 20 through 21, and 24 through 54 (no regrouping in Level 32).
"Let Me Help You"
Now let's try the "Let Me Help You" feature. On the next problem, deliberately enter a wrong answer twice. When the border flashes red, press ENTER and the message "Let Me Help You" is displayed. Keep pressing ENTER as the computer completes the problem step by step until the final answer is found. Thus, if your child has difficulty with a particular problem, the computer demonstrates the solution for him or her.
Continue to observe as your child works through the problems and gains familiarity with the program's operations.
This chart can help you find the appropriate starting level for your child. By looking at the sample problems and the skill description, select a level that is not too easy, but also not too difficult, for him or her. If in doubt, start at a lower level and work up from there. You may wish to select a REVIEW level first to see if your child has mastered the skill levels up to that point. A glossary is provided on page 14.
||6 - 2 = ?
||Subtracting with minuends from 2 through 6.