Review by Shaun Langevin, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2018

JumpStart Academy Math

Adaptive math tool offers individualized activities and fun games

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–6
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: It's both adaptive and fun.

Cons: Some graphics may be too small for kids to see properly; text-to-speech feature sometimes reads items incorrectly.

Bottom Line: An individualized game-based curriculum that's responsive, but feels unfinished.

JumpStart Academy Math is best if integrated regularly into students’ math curriculum. Teachers could assign JumpStart to individual students while they work with small groups. Later, when the teacher looks at reports provided by JumpStart, they can pinpoint issues and create instruction to help those students. JumpStart Academy Math is engaging enough that some students would choose it during academic choice time. There's a handy feature that allows students to use their mouse or touchpad to sketch on the problem, but teachers will want to make sure their students use paper for more complex problems. Younger kids will likely need assistance as they begin using the games, but once they get the hang of it, they can work more independently with the program. 

If students finish their independent lessons, then they can participate in real-time team-based games online. Students can form two or more groups within their class to compete against each other.   

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JumpStart Academy Math (formerly Sokikom) is a website that offers individualized math programs for the classroom. Students begin by taking a diagnostic assessment; the results are used to determine their skill level and allow the program to place the student on a continuum of skills. The games are interactive, with online manipulatives and fun characters. Kids start with an avatar and are rewarded by personalization options; as they play games, they can earn points, letting them individualize their avatar accessory by accessory. Teachers can monitor progress via their dashboard.

Curiously, the product has an overall feeling of being unfinished. Instructional videos to help struggling kids that were present in Sokikom are missing in JumpStart Academy Math. This component was very helpful as students could get help when the teacher wasn't available. Many sections of the site are labeled "coming soon." Hopefully, these missing features will be added.

JumpStart Academy Math's greatest strength is its adaptability. All students will be working at their own pace, and each activity moves along based on their responses. Students have the option to retry at that point, but JumpStart Academy doesn't offer any remedial work or feedback to help students get on track, meaning a student who's struggling will need a teacher to intervene. Still, the program is too diagnostic for a kid to slip by without understanding a concept -- that's helpful.

The games are pedagogically sound. They build on each other; as kids gain one skill, they'll use it to master the next. Some graphics are just too small to see easily, making it difficult for kids to get the correct answer. As a result, a student who understands a concept may get it wrong just because they can't see the objects correctly. This means that some games will not be an option for kids with even minor visual challenges. Beware of the built-in text-to-speech reader as well -- it incorrectly reads some problems. For example, it will read "5 * 6 =" as "five asterisks six equals." 

Overall Rating

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

Well-designed, fun math games let kids compete against themselves and others. However, some of the visuals aren't very clear (tiny number tiles that are hard to see, for example).

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

Each student’s math curriculum is personalized in this very responsive program. Different levels allow kids to grow every day, building on already developed skills. 

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

Clear data reports allow kids, teachers, and parents to see progress. Instructional videos to help struggling kids aren't available.


Common Sense Reviewer
Shaun Langevin Technology coordinator

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
DeAnn K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Kids love to "play" and teacher reports help guide student learning
This is one of the best products that I have tried and I consistently used it in class both in a situation with limited technology and in a 1:1 environment. The personal avatar that students create and continue to modify based on the points earned in playing the games is extremely motivating. Also the team play aspect has been a huge hit with the students and contributed to the collaborative learning environment. I appreciate the extensive reports that I use to inform instruction. The teacher can ...
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