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Pros: Great balance of engaging lessons, depth, accessibility, and useful data for both teachers and students.
Cons: Without initial and ongoing assessments, as well as individualized content recommendations, the site isn't as adaptive as it could be.
Bottom Line: Quality tools, learning opportunities, and organizable lessons support learning.
AC Math excels as a tool for supporting individual and small group instruction. Teachers can assign specific lesson plans to students in order to fill learning gaps or challenge them, pushing learning forward. The search tools make it easy to set up multiple lesson plans and track student growth.
Teachers can also successfully use the program to illustrate math concepts in a whole-class setting. The Activity Objects can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard or a projector so the whole class can view and discuss -- some of these activities lend themselves well to this type of instruction. The built-in worksheets and assessments could be used for homework, or to track progress over time.
With math courses for grades 6 through 8, algebra 1 and 2, and geometry, AC Math puts a complete middle and high school math curriculum at teachers' fingertips. Each area of focus is organized into what AC Math calls "Activity Objects" -- these include videos, animations, problems, assessments, as well as printable worksheets. Every Activity Object has clear objectives to help students and teachers track academic growth. For every activity, instructions are provided both orally and in writing. The site also features a glossary of math terms.
The Activity Objects are easily searchable based on Common Core standards, state standards, or by specific textbooks. Teachers can add activities to lesson plans, which are then pushed out to groups of students or even individuals. It's also easy to add outside resources to lessons from anywhere on the web, like a Khan Academy tutorial, for instance. Several predefined lesson plans are included. Students and teachers have access to a dashboard that tracks academic growth and includes access to the entire library to Activity Objects. The student dashboard acts as a playlist for student learning, but students can also explore freely.
AC Math is great for enhancing your classroom's math curriculum. The content is well structured in a way that moves students from visual models to more abstract representations of concepts. Students receive instant feedback that helps them catch mistakes early, and continue practicing through mastery. The feedback walks students through the problem again with written, verbal, and audio support.
However, difficulty levels don't seem to adjust based on students' answers. The site would be even more powerful if it included pre-assessments and ongoing checks for understanding that then present students with "just right" content. Instead, teachers will need to be deeply involved with the data to help students succeed. While the reports are informative, this data doesn't appear to automatically change the content, and teachers are left to the task of adapting content. This is fine, as teachers know their students best, but the site could offer tools to make it easier.