Website review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2021

Zorbit's Math Adventure

Set off into space for story-based math skills practice

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Grades
Pre-K–3
Subjects & Skills
Math

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Pros: Fun games with math embedded, an incredible teacher dashboard, and lots of customization options for assigned topics.

Cons: Student portion can be glitchy, with audio issues and long loading times; no hints provided for wrong math answers.

Bottom Line: It's a fantastic resource with math baked right in, but technical issues might get in the way.

Zorbit's Math Adventure is a great supplement to classroom lessons. It's important to note that it doesn't teach new concepts, but it does allow students to practice what's already been taught in class. Teachers can use it to reinforce learning and also to assess student understanding of concepts. The teacher dashboard is extensive and provides many opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress, check for understanding, and assign specific topics on a class-wide or even per-student basis. Hints aren't provided for incorrect answers while playing, so make sure to monitor students as they play. However, you can use the real-time updates on students who are playing to quickly see where students are struggling and intervene as needed. 

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Zorbit's Math Adventure is an adventure-based game that lets kids explore different galaxies with a cast of characters. As you scroll between the planets, you can see which math skills are covered. Students apply math skills to different challenges that move the adventure forward. Though it has support around playing the games, there are no hints around the math practice. Challenge levels built into each story give students a chance to earn special badges or gear for their characters. Subtitles can be turned on, but for younger students this might not be helpful, as much of the vocabulary used would be higher than their reading level. The teacher dashboard provides tons of feedback on student learning, allows for fine-tuning of games and concepts to be assigned, and provides additional resources for offline use.

Overall Zorbit's is a great tool for reinforcing what students have already learned in class -- when it works properly. When math is fully integrated into an adventure or story, as it is in Zorbit's Math Adventure, it adds relevance and fun. And the shifting mechanics help keep the game fresh and interesting. It's also great that there are challenge levels, though the substantial jump in math difficulty from the previous levels could be off-putting or frustrating for some students. Teachers can create custom assignments for individual students or determine what "worlds" are available for their entire class or an individual student, making it great for focusing in on the skills that students really need. Students can also be assigned a different grade level or topic from their peers without others knowing they are working on different concepts. 

In terms of gameplay, there are hints on how to play the games but none for the math concepts. If a student is struggling to get a correct answer, no hints help them along. It therefore relies on the teacher to be available while students are playing to help them understand their math mistakes. Another downside is that it can be quite buggy or glitchy at times. It requires a LOT of browser power, there were often issues with the audio, and the control buttons were cut off by the screen size. Despite these issues, Zorbit's is worth a look, so take advantage of the free trial to see if it's a good fit for your classroom.

Overall Rating

Engagement

The story element with math embedded makes it fun to use skills to move the narrative forward.

Pedagogy

Integrating the math into the story makes the skills relevant and fun, and the data teachers get in the dashboard helps them adjust assignments to the right level.

Support

There's minimal support for students in the game, however there's significant support for teachers in setting up and using the dashboard and all the tools available. 


Common Sense reviewer
Pamela Brittain Researcher

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