Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2016
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Mathventure for 3rd Grade

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Dynamic lessons, quizzes limited by e-book capabilities

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3
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Pros: The content coverage is comprehensive and engaging, especially within the problem-solving themes.

Cons: The lessons include questions that prompt students to think about the lesson content, but they can't enter answers until they get to the quizzes, which might lead to confusion.

Bottom Line: The lessons and quizzes cover important CCSS-aligned math topics, but the limitations of tracking progress in an e-book are disappointing.

Mathventure for 3rd Grade would work well as a supplement to classroom instruction. It could be fun to use the chapter activities as a way to introduce a topic. Have students work through a few activities on their own, and ask them to record their quiz scores so they can track their learning progress. Discuss the activities as a class, and then have students revisit the activities after they're more comfortable with the content. Ask students to take the quizzes again and compare their new scores to their earlier ones. Use the Problem Solving Themes chapter throughout the year so you can challenge kids to think critically and apply their skills to real-world problems.

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Mathventure for 3rd Grade is an e-book collection of math lessons organized into four chapters: Problem Solving Themes, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Fractions, and Geometry and Measurement. The Problem Solving Themes chapter includes five themes, with several problems for each theme. In Explore the Big City, students solve four city-themed problems that cover a variety of third-grade content. The other three chapters include several activities with animations, audio-supported learning extensions, and follow-up quizzes.

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Students will learn and practice a wide range of math skills with Mathventure, and the lessons align to Common Core State Standards. However, several third-grade concepts are not covered, such as telling time, graphing data, and understanding place value. As students move through the chapter activities, they can click on a button to learn more about the concept. This "learn more" option includes audio instruction and animations, which are useful ways to support learning. Some of the activities allow kids to enter partial solutions when they enter their answers, which is a nice feature.

Overall, there's solid content here, but the lack of progress-tracking features mars the experience. Students can't create their own user accounts or save their progress, which might mean teachers have to layer on their own system for recognizing students' achievements. Most of the lessons don't provide students with an opportunity to actually solve problems until they get to the quizzes. The quizzes are scored, but hints and detailed feedback aren't provided, and scores aren't saved. 

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Overall Rating

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

This resource entices kids with interactive lessons, fun graphics, and a drawing tool. More audio support and less tedious animations would probably keep them engaged for longer.

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

Lessons are structured with thought-provoking questions followed by quizzes. Feedback and hints are limited by the nature of the e-book format. 

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

It's difficult to move around with tiny navigation icons, and students often can only enter their answers to problems during quizzes, not during lessons.


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