Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
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4th Grade Math Planet – Fun Math Game Curriculum

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Combines fun activities, fact drills, and instructional scaffolding

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-5
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Engaging activities and drills let kids work on comprehension, fluency, or both.

Cons: Lacks directly accessible hints and feedback for incorrect answers.

Bottom Line: Well-rounded math tool for practicing and building fluency features excellent progress-tracking tool.

Skills covered in the Planet activities aren't organized by content, so you'll need to spend some time playing the game to identify which mini-activities work best with your curriculum. You should find, however, that as you progress from one planet to the next, skills become more advanced. Have kids complete a level as practice or reinforcement and assess their results using the Skill Tracker. Kids should work independently, but can take turns and share devices, since the game accommodates multiple users. Use Math Facts activities for building fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. 

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Two main options for play include Math Facts and Planet mini-activities. In Math Facts, kids complete a set of grade-appropriate drills as quickly and accurately as possible. In Planet mini-activities, more than 30 levels are spread across five planets. Kids work on a variety of skills and activities with different themes. A progress-tracking program shows their scores as percentiles and as percent correct. Kids are motivated to earn points and stars, which they can use to unlock avatars. Game includes a lot of interactivity, as kids must constantly tap, drag, or swipe to complete activities. A free, condensed Android version covers content for grades 2 through 8. 

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4th Grade Math Planet, which addresses a handful of Common Core math standards, is a learning tool that includes engaging mini-activities and fact drills for a well-rounded learning experience. Content areas include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, number sense, place value, estimation, geometry, and measurement. The game features Planet mini-activities, in which kids have to complete a level within a planet to get to the next level. Solid learning progression is evident throughout. For example, in one mini-activity, kids start by dragging fraction bubbles to the correct place on a labeled number line, and end by popping fraction bubbles in ascending order. The game also features a Math Facts section; kids choose a specific topic and race to complete drills with speed and accuracy. Kids occasionally get supportive hints as they play, but no directly accessible hints and feedback for incorrect answers are provided. Nonetheless, the app offers a highly effective tool for learning and practicing a wide variety of key fourth-grade math skills. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

A variety of activities and themes keep kids engaged; earning points and stars motivates. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Mini-activities help kids develop a conceptual understanding of the skills; Math Facts build speed and accuracy.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Skill Tracker gives a comprehensive view of kids' progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Mini-activities have clear, concise instructions and include brief tutorial animations. 


Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Hilary R. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Clinton Grove Elementary School
Clinton, MD
Need Fact Fluency Activities?!?! Try Math Planet!

I will defiantly continue to use the app in my classroom with my students. I am anxious to see the fact fluency progress for them and hope it will improve their ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Overall I see more benefit using this app because it allows students a fun and quick way to practice math facts and track what they already know.

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