How I Use It
Xtra Math is a great way for students to independently practice their math facts skills both in the classroom and at home. I utilize this website during my guided math groups for students to work on their math facts skills on their own, at their own individual level.
The website gives the students an initial assessment to see where they need to begin working on their math facts. If they see that the student has grasped their +2 facts, but is struggling with their +3 facts, they will give them more questions geared toward that +3 skill that they need further practice on. There is a "teacher" that guides the students through the program and offers easy to understand instructions for the students to listen to.
The website also provides a ready-to-print letter to send home to parents so that students can practice their facts at home as well.
Overall I really love this website and especially love that it is free! It is a very easy program to set up in the classroom and I really have seen an improvement with my students memorization of their basic math facts. I like that it takes about 10 minutes to set up, and then the students can use the program independently for the remainder of the school year with little assistance from me. The program also provides a letter to send home to parents so that they know what we are using in the classroom and can have their kids use the program at home too!
This program is a great way to provide differentiated practice to students without the teacher having to use a lot of different resources or materials. The initial assessment allows the program to get familiar with the students knowledge and what they need to work on. This allows the program to gear itself specially to what the student needs more work on and not waste time on skills they have already mastered. It also only has the students working for an allotted amount of time so they do not get bored or frustrated with their practice.
One thing I would change about the program is that students must master their addition facts before they can move on to their subtraction facts. I am a first grade teacher and we teach addition and subtraction simultaneously, so I feel that they are getting more practice on the program with their addition skills and not enough with their subtraction skills.