How I Use It
Since the Common Core assessment will be at our doorstep in our district next year, it is essential that these types of apps are available for teachers and students to enhance an understanding of the benchmarks the student has accomplished. Further, it is essential for those administering these types of questions to provide feedback why the answer is incorrect (or correct) and this app does just that - in fact, it also provides two more solutions - a quick form to send to the teacher to request help in certain areas, or videos (that can be mundane) to view before or after answering questions. This type of app fits in nicely to our pre-assessment of areas that students need special assistance with, and further, to assess the types of mini-lessons and targeted instruction that needs to occur in order for students to have success with complex texts. There is only one quiz per standard and thus, it limits a student if they need additional work in this particular area. I found that the videos were a bit boring at times, and some were even too short to explain a concept.
This app as a teaching tool should be used in any common-core aligned classroom, but be careful not to over use it because it is limited and the videos / supplemental material (some of it) can be mundane. To have access to this type of app, which targets standards and then allows students to experience questions / prompts tied to those standards is key to any teacher who is looking to see what his / her students can manage before tackling a standard. In addition, those students who are home schooled, on a medical leave, or in an alternative placement, could easily navigate through this app by clicking on the math or English area they require more practice with. The only area that I found frustrating is that it did not read the text to the student. This can be difficult for the low literacy readers who are allowed texts read to them. Special needs students would find the text complicated in the English section. The one area the students liked was the "badges". They appreciated that the app kept track of their progress and encouraged them to revisit areas that should receive at least a 90% mastery.