Review by Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013


Untangle robust math problems for all ages; plenty of teaching support

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Creativity
  • 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 (5 Reviews)

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Pros: The site's approach to problem-solving challenges kids to think mathematically, giving them the tools to do so.

Cons: Visual presentation needs to better adapt to its audience, with less text and easier "click" targets for younger kids in particular.

Bottom Line: It's an excellent classroom companion that can be implemented quickly with little adjustment and a high probability of success.

From their own student homepage, kids can choose to solve problems, check out trending math topics, or search for problems by collection or keyword, or from a list. Problems use text, video, and graphics, but kids will most often work offline with pencil and paper (problems can be printed). There are offline games for young kids to play, often with a partner. Kids at all grade levels can explore concepts via interactive online activities such as a peg board, Cuisenaire rods, modeling activities, or games.

Teacher homepages are also grouped by grade bands; you can visit them directly or through the Teacher Resources link that accompanies every problem.

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NRICH is a website featuring activities to challenge and engage kids with math problems, games, and projects set in relevant contexts. The site is divided into four student homepages representing the "5 Key Stages," or grade bands within the British education system, and corresponding U.S. K-12 grade level info is available. Problems for younger kids involve numbers and operations, shape, position, data and measurement with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics (added as they get older). Problems are presented with text and some video, so there’s quite a bit of reading. They’re printable and can always be read aloud.

To access age-appropriate problems by topic, use the Other Resources link in the Collections box on any student or teacher homepage. Click Topics at the top of the page to access all of NRICH’s problems.

Other extras NRICH offers include:

• Online interactives that work on a whiteboard

• Offline games

• Projects that promote STEM education

• Articles about math for all grades

• Tips for preparing for college math

• Professional development for teachers

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The "explore, question, notice, and discuss" approach is evident in the Getting Started suggestions link or in the problems themselves. The several solutions offered per problem highlight the relationship between creativity and math; it’s not just about the answer. Thorough corresponding teacher pages for each problem share possible approaches, questions to ask, and possible extensions to other support ideas. NRICH makes math a social activity, which is rare and fantastic. Kids will need to work away from the computer with pencil, paper, and other materials to sketch and model problems, but they don’t have to work alone. Have kids work in groups to submit a solution; NRICH always names the solver(s) of the solutions they accept. If small groups are not possible, kids can work alone or use the online community to find a partner.

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Overall Rating

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

As they generate solutions to problems with real-world relevance, kids should engage with these sharp student pages. Site navigation is a bit tricky, so kids may need adult guidance to find relevant activities.

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

Kids are encouraged to "explore, question, notice, and discuss," and submit solutions -- as a group or solo. Every problem has links to help kids get started, and a fully explained solution adds depth.

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

Online interactives and single-player and multiplayer offline games reinforce skills. In a community section, kids can discuss math with other kids or get homework help; experts give support but not answers. Spanish translation is available.

Teacher Reviews

(See all 5 reviews) (5 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jason S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Odyssey Charter Elementary School
Denver, CO
Nrich is a brainy website for promoting math problem solving skills.
NRICH will get you thinking about math in new ways. The website is a rich source of clever games, activities, and inquiry problems. Some games are playable online, others are mention for offline practice. My students enjoyed some of the online games, but most of them required mini-lessons from teachers in order to understand how to play. Certain NRICH activities kept my students interested in math patterns and problem solving for extended periods of time. NRICH also has "Live Problems" which are inquiry-based math problems. Students can submit their answers online. Unfortunately, the website is not very well organized or searchable. It is difficult to tell what games could be played online vs offline. Many of the games involve gather resources, so be sure to plan ahead. Since NRICH is based in England, the information is not searchable by Common Core standards. It takes some serious time and exploration to pull out activities and problems that will serve your students well. The website is also text-rich which might make it less accessible to some students. Read full review