Website review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2020

Arcademics

Free games provide math and language skill practice

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 9 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–6
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies

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Pros: Interactive, fast-paced games correlate to Common Core standards, and there are lots of opportunities for teachers to customize content and reinforce learning.

Cons: The free version contains ads, and users need to pay to track kids' performance. The games are designed for simple skill practice.

Bottom Line: Games engage kids in drills and skills practice, and the educator version may be worth it for eliminating ads and getting more features.

Teachers can customize content in Arcademics to meet students' learning needs while tying games to the class curriculum. For example, they can select certain addition problems for an assignment or assign specific concepts to students who need additional help or more challenging work. It's easy to facilitate group learning by encouraging several students to accept a multiplayer game challenge. For students who struggle, the videos that accompany incorrect answers -- in the paid version -- empower them to try to work out concepts on their own. There are even opportunities to participate in nationwide challenges, such as the Arcademics Mini-Cup.

With an Arcademics Plus subscription, there's a significant amount of student performance data teachers can view. They can create reports to show progress over a specific time period, view group progress, see how students fared on each assignment, and view performance by game. This information can help teachers identify problem areas and assign related games to help students improve.

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Arcademics is a website featuring games for first to sixth graders that are designed to help them practice math, language arts, and geography. Dozens of games are grouped by grade, subject area, and topic, ranging from spelling and shapes to algebra and geography; however, most of the games are math-related. A brief description lists the state standards and academic skills students will use in each game. Some include instructions and options to customize by speed and grade range. Kids can see correct and missed answers, an accuracy score, and their per-minute response rate after playing a game. 

Students don't have to register to play the games, but teachers need to sign up and pay an annual fee for the Arcademics Plus educator version if they want to track kids' game results and create and share assignments with students. The paid version gives students access to teacher-created assignments as well as short videos to explain questions they missed in gameplay. Plus, teachers can assign individually or by groups of up to 12 students per game.

Arcademic's games are solid skills practice resources. They're fun, they reinforce key skills, and some feature helpful pace and ability customizations. Students can set up private multiplayer games with friends, which can help them develop a healthy sense of competition, though facing off against others won't appeal to all students, especially if they're struggling. Teachers can also run peer-vs.-peer or class-vs.-class competitions to add some excitement to academic skill building. In the paid version, the video lessons help kids learn at their own pace when they don't understand something. Kids can also earn badges as an incentive to keep playing.

Teachers get some nifty extras, too: The ability to customize some of the site content before sending it to specific students or groups helps with differentiation goals. Plus, detailed performance reports provide valuable information to help teachers identify students who are struggling as well as those who may need more challenging content. Because the games are fairly simple -- like timed addition problems to move along a canoe -- it's best to look to Arcademics for simple practice and drills rather than deeper learning.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Games are simple and brief. Most are timed, which won't work for some kids. Playing against others will also be fun for some students and not for others.

Pedagogy

Games are drill-focused and not meant to inspire critical thinking or synthesis. The approach is focused on practicing skills, not learning new ones.

Support

Students can adjust the grade range and pacing of games to fit their readiness level, but games often lack instructions. The Arcademics Plus version lets teachers differentiate content and provides students with additional supports. 


Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Community Rating

(See all 9 reviews) (9 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Renee P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Swain West Elementary
Bryson City, United States
This is a great way for students to learn basic facts with a fluency that leads to success in more complicated math.
This may seem like "drill and kill" on technology, but it has a very important place because inability to fluently use facts keeps students from using their working memory on harder math like word problems and tasks that require effort and many steps. Knowing facts quickly allows students to concentrate on other tasks. Sadly, most students associate learning basic facts with timed tests (which tend to cause some students to become stressed and lose the facts they knew). My students associate it with gam ...
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