Review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2019

Youcubed

Research-backed resources that attack math myths head on

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
Grades 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.
8–12
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Pros: Resources are research-based through Stanford University; teachers can personally curate a daily list of videos, tasks, and inspiration.

Cons: The site is full of activities and research that can be, at times, a bit overwhelming and a little hard to navigate.

Bottom Line: A fantastic resource for teachers working on changing attitudes toward math and teaching it in an innovate and engaging way.

Youcubed is really focused on providing resources to parents and teachers and includes lots of lesson plans, videos, and curricula that can be implemented in the classroom. There's even a great section called "Week of Inspirational Math(s)" where you can create a personally curated daily list of videos, resources, and tasks. A personal link to your curated content can then be shared with others. There are also significant lesson plans and activities that can be incorporated into your classroom. 

Where Youcubed really shines, though, is in its content about changing mathematics mindsets and showing parents, teachers, and students that math can be a fun and engaging subject. Some of this is done through research articles that are aimed at teachers, but there are also videos designed to be shown to students that have a group of "superheroes" attacking common math myths (such as "speed is everything" or the idea of a "math brain"). There are also two self-paced math courses for teachers -- and one for students -- designed to teach these same concepts. 

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Youcubed is a platform for teachers and parents to find information on how to approach math from a very different angle. By focusing on addressing the myths of the "math brain" and that only those who are good at math will ever succeed, founder Dr. Jo Boaler provides materials and research that puts math in a whole new light. The website is broken into five main sections: Ideas, Tasks, Films, Courses, and Research.

The Ideas section delves into different methods to approach math instruction, while Tasks focuses more on resources for both teachers and students. The Films area includes a number of videos on a number of math topics. The Courses section includes two paid, self-paced online courses for teachers or a free online self-paced course for students. All the courses have a similar focus, breaking down the myths and stereotypes of what it means to be a math student. Finally, Research includes research articles, books, and other news associated with the site and the message it's promoting. 

All the materials on Youcubed are backed by Stanford University and the research taking place there. They're all based on, and promote, the ideas of growth mindset and innovative teaching with a focus on mathematics. As such, the site provides invaluable resources to teachers seeking new and innovative ways to introduce math to their students and to address common misconceptions about math as a subject. There's even a poster dedicated to the difference between the terms "math" and "maths" and why there's a difference. 

While the site is quite extensive (if a little hard to navigate) and contains materials for a wide range of users, the focus is really on helping teachers learn new and innovative skills for teaching math and providing resources for them to implement in their classroom. Also, while one of the courses is aimed at students (and tries to be engaging), the strength of the site isn't in addressing students directly but instead in providing those who teach them (including families) with research-based methods to engage students and change attitudes toward mathematics. And that's where its greatest strengths lie. 

Overall Rating

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

Youcubed presents resources for changing math mindsets in a variety of different ways, demonstrating that math can be a fun and engrossing subject. Teachers can personally curate a list of daily math inspirations.

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

From research articles to videos, courses, lesson plans, and curriculum, Youcubed provides parents and educators with all they need to change attitudes toward learning and doing math. 

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

There's a lot of information here, but teachers are mostly left on their own to navigate the content. It's laid out well but can be a bit overwhelming at first.


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