Website review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2019

SplashLearn

A colorful, fun way for students to build math skills mastery

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 5 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–5 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Makes it easy to practice and to track students' growth on specific math concepts; being able to assign questions is a big bonus.

Cons: Questions can get repetitive, and incorrect answers receive little help; content is very limited with a free account.

Bottom Line: These engaging math games for younger kids are great for math skills practice, but you'll need a paid account to access a substantial amount of the content.

SplashLearn can make for a great review tool once you've already covered concepts in class. Practicing with this type of game-based system can help motivate students. As students review, the program's instant feedback can help kids catch mistakes quickly. The website version could serve as a useful tool for tracking homework, as it's easy to see and track students' use and progress. While it isn't suited to be a stand-alone tool, SplashLearn can provide some solid formative assessment information, helping teachers keep notes of their students' progress. 

Switching between a parent and student dashboard is a bit awkward, as each can be accessed from the other one. And students have the ability to navigate right to the paid subscription page from their own account (which could be dangerous if credit card info is set to auto-fill on the computer as well). This might not be as much of an issue when using the available apps.

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SplashLearn's game-based platform targets Common Core math content for kindergarten through fifth grade. Teachers can create an account, assign various concepts to either the whole class or individual students, and then track student progress using a highly detailed reporting system. They can also enable home access so that students can practice at home and their parents can see their progress. In addition to the website, SplashLearn is available as an app, as well as individual apps split into each grade level. 

Games and activities have questions that vary in type and presentation, and points are earned throughout; these can be redeemed for virtual rewards in the SplashLearn store. Mastery of a skill is obtained only when a specific number of questions are answered correctly, on the first try. Students can have multiple attempts before the correct answer is shown, but they don't earn points/coins for it. Also, at the end of every practice session, students are presented with a game they can play -- but such games are available only with a paid subscription. In the free version, the content available is very limited, and coins earned can be spent only on changing the dashboard background.

SplashLearn offers colorful, interactive games that are bound to engage younger students. Especially at the earlier grade levels, the games and lessons here can certainly help kids practice their math skills and build mastery. It's likely to be more appealing to younger kids, as the repetitiveness of the questions may tire more mature students. Exercises do, however, provide a variety of question types aimed at covering the Common Core standards, and detailed information on Common Core mapping is provided to teachers through the (very thorough) teacher dashboard. There's also a flash card-style math facts section that's excellent for building operations skills.

Questions available to students can be opened for exploration or assigned directly by the teacher. While most of the questions are text-based, some have audio support. Upon answering questions, students get instant feedback, but if a student misses a question, only the correct answer is displayed with a short explanation. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The overall design is clear, colorful, and simple to navigate. Each skill asks a lot of questions, which may get repetitive for some students, but varied question types help mix it up.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Covers almost any math concept you can think of, with lots of practice questions in each area. The parent and teacher dashboards also provide lots of useful information on student progress and mastery. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Most questions are text-based; some have audio available. Hints aren't given for incorrect answers, and gameplay help isn't available, but the games are fairly intuitive. 


Common Sense reviewer
Pamela Brittain Researcher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Shannon M. , Other
Other
Cabell County Schools
Huntington, United States
Great for Use in Multiple Ways
As with any product of this nature, while more engaging than simple flash card review, I would limit the time spent on this to no more than 30 minutes. For older students (i.e., middle school student who need an extra boost), I would use this as an individual station, NOT as a whole or small group, simply due to the more elementary format. I have had my own children use this at home, and they are far more engaged for a longer period of time than with simple flash card sets.
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