2 years ago Thinkster Math contacted me on my Maths Insider email, asking if I’d like to review their new iPad based math program. After testing it with 2 of my kids and exploring it using my 20-years-of-math-teacher-experience, I wrote the blog post Is Thinkster Math a Real Alternative to Kumon?

After publishing the post, Thinkster Math, who are based in the US, offered me a position to work with the families from Europe, Asia and Australia who had signed up for the program, many after reading my review. Over the past 2 years I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing families from around the world who are using the Thinkster Math program to guide their kids to math success.

Other programs and resources are definitely available and I’ve written about a whole heap of them here on Maths Insider, but in this post I’m going to offer an Insider’s guide to the Thinkster Math program and tell you how you can use even just the Thinkster Math 1 week free trial to kick start your child’s math learning.

## How to get the best from Thinkster Math’s 1 week trial

Many families are attracted to Thinkster Math because of the chance to try the program without paying(tuition centres like Kumon don’t have free trials). Make sure you make full use of the Thinkster Math trial by following the tips below:

**Use the Thinkster Math trial straight away**

My big tip for Thinkster Math’s trial is to sign up when you have at least a few nonhectic days. Your free 7 day trial will begin straight away once you’ve signed up and your child will have the chance to try a sample worksheet, take a diagnostic test, try some worksheets based on the questions they got wrong on the test and even speak to their instructor. Those families who get straight on with the Sample and Diagnostic test, worksheets and conference with the instructor will have a real insight into their child’s math learning gaps as well as into the Thinkster Math program and will be in a great position to decide whether Thinkster Math will work for their families.

**Ask for the trial to be extended**

Some families sign up and don’t get around to completing the Sample or Skills Assessment or they complete those but don’t get around to trying the worksheets or speaking to the instructor. In that case, it is possible to get your trial extended for a few more days by contacting the Thinkster Math support team.

**Use the insights the Thinkster Math program gives you**

Even if you decide to not subscribe to the Thinkster Math program, if your child has completed the Skills Assessment, you’ll be able to see exactly which math topics your child has weaknesses in through the progress report chart built into the Thinkster program (see below).

## Inside the Thinkster Math instructor app

Thinkster Math instructors have an app, which we use to provide us with insights into each student’s math learning and to share our insights with students and their families.

As a Thinkster Math instructor, I can give written feedback and step-by-step solutions for each question, by either writing in the worked solution or providing corrections to the student’s working out. The picture below shows the instructors writing in red.

As a Thinkster Math instructor, I can see at a glance which topics each student is struggling with (those in red), which topics each student is confident with (those in green) and which topics each student understands, but is still making errors on (yellow topics). These insights help me to decide what work to assign to my students. Parents and students can also see the progress report on their Thinkster Math account.

As a Thinkster Math instructor, I grade and send feedback on each of my students’ worksheets. This is a screenshot from the Thinkster Math program. Students and parents can easily see the instructor’s feedback.

As a Thinkster Math instructor, I can see my students’ working out, how long they’ve spent writing, thinking and erasing. I can even “playback” their work. This shows me how the student has approached answering each question.

My favorite part of my work as a Thinkster Math instructor are one-on-one coaching calls I have with my Thinkster Math students. During these calls, we review how their work has been going and preview upcoming work. I also teach strategies for any tricky work they’ve met or are about to meet and we discuss and sort out any problems related to the math they have been working on at school.

## The Thinkster Math Parent Insights app

This week Thinkster Math released a new Parents Insights iPhone app to help parents easily keep track of their child’s Thinkster Math work and activity. The video below gives an overview of the Thinkster Math Parents Insights App which uses intelligent technology to provide further insights into your child’s learning:

I hope this post has given you a great insight into “behind the scenes” at Thinkster Math . For your 1 week trial click below: