Review by Carrie Garges, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2019

DoodleMaths

Short, daily practice and positive language make success accessible

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Pre-K–8
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Pros: Kids can improve skills and confidence with straightforward lessons and positive reinforcement.

Cons: Short explanations leave out concept-building, and missing lessons leave gaps.

Bottom Line: A good, adaptive program that can be used to support a growth mindset along with strong math skills.

Teachers will find the DoodleMaths setup process for classes and student accounts quick, with multiple methods like using class codes or copying and pasting from Excel or Word for bulk uploads. Each teacher's dashboard includes the ability to monitor student data, view gap analysis, and assign additional activities. A key feature is the ability to message students, parents, and teachers and keep everyone informed. In this section, teachers can also view messages sent between students to be sure students are safely interacting with one another.

While the daily practice questions are automatically generated, teachers can assign an Extra lesson from a bank that covers many standards, or even make their own set of questions unique to their students' needs. Teachers should encourage students to write their own problems and include them in a classwide Extra assignment. The My Doodles feature has great potential: Students can create and save their own explanations or notes to create an online notebook and track their understanding. There's an option to change the background paper to scenes like a mountain, a park, or outer space. Given a topic and a scene, the class can be challenged to write their own math questions. The Tricky Questions section is a great conversation starter for math circles: In small groups, students can share which problems they're struggling with and see, collectively, how the group can solve the problem.

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DoodleMaths is an interactive and adaptive learning program (based on the national U.K. curriculum) for strengthening old math skills and learning new ones. The first time in the program, students take a short calibration quiz. This data is used to generate "4/5/6/7 a Day" practice questions. If a practice problem becomes tricky, students have ways to find help. These options include taking a hint, reading or listening to a written explanation, and, in some cases, saving the question to a list of Tricky Questions, which is later reviewed with an adult. This is the only way for students to review questions, as they cannot go back and review questions missed or see previous question sets.

Not only do students have access to a magnifying glass to zoom in on any part of the screen, as well as a Doodle Pad that acts as virtual scratch paper, but each question and explanation can also be read out loud. There's also a toolkit for selected questions with useful items like protractors and rulers.

As students correctly answer questions and play games, they earn stars, which are exchanged to build customizable cartoon robots. Each student account also includes a section called My Pages. In this section, students are able to find their robots, access doodle pages, view their progress, and, if enabled by the teacher, message friends.

Positive language and help along the way create a safe environment for learning with DoodleMaths, and students will be kept on their toes with a variety of question styles. While skill games and building cool robots with earned rewards are engaging, these types of activities are limited and most likely won't become a distraction.

DoodleMaths adapts practice questions to keep students challenged, but also allows teachers the flexibility to redirect students by assigning Extra skills unique to their learning needs. Although there are standards that currently don't have a lesson available, teachers can create their own sets of multiple-choice questions. The provided lessons and explanations are clear and concise, making it easy for students to take in smaller bits of information; however, short explanations can result in surface-level understanding. To ensure deeper understanding, teachers should be ready to supplement these lessons during class time with strategies that build conceptual understanding. Teachers should also be aware that the text-to-speech feature is very robotic and can -- at times -- misread mathematical problems.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Learning is fun and accessible. Interactive tools build confidence, while positive language provides a safe space for learning. After only a few problems a day, kids can earn credits to customize their very own robot.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Adaptive practice, a variety of question stems, and interactive tools create good learning opportunities, but basic explanations leave out access to developing deeper connections. Teachers can access ample data via the dashboard.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The library of Extras is being built; there may not be a lesson for every topic. The student tutorial is great, and the help button has several options, but a video feature would improve robotic text-to-speech that can misread content.


Common Sense Reviewer
Carrie Garges Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Bria C. ,
Loyola University Maryland
Baltimore, United States
From the looks of it, it looks like an amazing augmentation to physical utensils and pencil and paper. I can see this really benefiting those that are visual learners, especially with the numerous colors and opportunities to have some creative freedom.
I like that it is engaging to the eye. Students would most likely be intrigued to its setup and the way in which they are to interact with it. I feel as though it gives the teacher a break from being in front of the class the entire time and gives students a sense of independence. The teacher is still able to move around the room but overall, it is a time for the students to practice on their own both visually and creatively. I would hope that their are explanations in this as well if a student were to ...
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