Website review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2017


Straightforward math fluency practice is free but dull

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 30 reviews
Privacy rating
78%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
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, Critical Thinking, Character & SEL

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Pros: Good theory allows students to focus on memorization with minimal distractions.

Cons: The problems are rote drill-and-practice exercises without anything to make them engaging.

Bottom Line: XtraMath helps kids gain crucial math-fact fluency but won't get them any closer to enjoying math.

Kids can use XtraMath for math practice at home, during the summer, and in school. It should be done regularly, but only once a day for about 15 minutes; overuse of the program could reduce kids' motivation. The goal is to get kids to respond to the math problem within three seconds. That way, they can do math facts without having to use their fingers or do mental calculations. Teachers may find XtraMath to be a fantastic warm-up activity as an alternative to traditional "Mad Minute" drills.

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XtraMath is a free math-fluency program available as a website and Chrome app; it's also available as an app for iOS, Android, and Amazon, but there you'll pay $5. XtraMath helps students practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Mr. C, who talks kids through the tasks, is a National Board-certified teacher from Seattle. Emphasis is on both accuracy and speed with limited time to complete problems.

Students answer straightforward math-fact problems on the computer screen. Immediate feedback pops up in the form of a smiley face, an X, or a timer. Based on that information, the next set of problems is set up to help kids focus on their own specific needs. Kids, parents, and teachers all can see detailed progress in the XtraMath reports.

Kids get immediate feedback, and the problems are tailored to their specific needs. Parents and teachers can track students' progress using fluency reports, and the site is available in a wide variety of languages. Teachers can also customize programs to differentiate for students; one student can be working on multiplication and division while another can work on addition. There's even an assessment-only program that allows students to skip the practice and simply show teachers what they know. When it comes to the basics of memorizing facts, XtraMath does what it says it will.

Unfortunately, the site isn't that exciting for kids. Other math-fact fluency sites such as IXL and Reflex have bright images and fun games -- things XtraMath lacks -- but these sites also come with a steep price tag, while XtraMath is free. Even the paid app is less expensive, but there are many similar free apps on the market. Bottom line: XtraMath on the web is free and gets the job done, but it isn't much fun.

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?

While memorization of math facts is important, XtraMath doesn't make it very fun.

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?

Timed, individualized math-fact practice helps kids build essential skills they'll need to move on to more advanced math concepts. Focus is only on the memorization of basic facts.

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?

The site is available in Spanish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and more. Data on performance helps kids, parents, and teachers address learning needs.

Common Sense reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Sheri C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Basic but it works!
It may not be fun and exciting but I need them to know their math facts! This program is strictly rote practice but it worked for me when I was a kid...I still know my math facts! I try to make a big deal out of students passing a level. I print the certificate and give it to them and we all clap for them. Some of them come to tell me how many facts they got correct that day. For my classroom it's like using flashcards but this way I can keep track of their progress.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Unclear whether this product displays personal information publicly.
Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Unclear whether this product provides processes to modify inaccurate data.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

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