This Learning Academy Helped Makayla’s Growth Mindset Skyrocket

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Christina is a stay-at-home mom of three unique girls, two of whom were lucky to have the support of solid math teachers during remote learning.

 

Makayla, her middle child, didn't have the same luck, but had an attitude that could have tricked anyone.

 

Makayla has always been an optimist. In sports, losing was never a problem. In school, bad grades were just a learning curve. She didn't take many things personally, because enjoying herself was her top priority.

 

It goes without saying then that even though she was struggling in math, she had a great attitude about it. In fact, she actually enjoys it. She loves everything about school. While many kids who struggle in school have problems with mindset, Makayla was always leading the way with positivity and joy. Learning new things delights her, and mastering new skills excites her.

 

The problem is, though, that it's difficult to show her love for math when she's not acing (or even getting a B) on the exams. Her teachers saw how positive her attitude was, but she needed an extra push so it could reflect in her grades. When the COVID lockdown hit, Christina knew that though school wouldn't get easier, it was now or never to get her daughter help in math.


Challenges

Christina's oldest daughter Mackenzie was able to set up her very own at-home work station, where she saw extreme progress and growth in her school work. Mackenzie was inspired to decorate her own set-up to feel comfortable and inspired in her space, and pretty soon she was churning out work better than she had when she was in school.

 

Christina's youngest daughter Chloe was in the middle of first grade when remote learning began. Her teacher hit the ground running with virtual learning tools and games that kept Chloe engaged and excited throughout the way. Aside from the occasional "please mute!" and computer freeze, things were going smoothly for Chloe.

 

Christina's middle child Makayla remained her typical enthusiastic self, but academically, she wasn't taking to remote learning too well. Though she still wanted to make her teachers proud, she wasn't getting the help she needed to thrive. Her performances on tests and quizzes were still low, so Christina knew now was the time to take action. She was home with the girls, able to do some research, and soon found a program that would change Makayla's future in math.


Finding Elephant Learning

Christina was around her kids a lot as a stay-at-home mom, but once remote learning started to get in the swing of things, she found herself able to work independently on her own to help her kids thrive.

 

Once the remote learning day got started for her three daughters, Christina had time to research math tools that would help. She'd heard of other parents whose kids were struggling for all sorts of reasons, and starting finding Youtubers, blogs, and articles all about it.

 

Some parents had kids with bad attitudes, some with learning disabilities, and others whose kids had a growth mindset like Makayla and just needed that extra push.

 

Haven’t heard of a growth mindset?

 

Carole Dweck coined the term when speaking about self-worth and academic capabilities-- particularly in learning environments.

 

According to YouCubed, About 40% of students have a “growth mindset,” 40% don’t, and 20% go back and forth between the two.

 

So… what is it? Think of when you were little. Did you ever hear (or say) the words, “I’m just not a math person?” using it as a way to excuse yourself from really growing?

 

It might seem like a good coping mechanism in the moment to establish yourself as a particular type of learner, but it does more harm than good. It's setting you up for failure-- literally-- by telling your mind to control your ability to keep more information.

 

Using a non-growth mindset limits the knowledge a student can retain, making them more likely to fail without really knowing why. Many teachers have tried to say this "math person" phrase to students too, not knowing how detrimental it is.

 

Makayla was a rare breed and didn't have this problem. She actually did have a growth mindset, which was why Christina was confident that this learning academy would help.

 

Related: Sherri Cracked the Code to Confidence with Elephant Learning

Makayla’s Experience With Elephant Learning

Makayla’s attitude meant she was down for almost anything. A new math game? Sounds fun!

 

Her mom had never given her kids a formal math program, but found that she had everything she needed to start. She followed the instructions that this new learning academy suggested; starting with the initial assessment.

 

Many other paid math programs charge extra for the initial exam, but Elephant Learning provides it as part of the program when a student signs on. The exam doesn’t feel like an exam at all; more like playing Angry Birds with math problems.

 

The initial assessment uncovers the student’s current math level so the AI of the platform can pose appropriate questions.

 

The initial assessment gave her what’s called an "Elephant Age", which shows her understanding of the problems as she moves forward. Makayla is 10, but she tested at an Elephant Age of 7.58. It’s common that students start with a lower age than their actual age, since they’re using the platform typically because they’re already struggling.

 

Unlike in school where students can get their grade lifted or lowered from a test score, this learning academy’s platform is different. Elephant Ages go up when they’re improved, but don’t go down-- similar to an actual age. It’s a way for students and parents to visualize their improvement in real-world terms, and see how many years of math they’re learning as they progress.

 

Christina used car rides and short time spans at home to give Makayla the iPad. Since Christina got a full breakdown of Makayla's performance emailed to her, she didn't feel like she needed to hover over her shoulder. She also got coaching videos to help her best support Makayla as she was progressing through the platform.

 

After less than a month, Makayla learned more than a year’s worth of math, starting with her initial Elephant Age of 7.58 and shooting all the way up to an 8.9. Her love for math was growing even more than her mom thought it could, but now, she could put her money where her mouth is on her tests!


Related: No More Failing in Math for Ambrosia: Math is Now Just as Fun as Art!

Makayla’s Results:

  • Age: 10.3 years old
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 7.58
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 8.90
  • The difference after six months: 1.32 years

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