Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review of A+ Interactive Math

A+ Interactive Math Review

A+ Interactive Math has two different, but completely complementary, programs to choose from online. We reviewed the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan. I don't usually start with the best stuff at the beginning of the review, but because A+ Interactive Math is having a HUGE sale 5/4/15-5/18/15 (40-50% off), I'm going to lead off by saying that my younger kids really love this math program. We have used their CDs in years passed (the CDs are nearly identical to the online program), and my kids were THRILLED to find out that we could use A+ Interactive Math again. 

A+ Interactive Math Review

So what is so wonderful about this program? Well, the idea that you can take subject-specific tests (it's all math, obviously, but I mean money, time, number sense, multiplication, etc.) and see if you are on or below grade level in that area, and then have the program direct the lesson plans more specifically toward your weaknesses is a really great idea!

Here's how it works:

When you buy the 3 month subscription to the Adaptive Placement Test, you end up with a dashboard that looks like this (Mary-Catherine's is for 4th grade):

Your first step is to take the placement tests to see if you are working at grade level in the various subject areas.

Obviously, Mary-Catherine (10) has a wee bitty problem with multiplication, as in it's the bane of her existence. It doesn't matter how many times she learns it - when faced with a "test," It flies right out of her brain. That's okay. We have time before the SAT. So, without her knowledge, I present to you what it looks like when you do not score at or above grade level on a subject area test:

Because she scored so low, A+ Interactive Math has created her individualized lesson plan to include the entire 4th grade multiplication curriculum:

Fortunately, if you refer back to some of her other tests, you can see that she is working at grade level. When she finishes a test and demonstrates proficiency, this is the message she receives:

Right now, then, Mary-Catherine's individualized lesson plan consists of doing the section on multiplication. Mary-Catherine completed A+ Interactive's 3rd grade math CD and is still really enjoying them for finding the holes in her 4th grade math. Because we have their 5th grade math CD (love those sales!), we will continue to use this program for both the twins.

Therese (13) has some observations about the Adaptive Placement Test approach of A+ Interactive Math. She is in Algebra, so she was interested to see what her holes are vis-a-vis Pre-Algebra (I would have hoped for none, but oh, well!). Her placement test screen looks like this:

Based on her placement tests, the following lesson plan was created for her.

When expanded, the exponents part of her lesson plan looks like this:

This graphic illustrates Therese's first concern with the program: even though she understands most of the concepts revolving around exponents, the "individualized" lesson plan starts her at the beginning of the exponent lesson. Thus, she is required to "learn" the parts of exponents that she demonstrated knowledge of in the placement test (I, of course, pointed out to her that she could just skip those sections of the lesson, but she wanted me to point out in the review that the lesson plan is not truly individualized if it doesn't account for what one has already demonstrated proficiency in).

Further, Therese told me that although one can retake the placement tests as necessary, the questions do not change. Hence, she could technically have just written down the answers (a, c, b, d, etc.) and then "passed" the test. She would not have done so since it would have been completely self-defeating, but she did tell me that she had to let time pass between attempts because she remembered the correct answers and needed time to forget them. 

In terms of the lessons themselves, you are not required to watch them before doing the "Interactive Q&A," or the quiz at the end of the lesson. So, if you feel you know the material well enough, you can skip the lesson and go straight to the quiz. All of my kids complain about the fact that you can't select an answer to the quiz question before all of the answers have popped up on the screen. 

So, essentially, my kids fall into two camps. My twins (10) who have used it before really like it and are going to use it for 5th grade math. They used the 3rd grade CD and enjoyed it, but have been using something else (well, various things) for 4th grade. Mary-Catherine was excited to see her 4th grade holes using the Adaptive Placement Test, and plans to complete her individualized lesson plans before moving on to the 5th grade CD, which we already own. 

Therese was initially very excited about the idea of the Adaptive Placement Tests and Individualized Lesson Plans, but for the reasons explained above, her excitement waned. That's actually fine, since A+ Interactive Math only goes through Algebra I and there is no level appropriate for Therese anyway!

While we reviewed the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan, A+ Interactive Math also offers their Family Math Package, with options ranging from 1 to 10 student subscriptions. If you are looking for an online math program, A+ Interactive has something for you!

In fact, A+ Interactive Math has many freebies on their site for your to explore so that you can find out for yourself if it is a good match for you:

Free Math Placement Test:

Free Family Math Packages:

Other Freebies people love are:

Free Software Download:

Free Single Grade Level:

Free eBook:

As always, there are many other (99) reviews for you to read on the Crew blog, so click the banner below so you don't miss any of the details!

A+ Interactive Math Review

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