Inspiration

It's hard for kids to math skills if their parents are busy, not great at math, or if they just can't keep up with today's standards. This way, the kids can practice their skills on their own time, and be entertained as well!

What it does

My Math Tutor generates problems in a number of topics and grade levels, as defined by the Common Core standards (see here for more: corestandards.org). In order to practice word problems, we have two themes: cute and superhero. The cute theme gives word problems about puppies and kittens. The superhero theme is about saving citizens. Practicing math should be fun!

How I built it

I started with a simple idea, with maybe three custom intents. By the end, I had over ten! Instead of trying to do everything at once, I just took it a step at a time. I started with giving a random addition problem. Then subtraction. Then next number, and so on. After a while, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to ask for a specific topic or level? Lastly, I got to word problems, where I introduced my themes.

Challenges I ran into

The main issue I had was the difficulty Alexa has in understanding decimals and fractions. That all had to be custom made. On top of that, if you want to say "two thirds" instead of "two divided by three", that was another custom slot. I also ran into issues with trying to get the ID of the slot response given, since I was using the Service Simulator. I ended up having to do a lot of workarounds to get it to work for me.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

First, I'm really proud of myself for finishing this project. I had an idea, and I saw it to completion. Second, I got to test this app on my first grade cousin over the holidays. He really had fun with it! He could figure out almost everything in first grade (he's still learning his place values), and he got a number of the second grade questions right too! I'm just happy that he actually asked me to give him more problems!

What I learned

I learned that an idea may seem simple, but it takes a lot more work to be able to finish it. There's always more and more things you can add to your project, but at some point, you just have to call it version one.

What's next for My Math Tutor

I want to incorporate more topics, themes, and grade levels. The common core standards go up to eighth grade, so I would like to do those next so I can include more avid students. The next step would be to incorporate more topics. I covered many topics from the Common Core standards, but not all that are possible for an app like this. Finally, I want to elaborate more on my themes, and even have a few more.

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