Review by Galen McQuillen, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2016


Phenomenal adaptive math games with a killer teacher dashboard

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (19 Reviews)

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Pros: Learning tools are solid and adapt to students' levels, fun games promote learning and retention of concepts, and teacher dashboard is a wonder.

Cons: Drill-and-practice activities could get old, some games are a bit slow-paced, and the manga-inspired interface might not be exciting for some.

Bottom Line: Fantastic tool for flipped or blended classrooms, formative assessment, or extra practice in any setting. It's gamification that really works.

Mangahigh is ideal for blended classrooms, homework replacement, or extra practice. Teachers can use the dashboard to create different classes, add students, choose specific games each class can access, and monitor students' activity. Under Challenges, teachers can search the games and Prodigi quizzes that target specific Common Core standards and assign them to students.

Older students are better off in the Prodigi section, where activities on numbers, algebra, shapes, and data are text-heavier and involve some multiple-choice critical thinking. Keep these tutorials and exercises in mind as a great resource for test prep, as refreshers after summer break, or for teens moving into more advanced math classes. Another nifty feature is a search tool that lets you assign Prodigi tutorials based on grade level or Common Core standard. You can also inject a little healthy competition into the mix by adding your class to public leaderboards, where students can see how they stack up against other schools nationally.

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Mangahigh is a web-based platform that boasts dozens of math games and hundreds of tutorials and quizzes, all aligned with Common Core standards. It teaches and reinforces a wide variety of math fundamentals, from counting and number sense all the way up to beginning algebra and geometry concepts. Students can play through games at their own pace or work on teacher-assigned challenges and lessons. For extra-competitive flavor, students can earn medals, badges, and rewards, compete in social games with students across the world, or take part in school-wide challenges against other schools (Fai-Tos). 

An impressive teacher dashboard lets instructors manage the whole experience with a gorgeous gradebook system, easy class setup, comprehensive analytics at the class or student level, and full interactive previews of all games and lessons. Classroom Mode allows teachers to lock down student access to teacher-assigned tasks (games or activities) for up to 90 minutes. 

Most learning happens either in challenges, interactive quizzes, or standalone games. The quizzes and arcade-style games are expertly combined with meaningful learning content to push students to reach more sophisticated levels of understanding. Mangahigh does an impressive job of letting the math content drive student engagement. With progress, speed, and accuracy all displayed and infinite retries available, students will readily push themselves to master content just for the thrill of achieving their personal bests. 

The games are ridiculously fun in their own right but seamlessly promote learning goals as part of the play. Students make use of math concepts to progress through challenges involving interstellar travel, gardening, piñatas, and more. They'll make kids laugh, make them strive to win, and, most importantly, keep them practicing their math skills day after day. Combined with a dashboard to manage all this, Mangahigh is a surprisingly powerful practice tool for all levels. 

Overall Rating

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

Games are easy to play and absurdly addictive and manage to make the learning fun. Kids will be quickly hooked, and initial game-inspired interest will soon give way to authentic intrinsic motivation.

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

The Prodigi learning system and standalone games promote skill acquisition and conceptual understanding. Solid constructivist underpinnings mean students build knowledge intuitively rather than being forced to memorize.

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

Teacher dashboard best in class, with incredibly useful and well-designed class-management tools, robust analytics, and content previews. More built-in help for students would be nice, but discovery approach is good.

Teacher Reviews

(See all 19 reviews) (19 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Brandie H. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
P.S. 8 Robert Fulton
Brooklyn, United States
Range of math skills through games that increase in difficulty
Overall, I liked many of the games. All of the games have different styles and many are sophisticated enough, with bonus items and actions during gameplay, that they allow students to stretch their knowledge and use strategy to improve their gameplay and performance. All of the games give written steps for how to play, but I would have loved to see visual examples of how the game is played too, because sometimes the sophistication of the game could be a bit confusing for students to figure out all aspects of game play. One positive thing is that there is a section that gives tips for how scores can be improved, that addresses both the math skills and the strategies of gameplay. Again, I just wish that these tips could be made into visual examples, to strengthen their ability to support students. I also really liked that although the games start off at an easy level, they progress to higher levels of difficulties (by incorporating negative numbers, different operations, etc.), which means that students have growing room within each game and that the same game can be played by students at different levels of proficiency. I like the website and think it's worth it to spend the time to create the student accounts. I'm not sure about the value of upgrading beyond the basic package, but I guess it depends on how you plan to use it in your classroom over the course of the school year.
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