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

Redbird Mathematics

Excellent adaptive math for flipped or blended classrooms

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–7
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (10 Reviews)

Take a look inside

7 images

Pros: Excellent adaptive technology, some digital manipulatives to build conceptual understanding, great design, and cross-platform compatibility.

Cons: Most learning is a passive experience, and kids could use more hands-on or discovery work.

Bottom Line: If you're looking for courseware for your classroom, this is based on solid research and proven technology.

Redbird Mathematics fits well with blended or flipped classrooms. Flipped learning is where students use online courseware at home and then work on projects in class, whereas blended learning gives over some instructional time to using courseware in a computer lab or with a set of laptops. In either case, students will mostly have an easy time self-pacing through Redbird, but the teacher will need to be available to pull students for targeted instruction and to provide intellectual pushes.

If students are really lost, Redbird won't do much for them except kick them into a loop: working through an exercise, then practicing, then going back into learning after missing enough questions, then going back into practice, and so on. These kids will need more hands-on support with alternative teaching methods and explanations, since Redbird presents most concepts in one or two specific ways. 

Continue reading Show less

Redbird Mathematics is a digital curriculum platform (now part of McGraw-Hill Education) for in-class or blended learning use that incorporates robust, research-based adaptive technology. Teachers can assign students to grade-level learning tracks or let them sort themselves with a course placement activity. Students then work through a series of exercises to demonstrate prior mastery (Show What You Know), learn new concepts, and then practice what they learned. Along the way, students unlock math-based games and ultimately finish each section with a project to apply their new understanding. 

Redbird keeps a constant tally of student data to tailor the content that each kid sees. Advanced learners will spend less time practicing and more time applying, while kids who struggle will get more direct support and guided practice. Teachers can monitor everything through a robust dashboard that shows a class overview. Teachers can get more granular, seeing specific student activity, including easily finding incorrect answers students gave. This will allow teachers to plan instruction of their own. 

While much of Redbird Mathematic's content is still traditional instruction, most lessons have some kind of digital manipulative, multiple solution methods, or multiple representations of math concepts. These research-based additions help students gain procedural fluency and conceptual intuition more than the typical textbook or lecture. The adaptive content is pretty impressive; in testing, most math concepts stayed right in the neighborhood of just-challenging-enough, seldom becoming overwhelming or too easy. Most of the text has an audio option so that students who struggle with reading can fully participate.

Learning games sometimes seem a little unrelated to the concepts at hand, but they're a fun and intellectually stimulating break, if not totally exciting. The end-of-unit projects are really nice, and while not as comprehensive or as tangible as an in-class PBL experience, they're favorable in every way to a summative assessment with tons of multiple-choice questions.

Overall Rating

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

Lessons and activities are all nicely designed, with great digital manipulatives and plenty of interactivity. It's not exactly fun, but it's more engaging than your typical textbook or worksheet; videos and projects spice things up a bit.

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

The curriculum is presented in a pretty direct read-and-remember manner with some heavy vocabulary and occasional discovery tools. There are projects with each unit, but it's not quite full-on project-based learning.

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

A lot of good help is available for students who are stuck, with immediate feedback and pop-up tips. Most concepts, however, are only presented one way, so you may need to intervene and assist some students.


Common Sense Reviewer
Shaun Langevin Technology coordinator

Teacher Reviews

(See all 10 reviews) (10 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Monroe E. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Monroe Elementary School
Riverside, United States
Take Flight with Redbird Mathematics
Overall this is the best math program that I have used with my students. My class is a Personalized Learning classroom and after trying multiple programs, this one kept the students engaged longer and at a rigor that was individualized and appropriated for that student at their level. It helps me know exactly what math level each of my students are at and which skills they specifically need more review with. It also lets me know which students are excelling which helps me know how to support the ...
Read full review