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Pros: There's no shortage of activities across subject areas, and teachers can get tons of data about student progress, which helps inform instruction.
Cons: It's too easy to inundate students with direct standardized test prep. There's room for more student collaboration and broader skill-building activities.
Bottom Line: Use these standards-based lessons to differentiate and monitor student growth, but use sparingly.
MobyMax lends itself to independent practice both at school and at home. Teachers can present content with the whiteboard or interactive lessons. Then, instead of assigning worksheets, use the platform to design a contest for homework. After a daily session, use the poll feature on the Wall as a means of formative assessment. Be sure to plan regular sessions throughout the year to monitor growth; the site recommends an average of 15-20 minutes per week. Reports allow you to monitor progress and allow your students to reflect on their own learning (the charts, graphs, and short responses will be helpful). These results and reflections can also be useful to share with parents, perhaps via in-person or virtual student-led conferences.
For elementary school students, use the lessons in small reading or math groups as you target students who have similar goals or learning needs. For middle school students, consider setting up centers or stations using one of the lessons as an activity. For any class, practice active reading strategies, such as annotating, using the texts located in the site's curriculum library. The site's printable worksheets can support guided practice during class warm-ups, but to promote a more paperless and perhaps more engaging environment, consider using these as a starting point for designing digital worksheets using a tool like Wizer.
MobyMax is a standards-aligned K–8 learning platform for math, literacy, science, and social studies equipped with adaptive tests, test-prep lessons, interactive whiteboard activities, and motivational tools. MobyMax also features specific state test-prep activities. Unique features include multiple single sign-on (SSO) login options, teachers' ability to assign badges for performance, student goal-setting, student-teacher messaging, and teacher-initiated class contests. The site also has a Wall feature where teachers can post class messages, assignments, events, and polls.
Based on an initial adaptive test, the program assigns and sequences lessons to address any gaps in knowledge. Teachers can select lessons for each student and can change or delete the lesson sequences at any time. Subsequent tests monitor students' skill growth and "learning velocity," the tool's term for the rate at which each student learns. Students work through lessons to achieve proficiency, which earns them playing time in the site's game area. Teachers can also customize the features and content for students, and parents can monitor their children's scores via a parent portal. Teachers can create a short formative check by compiling questions from the library, or can use a Quick Benchmark as a formative assessment that can be assigned to individual students or to the whole class. Users will need one of the paid subscriptions to access the full features of MobyMax, but Quick Checker, the assessment suite, is free.
The ability for teachers to customize content for each student makes MobyMax a good fit for individualized instruction -- in limited amounts. Lessons mostly entail multiple-choice or constructed-response prompts, but there are also opportunities for written responses -- they're just not automatically graded or included in the progress monitoring data. These features make MobyMax a solid tool for guided practice and progress monitoring. The lessons are, for the most part, designed to promote meaningful learning and conceptual understanding. In addition, teachers, parents, and students all have access to tracking a student's progress, which can empower students to become more accountable for their own learning. Kids can also earn game time or create custom Moby Friends, but teachers should be aware that these activities aren't always explicitly linked to learning and might feel more like a reward for drudgery than an engaging learning experience.
Some teachers might balk at a tool that's so closely associated with test prep, especially since the temptation to rely too heavily on tools that are meant to increase student growth can backfire. And the assignments definitely err on the side of rote learning, without many opportunities for students to come at learning from multiple perspectives or creativity. To ensure efficacy, you'll want to rely on solid instructional strategies and other more creative, interactive lessons and tools to really deepen students' understanding of concepts.