Math. Scary in the lower grades, terrifying in the upper grades! With that said, I love when there’s a product that helps parents tackle the math monster, especially when it keeps math rigorous and challenges the students. This spring The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew was asked to review A+ Interactive Math. I was chosen to use their Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan with my Seventh Grade student. The review is part of my role as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.
After registering and setting up a subscription (which were simple), I had my student log on and being the Adaptive Placement Test. In the PreAlgebra test there were 14 subsections, so I had Little complete the test over a few days. For each section the tests are timed, allowing 5 minutes per problem. I felt that the time limits were totally reasonable and the interface for the test was very usable for the student. The tests vary in length, but at around 15 questions each, none are very long. When the student completes the test, the immediately get the results. They can also go back and review what they missed. I love that aspect!
Once the student has completed all the tests, the system generates lessons based on what the student missed. In the student dashboard, they can choose “View Multimedia Lesson w/ Interactive Q & A” where they can do lesson work specific to their needs, and then later choose “Practice with Online Worksheets” so they can practice what they learned. When they’re ready, they can then head back to the test center and retest on the areas they were weak in.
The student that I had take the test is about 85% complete with Saxon Algebra 1/2. He’s doing very well in it and generally does really well with math. So having completed most of Pre-Algebra I was a little (ok… a lot) shocked that he didn’t totally rock the placement test. After freaking out a little (ok… a lot), I looked through the scope and sequence of the Adaptive Placement Test. Like any math curriculum, there is definitely some variation in scope from the math we’re doing. After reviewing the concepts, I would consider the “PreAlgebra” in the placement test to be advanced. In fact, I would consider it to be Algebra 1 more than PreAlgebra (since it covers topics like Quadratic Equations and Parabolas, Line Equations, and Pythagorean Theorem and Triangles). That being said, the system itself is fabulous (and I am kinds of glad I got to test with my son trying out on new math concepts!). I will encourage you, if you do use this system, please don’t freak out (like me) over the “grade”. Place your student, and then meet them where they are. If you do that, this is a GREAT tool to help with math.
After taking the test, and then completing the sections my son worked through the customized multimedia lessons. The lessons were great – with clear instruction, easy to use graphics and were very concise. If he didn’t understand something he could easily back up, or repeat a lesson (which he did on a couple, since most of the material was new to him). When he completed the lessons, he went back and retook the tests. As hoped – he improved in each section he retested. [For full disclosure, there was one that he didn’t improve in – but it was after 2 weeks off due to travel and testing and illness – so I am ignoring that result… LOL!!]
Any bad parts?
Like ANY computer based program, parental involvement for success is a necessity. My son did find a few ways to “game the system” and wanted me to be sure to remind parents to keep up on their students. For example, he found by accident that time limits on the tests can be reset by choosing an answer and hit “enter” instead of “save and next”. Also, when working through the lesson plans students can change wrong answers before or after the lesson material is explained to you. As a parent you can see this in the final results (FIRST ATTEMPT will tell you the original tries and count it as wrong, but the FINAL ATTEMPT the changed answer will show up as correct). I know it seems like a little bit of minutia, but with programs that are so well designed that it’s easy to walk away – we just need to remind ourselves to stay engaged and involved as teachers.
I really enjoyed having my student use the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan. I think I got to see a good picture of where he is as a student, and he was encouraged by seeing the feedback on the retests (after taking the individualized lessons). If your are concerned that your student has gaps or want to do some great summer review – this is a fabulous program. Concise, personalized, and easy to use – what’s not to love? I definitely recommend A+ Interactive Math and their Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan.
Want to love it more? How about free stuff! A+ Interactive Math is a company that cares about students and their math progress – so their website is totally worth a look. If you want to try out the placement before buying – you can try it out here: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/get-free-homeschool-math-curriculum-placement-test-online.jsp
Other Freebies you might be interested in:
Free Software Download: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/get-free-homeschool-math-curriculum-software.jsp
Free Single Grade Level: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/get-free-homeschool-math-curriculum-program-online.jsp
Free Family Math Packages: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/get-free-homeschool-math-curriculum-program-package-online.jsp
And if not free, how about some good deals?
A+ Interactive Math will start 2-week 40% to 50% off sale on our “Family Math Packages” and “Adaptive Placement Testing w/ Lessons” program on Monday May 4th. Start Date: 5/4/2015 – End Date: 5/18/2015.
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