The subscription-based program is mostly designed for parents and kids and doesn't include a teacher dashboard for managing students and monitoring their progress. It does allow kids to practice at home with a Common Core-aligned program, though, and you can encourage parents to take an active role in their kids’ math progress by following along on the website.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: StraightAce has closed and is no longer available.
StraightAce is an app offering a traditional middle school math curriculum with a modern wrapper. Kids log in and then choose from three grades and any of hundreds of topics. They'll then elect to study a lesson or launch right into a quiz with about 10 questions each. Press buttons for a hint, virtual scratch paper, or to send a message to a parent via the website. If kids select an incorrect answer, an unhappy face spins into view along with a (sometimes empty) explanation field, the answer, total percentage of students who got it right, and a button to see the question again.
Hundreds of topics focus on sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade concepts such as ratio, fractions, negative numbers, geometry, representing data, square roots, irrational numbers, and exponents. The StraightAce Link website allows parents to see kids' topics completed, number of questions answered, total time spent, lessons reviewed, and overall success.
Menus and graphics are crisp, and navigation is mostly intuitive. Earned coins, a three-star system, and positive messages will encourage kids to keep trying here.
Unfortunately, the lessons, questions, and explanations suffer from wordiness, occasional ambiguous descriptions, and technical, textbook-like language, not to mention formatting problems like missing line breaks and varying font sizes. Chronically low global success percentages displayed after every question might also be discouraging; if no one's getting the answer right, maybe the questions aren't so great.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.
Solve linear equations in one variable.
Know and apply the properties of integer exponents to generate equivalent numerical expressions. For example, 32 × 3–5 = 3–3 = 1/33 = 1/27.
Use square root and cube root symbols to represent solutions to equations of the form x2 = p and x3 = p, where p is a positive rational number. Evaluate square roots of small perfect squares and cube roots of small perfect cubes. Know that √2 is irrational.
Use numbers expressed in the form of a single digit times an integer power of 10 to estimate very large or very small quantities, and to express how many times as much one is than the other. For example, estimate the population of the United States as 3 × 108 and the population of the world as 7 × 109, and determine that the world population is more than 20 times larger.
Perform operations with numbers expressed in scientific notation, including problems where both decimal and scientific notation are used. Use scientific notation and choose units of appropriate size for measurements of very large or very small quantities (e.g., use millimeters per year for seafloor spreading). Interpret scientific notation that has been generated by technology.
Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.1
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” “For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”
Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, “This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.” “We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”1
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
The Number System
Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation.
Understand the absolute value of a rational number as its distance from 0 on the number line; interpret absolute value as magnitude for a positive or negative quantity in a real-world situation. For example, for an account balance of –30 dollars, write |–30| = 30 to describe the size of the debt in dollars.
Find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers less than or equal to 100 and the least common multiple of two whole numbers less than or equal to 12. Use the distributive property to express a sum of two whole numbers 1–100 with a common factor as a multiple of a sum of two whole numbers with no common factor. For example, express 36 + 8 as 4 (9 + 2).
Know that numbers that are not rational are called irrational. Understand informally that every number has a decimal expansion; for rational numbers show that the decimal expansion repeats eventually, and convert a decimal expansion which repeats eventually into a rational number.