Thursday, March 19, 2015


Math tends to be the subject Josiah struggles with the most. This is not uncommon with kiddos with dyslexia. I am always on the lookout for new and creative ways to help him navigate the woes of math. I recently had the opportunity to review GPA LEARN using their online math supplemental program GPALOVEMATH.

As I just mentioned, this is an interactive online program. The instruction is done by an animated character who takes the student through the concept with visuals, examples and more. The program also gives the child multiple paths they can choose from. Along with the math instruction there are practice problems and a quiz. It is intended for grades K-5.

GPALOVEMATH can be played on MS Window or Apple MAC computer; Apple iPad, or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (10”). You can use it with your favorite browsers, Google Chrome (recommended), Apple Safari 6 & 7, MS IE11 and FireFox.

It was easy to initially set up our accounts. The administrator account even has an option for the parent/teacher to test drive a lesson. It allowed me to check out the lessons for myself. 

In fact, I am going to take a little tour through GPA land to show you one of those test drives. I love it that I just don't get a snippet of a lesson. I get the whole show!

This character (aka Abacus) is from the Grade 3 lessons. Each year has their own Learning Coach. 

He not only talks through the lesson, but the script can be found along the bottom of the screen.

This portion is the Instruction portion of the lesson. This lesson track is "Modeling 3-digit Numbers." Abacus takes us through each step of solving a problem. Just a little note. During this lesson, the student is also treated to a little bit of a lesson on our Electoral College. Love it! 

When the student has finished with this slide he or she simply clicks on the green arrow. If he or she wishes to go back he clicks the red arrow. 

After the instruction portion of the lesson is completed it is time to practice.  Take a minute a look at those life preserves on the left of the screen. Those are lifelines. During each practice section the student is allowed 3 lifelines just in case they need a bit of help. Personally, I think this is a great way to learn. Those of us who have always struggled with math understand this! We need to see what we are doing incorrectly at the time it happens. It's an awful feeling to be stuck. 

Now it is time to take the Quiz. I got a perfect score! Girlfriend's still got it... It's good to know that College Algebra paid off.  You might notice, however, it is an 'audited' lesson. Where is my trip to the movies? More on rewards in just a minute. 

An email is sent to the parent every time the child finishes a lesson. I so appreciated this little help! I could see how Josiah was progressing. There were also a few times that it was recommended that he try a particular lesson again.

A unique and handy tool with this programs is that it is rewards based. I got to sign into my account as the administrator and schedule rewards for Josiah. I could pick from a list of recommended rewards or add my own. Josiah’s rewards are as simple as a Dance Off with Mom. I also added a movie and a trip to the Art Museum. One of Josiah’s first rewards was to spend 45 minutes at the park. I’m ashamed to admit this, but we haven’t got to that one yet. He keeps reminding me! At the time he earned it we had snow and ice…I think I’m running out of excuses!

One of the big positives is the shorter lesson length. I think they are completely manageable for Josiah. He tends to get a little vacant and starts planning adventures in his head after a while.

I do think that the program does have a lot of appeal. Josiah requires a bit more ‘hands on’ instruction.  The lessons do allow the student to move along slide by slide and there is a reading option as well as the audio instruction. I think it is a good way to inject some fun into math.

We did have a few struggles initially during our review period. My computer often struggled to play the videos. Sometimes Josiah had to start completely over. He didn’t get credit for time spent on a lesson, unfortunately.

Josiah’s computer was using Firefox at the time. I did download Chrome and I believe it has behaved better. 

 Josiah finished all of his lessons this week without a problem. I’m hopeful that we are on the upswing.  It is really a well-done program and I can see the benefits. 

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GPA Learn Review

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