Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A TOS Review: Mathletics


Math has always been an issue for us. Some kiddos with Dyslexia don’t have an issue with math, but Josiah is not one of those fortunate few. Dyscalculia is the term used for a particular learning disability affecting math. He has had difficulty memorizing his math facts, issues with spatial concepts and sequencing.

I love incorporating computer based learning into our schooling. I imagine it is the “gaming” aspect of such programs that take some of the pressure off of Josiah. He can get instant feedback and have the option to “try again.” Being part of the TOS Crew means that I’ve really gotten to review some cutting edge programs. I’m blessed.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review Mathletics from 3P Learning . I was anxious to see if this program would be something that would enhance Josiah’s math journey.


What I Received 

I received a one year subscription to Mathletics for two children. I know what you’re thinking. “She just has the one!” I got to sign up too! In fact, all my screen shots today are courtesy of my own trip around the world of Mathletics. More in a minute. First, let’s talk the particulars.

Mathletics is an award-winning online global math resource. It is used as a math supplement for kiddos in K-12. A whole year of Mathletics costs $59 per student. In addition, there are printable workbooks for each grade level.

Mathletics can be accessed on a home computer, mobile device or tablet. You must have Windows XP SP3 (or higher) or Mac OX X 10.6 (or higher). You will also need the Adobe Flash Player 11.6 or higher. There are further recommendations on the website.
Mathletics also follows the Common Core standards if that is important to you.

How It Works and How I used It

I was first directed to place Josiah in a grade level. Ooo. This is a toughy. I decided to put him in the 4th grade. I did not tell him I put him in the 4th grade. He is 12 and at that age where he is just a bit sensitive about such things. However, I also didn’t want him to be frustrated. I didn’t know how this all would actually work. I did request 5th grade for my own personal level. I wanted to see the next level up. I didn't want to get too crazy and actually try and do math I did in college. It's been too long. So the High School Levels were left alone.

I was first directed to the Parent Page. You can see my page below. At this point, Josiah and I have already chosen our avatars. This page allows me to check on my students progress, check out what's next and print off those workbooks. Mathletics also sends me a weekly report via email. You can also request to change your student's level up to 6 times.

Josiah's avatar has glasses. He doesn't wear glasses. Maybe Mathletics thought I needed glasses, too. No worries. I got to fix everything that needed fixing. 

This is the main hub. Everything that can be done happens from here. I want to give you a little tour. We are starting at the top right hand side of the screen and moving on down. Josiah found the screen easy to navigate.

The recommended first stop is  Live Mathletics. This is where you take on the world! Or the computer. I chose the computer challenge. I can't handle the pressure!

I had to take this timed challenge. Fella in the bottom is beating everybody! In my defense, I was busy trying to get a screen shot. I do know my math facts! This was a good exercise for Josiah. He needs to increase his speed and accuracy and the competition spurred him on. There have been some characters on his challenges named Pea Brain. He wanted to know who in their right mind would name themselves that. Josiah, himself, wants to be called Starkiller.

The next spot to be is the Activities section in the center of the main hub. 

I am not sure who the dude is. He kind of stares at me. One thing I do really like is that there is a sound option available. Someone can read me the problem...

 When I click on the question mark it shows me an example. I can also ask for an easier problem, a harder problem and so on.  The activities part of Mathletics was more difficult for Josiah. I am not sure if it was because it was more involved (and less like a game). The program does adapt with every problem. I certainly appreciated that. I also liked the immediate feedback. He didn't have to wait to see if he had gotten a problem correct. And it gave him the correct answer if he answered incorrectly. He tends to do better with math problems in a practical context.

We now visit the Problem Solving part of the program. These are a variety of activities. Some are locked until you complete the previous activities.

Sherlock here wants me to find the pattern. I'm afraid I disappointed Sherlock time and time again. Every once in a while he would sigh at me. Very sad. 

This is a problem dealing with money. I appreciate the quality of the animation and creativity of the problems. It made it much more interesting for Josiah. One of the nice features on the games he's played is it's allowed him to check his answers. If he gets it wrong, he doesn't move on...he simply tries again.

 On down the page we have the concept search. Here is the animated Math Dictionary. This is very cool.

The Concept Search is also really, really neat. There are a bunch of bells and whistles with this feature.

Not to mention pizza.

Josiah enjoyed the Rainforest Math Games for grades K-6. As you can see you can move around between grades. Sometimes we just need to play.

Now I chose Grade 4 for my little demonstration here. 

Josiah has been working on  telling time on an analog clock quite vigorously. This has been another issue with his Dyscalculia. I can tell you what he really likes about this particular telling time game (compared to others). It keeps score. He told me it reminds him of a football game. It also doesn't take points away for any missed answers. It just rewards him for the correct ones. A boy can play a lot of math games when he is goal is to reach 100.

To get to this screen I simply clicked on the calendar button on the left-hand side. I like that this game requires a bit of thought. You can see that to find the answer Josiah needs to take the calendar back a few years. This means he has to be a bit more observant and careful than he generally is. Those are good skills to work on!

The Times Tables Toons are another neat feature. Each set of multiplication facts has its own ditty.

My Thoughts

You can see that this is a thoughtfully produced program. Many of the features are just excellent. Mathletics does not teach. It is a supplemental.  Some of the aspects of the program work perfectly with our needs. Josiah tends to do better with math that puts problems into context so the Activities portion of the program was a bit tricky for him. He needed my help more often that not. I would recommend that parents need to sit down with their kids initially to walk through the program. It might be overwhelming to know where to go and what to do!

Some of the concepts we hadn't covered yet. This being said the extra practice and games have been beneficial.  The games are tremendous in my opinion. I also like the adaptive nature of Mathletics. For now, we are going to take full advantage of those fun games and features that seem to be making a difference. My recommendation would be to try the 10 day trail. It might be a good fit!

You can check out Mathletics on the following social media outlets. Read more reviews on the TOS Crew Blog by clicking on the banner below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathleticsglobal 

Click to read Crew Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...