To Master Multiplication Tables and other Math Facts:

"Kids regard it as a 'GameBoy', but it is a little computer for practicing basic math facts"
A to Z Home's Cool homeschooling website (click for more)
"perfect in every way … without a doubt, the best math resource I've ever come across"  
Old Schoolhouse Magazine (click for more)
"simple yet engaging…none of our testers (age 6 to 16) wanted to relinquish the FlashMaster"
PC Magazine (click for more)

Ideas for Obtaining Grants for FlashMasters

General: Your school's PTA or PTO,  an interested local business (large or small), or an interested parent or group of parents

Texas: http://www.lcisd.org/Administration/LEAF/GrantApplication/2004.pdf   The Lamar Educational Awards Foundation has funded the purchase of many FlashMasters® for elementary and middle schools in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District headquartered in Rosenberg, Texas.

General:  “Title I” funding is under the federal "Elementary and Secondary Education Act."  It is given to schools that have a significant percentage of students who are from low-income homes. Again, the funds are distributed by the federal government to each of the states which are in turn responsible for making grants to their school districts or schoolsMany FlashMasters® have been financed with this funding.  

General:  “IDEA” funding is under the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" and is very appropriate for funding FlashMasters for special education needs. The federal government distributes money each year to each of the states, and school districts or schools then apply for IDEA funding from their stateMany FlashMasters® have been financed with this funding.

General:  “Title V” funding for “Innovative Programs” is under the federal "Elementary and Secondary Education Act."  Grants are provided to school districts for innovation and educational improvement, including funding for instructional and media materialsMany FlashMasters® have been financed with this funding.

General:  “Title II, Part D” is funding for “Enhancing Education Through Technology.”

General:   Federal funding for “Homeless Education Assistance”.  Funding under the Homeless Education Assistance Act assists local educational agencies (LEAs) in developing programs to facilitate the academic success of homeless students.  Many FlashMasters® have been financed with this funding.

Lyndhurst, OH:  - The Henry P. & Kathryn A. Kurdziel Foundation (5109 Dogwood Trail, Lyndhurst, OH 44124) has provided an approximately $500 grant to fund the purchase of FlashMasters by a high school in Maple Heights, Ohio.  

General:  www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=216 - The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics ("AIAA") has provided a $200 grant (its maximum grant) for the purchase of FlashMasters.

General:  www.schoolgrants.org  good for K-12 schools

General:  www.teachersnetwork.org

General:  www.techlearning.com/resources/grants.php  Technology & Learning website

General:  http://www.ed.gov  U.S. Department of Education website
 
General:  www.eschoolnews.org  website for monthly print newspaper
 
General:  www.fdncenter.org  The Foundation Center—non-profit organization for all foundations.  The website includes links to other foundations and provides tips. etc.

Model Grant Proposal

The following grant application was prepared in June 2004 by a fifth grade teacher whose state mandates rigorous testing of reading and math skills for that grade and is offered as a guide to responses that many grant applications require. 

Here's the successful grant proposal that she submitted.  She and I hope it will be useful to you.

“Learning Math Facts in a Flash” – Program Description

1.      Purpose/Goals of the Program:

The goal of this project is to enable every child in fifth grade to achieve mastery of basic addition and subtraction facts to 18 and the multiplication and division tables.  I am one of four fifth grade teachers who team to teach math.  On an average, by the end of the year, there will be about 30 students who will leave our classes not having mastered all the basic facts in the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  These students will be unprepared for middle school and many will drop out. Research has demonstrated that insufficient automaticity with basic math facts has a devastating effect on problem solving since automaticity is needed to "free up" mental resources for performance of problem solving.  (See “Number Sense:  Rethinking Arithmetic Instruction for Students with Mathematical Disabilities”, The Journal of Special Education; Bensalem; Spring 1999; Russell Gersten; David Chard; Vol. 33 Issue 1 p. 18.)  This grant is to purchase 24 FlashMasters®, digital alternatives to flashcards that help teach basic math skills.  This handheld electronic gadget enables children to enhance both speed and accuracy of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.  The FlashMaster provides a fun way for children to learn basic arithmetic facts.

2.      Narrative Description of the Program:

At the beginning of the school year, the students will be given timed tests to assess their knowledge of basic math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students who do not know their addition and subtraction facts to 18 or their multiplication tables to 9 will be given FlashMasters to use in class. 

The FlashMaster contains six learning activities:  1) Table: In Order Activity.  After a student demonstrates a need to learn a particular table, such as the 8-table in multiplication, the student selects the “Table in Order” key on the FlashMaster.  The Flashmaster will then present all the problems in the selected table in ascending and then descending order.  If the student misses a problem, the FlashMaster makes a negative noise and displays “Not Correct” and then presents the problem again.  If the problem is missed twice in a row, the FlashMaster shows the correct answer before letting the student try the problem again.  2) Table: No Order Activity.  In this next activity, the FlashMaster will present all the problems in the selected table in random order.  When a student misses a problem, this activity gives the student the same audio and visual prompts as in the Table: In Order Activity, except that in this activity, after the student correctly answers a problem missed previously and then another different problem, the FlashMaster presents the missed problem still another time to reinforce the student’s mastery.  3) Timed Practice Activity.  For a selected per-activity time limit (as many as 180 seconds or as few as 30 seconds in length) the FlashMaster will present in random order problems from a selected one of 9 difficulty levels and in a selected arithmetic operation.  When a student misses a problem, this activity gives the same audio and visual prompts as in the Table: No Order Activty.  This activity is the FlashMaster's primary "teaching" activity once a student is ready to focus on more than one table at a time.  4) Timed Test Activity.  This activity is primarily designed (1) to give tests or (2) to develop speed and “automaticity.”  Because it uses only audio prompts, it presents a large number of problems within the selected per-activity time limit.  As with all six learning activities, the tests are automatically timed and scored and missed problems can be automatically stored in memory for subsequent practice.  5) Timed Flashcards Activity.  This activity is also used to develop speed and automaticity, and each problem must be correctly answered within the selected per problem time limit (as long as 9 seconds and as short as one second).  6) Special Problems Activity.  This activity is designed to teach or review problems that have been either recently missed or manually entered. 

FlashMasters also have a SEE RESULTS key which allows the detailed results of up to the nine most recently completed learning activities performed on each of them to be reviewed by students, their classmates or their teachers even if the FlashMaster has been turned "off" in the meantime. 

Because of the SEE RESULTS key and the FlashMaster's automatic prompting and scoring, students can practice with it on their own without compromising a teacher’s ability subsequently to assess their effort and progress.  This is very helpful in motivating students to perform assignments conscientiously and in saving teachers' time for other functions.

3.  Schedule of Significant Events:

In September, students will be assessed on their knowledge of basic addition and subtraction facts and multiplication and division facts.  The FlashMasters will be purchased in October and introduced as soon as they arrive.  Students will be assigned target basic facts to learn and will practice daily on the FlashMasters.  Students will monitor their progress on a chart, noting their improvements in accuracy and speed.  Each of the four classrooms will receive four to eight FlashMasters, depending on the relative needs of the classrooms' students for FlashMasters.   The students with the most pressing need to learn their tables will be given a FlashMaster to take home four nights a week and will be assigned homework (such as three separate Timed Flashcards activities in multiplication and a final exercise using the Special Problems activity to review their mistakes) and asked to record their percentage results for the assigned activities on their progress chart.  Students will know that, because of the SEE RESULTS key, the accuracy of their recordkeeping will be subject to being checked whenever a teacher deems appropriate.

4.      Program Evaluation:

The objective of this program is that every fifth grader improves in his or her ability to solve math problems by learning the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables.  By learning the basic arithmetic facts, students will find solving problems less difficult and time consuming and will become more successful and confident in math.  The state-mandated math scores will be one measure of this program’s success.  Additionally, students will be given a timed test in May to assess their improvement in speed and accuracy in solving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

5.      Budget Detail:

Item Description Vendor Quantity Cost
       
FlashMaster Flashmaster LLC
P.O. Box 9321
Jackson Hole, WY 83002
24 $1,069.80
(includes shipping)
       
    Total: $1,069.80

 

Math Facts” = Multiplication Tables, Division Tables, Addition Tables, and Subtraction Tables
The FlashMaster is the key to multiplication table mastery!


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