(Update 11-16-2023) I created a MFS FAQ blog post today: I used some of the content below, plus some of the common questions being asked in last year or so. In the future, I will try to maintain/update that one.
A few parents asked about the “1st test” PDF file. It’s the first test a kid will start taking in a particular Tuesday morning (this is just for reference). Each kid is different, so no need to compare your kid with her/his friend. That being said, I believe practice on workbooks is equally important, if not more, compared to the “timed tests” we do on Tuesday mornings. Last but not least, a kid doesn’t have to come every Tuesday morning for testing sessions. Please bring the kid when it works for you/your family and when the kid is ready.
Btw, here is web order form (you will need the SSA MTK credentials to log in).
I just realized today that a couple families re-ordered the same workbooks, and I assume it’s not their intention to reorder (I will re-confirm with each on an individual basis). || Please don’t reorder the same workbooks.
We (the kids) pick up where they left off. For example, last school year, a kid ends up Gold +10, he/she will start from Gold +11. We are not going back. If the kids have the workbooks (in most cases I believe it’s the case), he/she continues to work on it.
The only reason I can think of why you may want to order the same workbooks, is, for example, you lost the workbooks for some reason and / or really wanted the kids to have more practice.
If in doubt, email or text me before placing the order.
The ordering form is here: the main difference from earlier is now we offer packages only. At least from the Membership Toolkit (MTK) website at this time. Note you will need to register at this MTK website in order to see the form. For some parents I think they may already have the workbooks, or they need workbooks that are not 100% same with the package, please let us know (email: email@example.com; text 314 540 2721), and we will try to work out something. After ordering, the workbooks will arrive in about a week. My current thinking is have the teacher giving it to the kid: but we can discuss delivery (in the Spoede school boundary) or pickup as needed too.
Also, if you prefer pay via check / cash, or if you need to register your kids outside of those pre-defined packages (this happens sometimes, due to various reasons), please fill out the registration form here, and bring the check / cash to me (I will text you the address).
Last but not least, a special note for those who participated and purchased the workbooks before the pandemic shutdown. The kids were kindergarteners and 1st graders in Spring 2020, and because we have 2+ years break, the kids are 3rd and 4th graders now. They are welcome to come back for testing for bronze or silver medal level tests, respectively. If there is any question regarding their appropriate test level, or proceed further along in the program, please let us know (again please note the contact info above).
The kids will practice their workbooks at home. I probably should emphasize that for many kids, especially at the beginning, parents will likely need to get involved, mainly via encouragement, also check the work to make sure the kids did it correctly. The test will be held on (most) every Tuesday morning at about 8:15 to 8:45 am, before school. Once the kid completes the workbook, and passes all the tests in a medal or trophy level, the medal or trophy will be awarded.
The test emphasizes both accuracy and speed on math facts. There are some problem solving (word problem) at the trophy level (platinum, fraction, decimal and percents). For blue ribbon / bronze level there are addition and subtraction, for silver and gold there are multiplication and division. The workbooks for blue ribbon / bronze medal level are the same, ditto for silver / gold medals. The bronze and gold level tests are 2 minutes long, silver is 3 minutes. I think they all have 18 problems. All trophy level tests are 3 minutes. At platinum level there are sometimes two approaches to perform calculation: the traditional method which is more commonly taught and used, and the mental approach which basically we do it in our mind (our heart) without writing out the intermediary results during calculation (sometimes we call it borrowing or lending). Those distinction sometimes caused confusion for the kids, and if parents need some more explanation, please let us know.
The skill levels is explained here. Please note Math Fact Scholars program is owned by Math Fact Scholars, LLC. SSA is just helping run it at Spoede school.
Volunteered needed: this cannot run without volunteers. We need volunteers to run the test: grading, manage the test box, help filing the test papers, to the backend work: processing the order, ordering the workbook and testing copies, reviewing the test papers, and recording them in the google spreadsheet that we publish etc.
Below are the dates:
PS: obviously math and problem solving are important for kids academic and grownups career / daily lives. I am a strong believer of math, you can see read from my recent post here. At the same time we need to keep in mind math facts and speedy calculation are just a part of the equation (no pun intended). Each kid develops in her / his unique, as parents we should encourage our kids to try harder, at the same time don’t be overly zealous when we saw a friend of our kid got some medal or trophy. At this day of age of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and so on, I just want to put it there and make sure parents put thing in perspective.