CyberSlate provides fluencies in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The student begins with 1′s and 2′s, and adds one more number combination in each level.
All answers in Arithmetic are entered on the Digit Pad. If you do not have a regular keypad with a Digit Pad on the right, or a separate Digit Pad accessory, it can be purchased at a reasonable price at any local accessory store. The number keys in the top row of a regular keypad should NOT be used. They hinder the motor learning of the keys that is necessary for rapid on-hand number entry. Similarly, the multi-use number pad settings on a laptop keypad lack the bounce-back feel of the separate keypad that is more helpful to a new learner.
The number pad is situated to the right of the keypad, and is always meant for use with the right hand, even if you are left-handed. The numbers are arranged with the bottom row containing an enlarged zero key (0), and a period (decimal point.) The row above has the numbers 1, 2, and 3. The middle row contains 4, 5, and 6, and the top row 7, 8, and 9. The Enter key is to the right.
Place your right hand on the pad so that your index finger rests on the 4 key, middle on 5, and ring finger on 6. Your pinky will naturally fall on the Enter Key. This is your home row. Stretch your fingers vertically to access the other numbers. Your pointer moves up to 7, down to 1. Middle finger moves up to 8, down to 2. Ring finger moves up to 9, down to 3. You can use your pointer or your thumb to press the 0 key. After you stretch to an outlying key, always return to the home row. Your left hand is idle. Some students keep a finger of the left hand on the backspace key so that it is ready to rapidly delete an incorrect entry.
Digit Pad presents a series of 3 digit numbers to practice. You type the number, then press the Enter key with your pinky. The first levels present you home key numbers. The more advanced levels systematically introduce the stretches.
Practicing the Digit Pad Fluency pays off. If you do not have to think about which key to press, you can concentrate on the correct answers when you see an arithmetic problem. If at sometime in the future you take a job in which you must enter data on a computer, this early skill will make you the fastest data-entry person at your place of employment.
See-Type Addition presents addition problems in a vertical format. As you move up the levels, the combinations become more varied and complex. You key in the correct answer and press the Enter key (with your pinky.) If your answer is incorrect, an “x” appears in the cell and you have a second chance. After three tries, CyberSlate shows you the correct answer, and you are moved to the next cell.
We have discovered that many students gain a rapid rate in correctly answering all of the facts with their fingers, but when asked to state a fact in class, they cannot remember it. If the teacher reminds them that thy are successfully practicing those facts in CyberSlate, the students brush the keys, then immediately state the answer. It would seem that one hemisphere of the brain has learned the facts, but they have not generalized to the other hemisphere. To make this generalization occur, we recommend that you also complete a Hear/Type Fluency:
Hear/Type Addition is the same as See/Type Addition except that you complete it with an assistant. The assistant turns the screen away from the student, and reads each problem aloud, pausing while the student keys in the answer. If the answer is correct, CyberSlate moves on to the next cell and the assistant says that problem. If the answer is incorrect, CyberSlate stays on that cell, and the assistant reads the problem again. (without saying that the first answer was incorrect.) After the third incorrect response, CyberSlate shows the correct answer and moves on. The assistant reads the correct answer aloud and also moves on to say the next highlighted fact.
The presentation grids for subtraction, multiplication and division are similar to those of addition. There are 54 fact combinations in Addition and Subtraction, and 45 each in multiplication and division.