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Khan Academy - help please

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I'm feeling like a bit of a goose.


We've just got an ipad and we've started Khan Academy on it, for some maths revision to begin with.


The whole app looks amazing and I really want to work out how to best use it with my daughter.


I'm just not finding it intuitive to navigate. I somehow created a 'mission' and now I have no idea how to change it or make a new mission or even if we need a mission.


And if my daughter picks a US grade and then keeps doing 'mastery challenges', is that enough? Will that eventually cover everything in that grade level?

I see the % going up, but it didn't seem right. It was at 20% after only about an hour of doing mastery challenges. How could she master a fifth of a grade in one hour? I'm clearly missing something or maybe several somethings.



Any help would be appreciated.


PS No offence to geese. They are almost as cool as chickens. Almost.

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To answer the percentage question first, the grade levels are set up according to instructional objectives.  The first part of any grade level overlaps the grade before it so we've discovered that you can easily get 20% in a day or two.  But then it slows down considerably. 


We have not found the mastery challenges to be enough but we are using Khan as our math spine.  If you don't do new content anyway, after a few days you will run out of mastery challenges to do. 


Cut and pasted from another thread:


With dd, I started her at the grade level that I that I felt fit her.  When she starts a new grade level I require her to do the Mission Foundations before branching out into any other skills.  And I require her to do those in order because they often build on each other.  You can find the Mission Foundations by clicking "Show all Skills".  They are the first line of the Skill Breakdown.  How we do it is to then try the skill.  If she misses a couple of problems in a row, then I will suggest that she watch a video or click to show all the hints to see how they attacked the problem.  I am sitting next to her and am able to jump in and show her physically how to do things as well.  Dd does not like the videos very much so we put those off until we've tried all other ways of learning the material.  You may want to approach this differently but this way fits my dd's learning approach the best.  Once you've started learning a skill, a Mastery Challenge will be generated (a review/test of the material).  We like to start each session by doing the mastery challenges and then we attack the Mission Foundations.  My goal is two of those skill squares a day but I have a general sense of how much time I want to spend on math and also my dd's frustration level and will make decisions each day based on that.  


Once she's mastered all the Mission Foundations, then each day I ask her to do the Mastery Challenges and then two other skills of her choice.  In dd's case she does all the easier skills until all she has left are things like fractions and then we do those at the end of the grade level.     ;)

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You can also sign yourself up as her "coach," and then select missions (topics) to "suggest" to her. Khan's website will e-mail you when she has completed them (and how long it took her).


Your approach currently is hit-and-miss-quizzing over topics in a random selection approach (my kids use this style as almost a video game).


Alternatively, you can click the drop-down menu in the upper left corner and select math topics and / or grades in a more traditional sequence.

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Thanks folks, I appreciate your help.

I've noticed now that if we jump ahead a few levels, there are no mastery challenges, so I can see now that these are more of revision/testing, it seems.


EoO, I'm glad it's not just me that doesn't find the app intuitive. I was dashing between my daughter's new ipad and our regular computer, trying to work out what was what.


I'm not tech-savvy at the best of times, so it can be hard to know if the problem is just me being a goosey.


Despite all this, Khan certainly looks fantastic.

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The mastery challenges last through all the levels. Basically, you have not mastered a subject or subset until you have gone through it four times (practiced, first, second, mastered). The Mastery Challenge basically rotates you through the grade level. When it becomes apparent to the program that the topics have become outside your knowledge range, you no longer get mastery challenges. You then have to practice individual subjects. Once practiced, you can get to step one by mastery challenge, but then have to wait 15 hours to advance further. If you get a question wrong in a mastery challenge, you go down a step.


The app was designed for teachers to establish a class, assign a mission (or basically specific topics/grade level) and have the students rotate through. It is far more repetative then the website. Ds got frustrated at it making him repeat things which he had already mastered or rotate through more times than necessary because that is basically the point in PS. The app also does not have the ability of the student to see much by way of stats or have many choices in the direction their studies are going. It is really designed for a classroom with limited functionality being important in that setting. You can garner the same stats by using website, and the student gets to really make choices about their progress.


ETA: However, once a student catches on to the basic algorithm of the program they can progress very quickly and not retain as much. That is not possible in the app. This is one of the reasons Khan is not stand alone. For younger elementary, it is awesome. As kids get bigger, it is a great review and first exposure, but not complete. My son figured it out and completed K-8, PreA, and half of algebra in 2 months. Granted, all of the topics were not new. Mainly, he realized that if he chose and entire subset to practice one day, then completed Mastery Challenges the second day, he would lock down the subset and not get anymore questions about it.

Edited by EndOfOrdinary
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Thanks EoO, that's really helpful.


My daughter generally doesn't need much repetition and if things get too repetitive, she'll get bored and just stop using it. I don't want to risk that. It's why we gave up Mathletics and IXL a few years back.


I think we'll skip the app and try to use the web version but on her ipad.


Thanks to you all for your help. I really appreciate it.

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