Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2016

Matific

Engaging supplemental resource encourages conceptual understanding

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
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 (1 Review)

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Pros: A variety of visual activities help kids gain a conceptual understanding of important K-6 math skills.

Cons: An adaptive feature could help teachers in meeting kids right at their level.

Bottom Line: A fun and engaging conceptual supplement for math lessons with easy-to-find standards-aligned activities.

Matific's feedback to students is subtle, encouraging a kind of trial-and-error method to find a working solution. As such, some teachers might want to use it as a supplement only after covering the concepts in class. Alternately, some of the games and activities could be used as a preview for certain concepts -- kids can try out different strategies and solutions, then bring their ideas back to the class before a more formal lesson on a topic.

You can assign students an activity or worksheet that aligns to a lesson, and have them work individually. If possible, project the assignment on the board and review the answers -- and different strategies kids tried -- together. Online, you can keep track of students' progress and identify any areas for improvement. However, you'll need to keep up with your kids and assign additional work on your own, as the program won't automatically assign or adapt to students' individual skill levels.

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Matific is a collection of interactive math games and activities (on the website, tablet, or Chrome app) for grades K-6 aimed at helping kids build a conceptual understanding of various foundational skills. The wide variety of activities and worksheets are well organized and easy to navigate. Kids can access the resources by grade level or, more specifically, by topic within each grade. Some grade levels have more resources -- and cover more skills -- than others. However, the developers are reportedly adding activities on an ongoing basis. A new game mode makes navigating new activities even more motivating for students.

Within each activity, kids can try a few times to find a correct answer before the program generates one for them. A teacher dashboard is easy to set up and provides progress reports, which show potential areas of improvement for each student. Teachers can sign up for a free trial and gain full access with a paid subscription. The Teacher Guides are a good resource for connecting the activities to classroom lessons. Matific integrates with Google Classroom, making it more convenient to assign activities.

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Matific's engaging resources are well organized by grade and by content, and should be easy for teachers to integrate into the lessons they're already teaching. Activities cover numerous K-6 Common Core domain skills. From counting and cardinality, operations and algebraic thinking, and geometry, to fractions and statistics and probability, among others; there's a lot covered here.

All grades include interactive activities and, for some grades, a mixed bag of digital worksheets. Some activities are repeated from one grade to the next, but in these cases they increase in difficulty and complexity. Of note for teachers, several puzzlers can have more than one solution, which offers kids different ways to think about the concepts covered. For example, in one 3-D tiling game, kids have to drag small sets of cubes to fill a larger cube. There are many ways to arrange the small cubes, but the final number needed to fill the large cube will always be the same. This type of flexibility makes Matific a solid choice as a supplemental tool for reinforcing kids' conceptual understanding of these foundational math skills.

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Overall Rating

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

There's a lot of variety in the grade-level activities and worksheets, which keeps students engaged.

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

Many games have multiple solutions -- kids are encouraged to think about concepts in different ways, and build their own understanding. Activities don't automatically adapt to kids' levels, though this type of feature would be useful.

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

Information is well organized, and Teacher Guides provide instructional ideas. Even as kids are encouraged to build their own understanding, clearer hints and instructional feedback could help those who may struggle.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jessica L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
Germantown, MD
Simple Math Differentiation

I think that this is a great teaching tool for a math educator teaching the common core standards. This program allows for differentiation, and gives immediate feedback to students on their performance. This website also gives educators student performance data, so it is easy to look and see what students are struggling or success with each of the various standards.

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