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Review by Common Sense Editor, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013

Tutpup

Math and spelling games heavy on competition, lighter on deep learning

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
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K-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Tutpup is free, unlike IXL and Reflex, but more engaging than other free math fluency sites like XtraMath.

Cons: The competitive focus and lack of support make Tutpup less than ideal for some struggling learners.

Bottom Line: Kids who love to compete will flock to Tutpup for math and spelling practice, but it may be too much for others.

Tutpup isn't intended to replace a classroom teacher; it's best used following direct instruction to give kids practice building their fluency. Keep in mind, not all students will benefit from Tutpup; save it for your kids who are ready to move beyond the rest of the class or those who love to compete. Other sites like XtraMath or IXL may be a better fit for students who need practice in a lower-pressure environment. You could use a Tutpup session as a reward for finishing assignments early or doing well on a quiz; kids will be motivated by the fun. It also can work well to cement skills you've just worked on in class; you can see how well kids have grasped the concept as they play games.

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Note: The Tutpup website has closed and is no longer in operation.

Tutpup is a free site that helps kids build math fact and spelling fluency. Users can choose the kind of skill they want to practice, pick a level, and join a game with kids all over the world. Students practice math facts using the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They can also work on equations and memorizing spelling words.

Tutpup is a place for kids to practice math and spelling words by playing games against users from all over the world. How to become the winner? Answer the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time. The site doesn't really teach kids how to do the things they're tested on, or help struggling students; it's best used once kids have already been introduced to the skill to give them practice building fluency. Not all kids will benefit from Tutpup. The heavy competition may stress some kids out; save it for those who love to compete. Other sites like XtraMath or IXL may be a better fit for children who need practice in a lower-pressure environment.

Classroom teachers may provide a class code for kids to join their Tutpup class, while kids using it on their own will only enter a parent email. Screen names are limited to a color, animal, and number combination that they'll select from a drop-down menu, which keeps them from using identifiable info on the site.

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Tutpup's games can really get the competitive juices flowing. Since you win by being both fast and accurate, it can cause a serious adrenaline rush for some kids. The good? You may find certain students spending more and more time practicing their math facts and spelling using this tool. The not-so-good: Kids who prefer more processing time may actually find the site very frustrating. There's a large emphasis on winning, and results of every match are public on the website.

The site's also still in beta form, so it has some glitches. Frequently, a screen pops up indicating that something's gone wrong and that they will look into it. Also, kids are forced to wait to play until there is a challenger somewhere in the world who also wants to play the same game at that level. Students sit waiting while an annoying fog horn sounds off every few seconds. While real-time play is a cool feature, there's got to be something they can do in the meantime.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Memorization isn't always fun, but Tutpup has found a way to hook kids through competition. Its clean, primary-colored interface should appeal to kids as well.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Regular practice will increase fluency in math and spelling facts. This can develop student confidence and build a strong foundation for future content. However, kids won't gain new skills here, and there's limited feedback.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Kids get to see which tasks they got right and wrong after each game. However, there are no tips to help them improve. There's help for teachers and parents as well as technical help, but kids don't get much assistance.


Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews)
Featured review by
Adam M. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
4
Another great math website to use in the classroom.

This is another great math website to add to your class list. Students get engaged quickly with the competitive aspect that Tutpup offers. For me the biggest feature was the wide range of learners this site appeals to. There was something challenging for all students.

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