Prodigy - A Wizardly World Meets Mathematic Skills Practice
As someone who grew up in the Pokemon generation, Prodigy has a very similar feel to it, but with the math practice intertwined throughout the adventure. As stated above, I'm using it as a means to have kids either practice the material that's being covered in class, or as a refresher on essential skills that they will need for future units. I've used Khan Academy in the past for the same purpose, but students have a more positive reaction and are more motivated to play Prodigy than they are to watch a Khan Academy video. Most students really engage in the game, creating their character, accumulating different types of monsters and going on quests without the prompting of the teacher. Another great aspect of the game is that it allows students to practice in class or at home, and the games saves that data for you! The dashboard is great, providing essential data on who's practicing, who's completing assignments, and what they're getting correct or incorrect. The data allows you to better differentiate to meet the needs of your students and helps planning for future lessons. The only potential drawback to the game is that there is a "paid subscription" option to the game, meaning that extra features and upgrades become available with payment. Some students started with their own accounts, that had already been in use for a while and some had financial support that others didn't giving them an "advantage" in the game. So far this year, I haven't seen this as an issue, as students are more focused on their individual characters and quests, rather than what others have instead. I also hope that Prodigy continues to increase its question and topic database, so that students are exposed to all different types of questions. Would strongly recommend for all math teachers looking to get their students to practice independently!
How I Use It
At our school, students have 30 minutes of homeroom everyday before their academic day begins. The school has begun an initiative that twice a week, students use this time to practice their math skills through Prodigy. Based on the grade levels and classes that I teach, I am able to schedule them topics and assignments for them to practice with. Within the assignments, I can look at individual questions that were confusing, or individual students who are struggling to master certain concepts. I'm able to look at the data collected from the assignments and either pull small groups during class to help re-teach, or provide them with resources to practice and master the material on their own time. The students remain engaged, visiting different worlds, capturing creatures, all while practicing their math skills.