Teacher Review for XtraMath

Great free classroom resource for fact fluency

Mandy B.
Technology coordinator
Waconia Public Schools
Waconia, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Homework
Small group
Great with General
Special needs
How I Use It
Students in grades 1-4 have been given logins to use both at school during weekly computer time (and during math station time, in some cases), as well as login information for home use. Teachers track student progress and many have added operations now that we are 2/3 through the school year, as students are beginning to master grade-level content. We use it for skill practice and review, rather than a teaching tool. The only thing that hasn't worked, is that when a computer needs to be re-imaged or a student deletes the desktop link to the site, all the teachers' classroom access codes need to be reinstalled by one of the tech team members. Some parents have reported that they didn't want to sign up for an account. Instead, we forwarded them the "classroom setup" instructions so they could set up an anonymous work station on their home computer. As all students are password protected with a random pin number, this has worked just fine. For lab use, most teachers opted to put a PIN number sticker on the back of student ID cards, or to write it with a permanent marker so that students didn't lose them. Students really enjoy the individual progress tracking, and working at their own pace. Headphones are helpful as well, especially for 1st/2nd grade to hear instructions. What doesn't really work, is having 3rd/4th graders start with the standard addition/subtraction/multiplication assignment, unless it's the beginning of the year. The facts are too basic and students get bored with the repetition. One of the 3rd grade classes actually cheered when they logged into the lab computers and discovered addition/subtraction had been turned off, and they could all move onto multiplication!
My Take
The website is easy to use and auto-generates login codes, parent handouts and classroom setup instructions. Assigned operations can be tailored to individual students or whole-class. The classroom progress emails are helpful for tracking student use and mastery. I dislike the amount of repeating included if a student gets a fact wrong. I would also like to see an app-version released, since the flash-based content does not play on iPad. Overall, I highly recommend this site.