Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013

Get the Math

Solve real-life algebra problems with diverse crew, delightful video

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
  • College & Career Prep
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (8 Reviews)

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Pros: It makes math relevant and fun; kids will really get into the challenges because they're authentic.

Cons: Content is limited to algebra and it would be nice to see a tool for teachers to track student progress.

Bottom Line: Fantastic proof that algebra is used to solve real problems in kid-approved professions -- basketball, music, and fashion.

You might choose to use the setup video to introduce the website, but many middle and high school students may find it a little cheesy. Instead, pick a topic, like Math in Fashion, and show that specific introduction video to the kids -- these videos are great, and kids will respond positively. Then, let the kids work through the challenges in pairs, sharing a computer. You could use the follow-up challenges for each topic as an assessment, and make sure to check out the Teacher page for complete lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Math Standards and worksheets. Sample assessment questions for each unit are also provided. 

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Get the Math is a website that shows kids how to use math in the real world (thus proving that math is used in the real world!). Short videos demonstrate how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, special effects, and even basketball. Using real people in their real-world examples, like video game designer Julia Detar or restaurant owner Sue Torres, the site shares stories of how people and businesses use algebra in their daily lives. After watching the videos, kids can "Take the Challenge," tackling an algebra problem based on what they just saw, and when that's completed, there are further challenges on the same topic.


  • Math in Video Games Video – Watch a movie clip where a designer writes functions to create video games.
  • Videogame Challenge – Plot a linear path so that your spaceship won’t crash into the asteroid.
  • Math in Music Challenge - Use algebra to match up the tempos of the drum track with an instrumental sample.

It's so good. Get the Math videos don’t just loosely connect math to the real world; everything is specific, clear, and presented in a totally relatable, fun way. Subjects are diverse, featuring many people of color and women in non-traditional industries. Some of the challenges are better than others; for the video game challenge, kids answer math questions in order to play a video game built by math, whereas it would be more authentic if they could create a function that in turn builds a small piece of a video game.

The Math in Music challenge is an excellent example of a problem that's interesting and has multiple possible ways to get to the correct answer; kids use math to mix music along with hip-hop artists DoubleFlo. It provides just the right amount of structure and support while still leaving the kids space to puzzle it out themselves. Our main complaint: It's too bad that the site's limited to algebra content; we want it for all the math subjects!

Overall Rating

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

Videos show real people using math in ways that kids can relate to; they'll authentically use math in music, fashion, and sports. Super fun! Design is ultramodern and very teen-friendly.

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

Each challenge is a real problem that requires math, and kids can use multiple approaches to reach a valid answer. As kids watch hip-hop duo DobleFlo jam, they'll get an understanding of how actual math fits into their work.

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

Hints support kids struggling through a Challenge. Video and text work together for kids who have different learning styles.

Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 8 reviews) (8 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Dwaina S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
East-West School of International Studies
Flushing, United States
Real-world videos and activities for easy student engagement and comprehension
This is a great teaching tool for students looking for extension problems or word problem comprehension. They can be completed in small groups, individually or as a class. Teachers would have to monitor students to collect any data on individual student understanding. The tasks are only differentiated in that there is an extension activity after the initial activity. For ELL/SPED students these activities are word heavy and may require some differentiation in terms of the language used, especially in the hints. For students who are looking for real world applications of the content they are learning, Get the Math is a great tool for tying in or introducing concepts and coming back to them later as more conceptual understanding has taken place.
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