Common Sense Review
Updated May 2015

Woot Math

Woot! Woot! Truly adaptive fractions lessons support concept building
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • Woot’s adaptive curriculum uses many fraction models (pie pieces included).
  • The student homepage shows lessons: completed, still locked, and what's new.
  • Students earn 1-3 stars for each lesson, reflecting the number correct.
  • The teacher homepage shows students’ progress; pacing can be adjusted here.
  • Clicking on the student provides details, including a screenshot of each problem.
Concept-based, adaptive fraction tutorials and practice can be used for meaningful, differentiated instruction.
Teachers will find tools (content maps, coordinating curriculum, the ability to assign a lesson) lacking, and kids may miss constructive feedback.
Bottom Line
A top choice for stand-alone instruction or remediation on fractions.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Short snippets of instruction and targeted practice keep tedium at bay. Students stay involved by moving pieces or clicking images. The Woot! star-explosion (for right answers) is a small, strong incentive. But a bit more woot-ing might be nice.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Woot presents fractions at their conceptual level; kids use fractions, pie pieces, number lines, and more. It seems to adapt remarkably, but users can’t view progress relative to benchmarks. Also, clear mistake-related feedback is missing.

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

Intuitive design and clear narration (eng/span) make independent interfacing easy. Unfortunately, there’s no accessible help – for either technical or instructional stumps. Progress through lessons and the course is vexingly unmarked.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Use Woot as a stand-alone fractions curriculum in upper elementary or middle school math class. Introduce kids to the site in mere minutes, but be sure to build in time for changing initial passwords. Then, simply match kids to devices with headphones and Woot away! You can use these work sessions (10-30 minutes) as an opportunity to (yes!) address this or other content with rotating small groups. Try to provide a flexible ending time to class Wooting, since mid-lesson progress isn't saved. Woot is great as a standing homework assignment: Set an expectation for 1-2 lessons a night during parts of the year where that fits your curriculum best.

After a few Woot sessions, use your dashboard to monitor progress, especially to identify students that need the pace tweaked (faster or slower). Be ready to intervene with advanced kids (especially in middle school). Although the site’s adaptive features are great, kids who struggle may become understandably weary of all the lessons. Sympathetic words of patience -- and an alternative measure of mastery (like a unit assessment or end-of-year test) -- may help.

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What's It Like?

Woot is an adaptive online fractions curriculum that includes narrated tutorials and targeted practice. Teachers set up student accounts (with student names, usernames, and passwords) and students log in using this info and a teacher code.

Student homepages show 12 lessons (which look like sticky notes) per screen: Completed ones are shaded, future ones have locks. Each lesson begins with a short (1-2 minutes) narrated example, followed by a series of practice questions, sometimes with further tutorials and more questions. At the end of the lesson (each of wich are about 10 questions long), a student earns 1-3 stars depending on quantity correct, and the next lesson is unlocked (it’s now grey, with a “new” sash). The site’s adaptiveness makes it so that the “next” lesson may or may not be sequentially “next” -- sometimes it's a review of content that needs some extra attention, and sometimes it skips ahead to a more complex concept. At any time, previous lessons may be redone; new problems are provided, and the adaptive feature still works.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Woot Math teaches kids about fractions using single-problem tutorials followed by practice questions. The adaptive aspect means that kids entering correct answers may end a lesson with a challenge, while those with many errors will view another tutorial and do more practice. Struggling students don’t float through an endless lesson, though; the next lesson simply works to remediate.

There are a few shortcomings: There is no overall map of benchmarks for kids and teachers to gauge progress. And kids may not really be aware that they’re “wrong” because the program doesn’t call out mistakes or provide constructive feedback. Instead, it offers other lessons to fill holes. It would be great if teachers could assign certain content to kids (say, mixed numbers) and if kids had a better sense of their progress. Advanced kids will really wish for a pretest option; even at faster pacing, correct answers lead on to an unknown end.

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See how teachers are using Woot Math