Over the years, I have become more accepting of screens being included in our school. You really cannot get away from it, especially when screens give you access to great educational resources. One of those great educational resources is Smartick, an online subscription math enrichment program. It is geared towards children, ages 4 – 14. We used the program on our iPad and computer.
Smartick is primarily a math program, but incorporates logic, reading comprehension and reasoning into its offerings. Your child gets more than just math practice when using Smartick. The program is adaptive and focuses on the ability and specific needs of your child. Instead of completing general grade level exercises and math problems, students follow and work through a lesson plan that specifically targets their academic needs.
The pictures show the areas covered in Smartick. Video tutorials are also available for students to watch to help them better perform in those areas. Each topic area is broken down even further with more assistance to help the student with their comprehension. The questions were varied and covered the different areas shown in the picture.
Before we got started using Smartick, Canyon completed placement exercises to determine his knowledge and skill levels. The placement test “took forever” (it really didn’t), but he did finish.
There were a number of questions he was unable to answer, but that balanced with the ones he answered correctly resulting in a study plan just for him.
Some of the exercises he was challenged with after placement included ones like this. Critical thinking at work here.
This problem started as a regular math problem and through three steps incorporated reasoning and logic to get the final answer.
I have to say I do not like the amount of time my children spend on electronics. They may be learning something, but most of the time spent could be for enriching their minds. Video games yes, but addd some Smartick in there somewhere. If your child’s screen time is a concern, you will be happy to know Smartick only requires students to use the program for 15 minutes a day, four to five days a week, to be effective.
We got a slow start using Smartick, because Canyon was not enthusiastic about using the program. A laborious 15 minutes, became an experience he looked forward to once he got started. It might have had something to do with this . . .
. . . or this . . .
. . . or even this . . .
Students are rewarded for the work they complete. The rewards include diplomas and gold stars, but what students really want to earn are Ticks. Canyon was rewarded Ticks when he completed his work or scored high playing games. The Ticks work like currency and Canyon was able to shop for clothing and other accessories for his avatar, as well as pets, letters to spell and more.
What would an online program be without games? Smartick has them and I did allow Canyon to play.
Play in the game section is another way students are rewarded. Not only are they able to choose from a number of games, students are able to earn Ticks there too. The games are fun, but they are also challenging. Users are going to have to work/think to complete the game challenges to earn Ticks.
There are areas where your student may connect or “friend” other avatars, but we did not use that feature.
Although students can use Smartick independently, the program keeps the parent involved with daily e-mail updates of your child’s progress.
The Parent dashboard also helps parents monitor progress giving a general overview or a more detailed view of their child’s progress.
The way Smartick works is different from any other online math program we have used. Smartick exercises included general math problems formatted in a familiar style and then there are others that were not. There was nothing rote or repetitive about the problems Canyon had to solve, clues he had to decipher or reasoning he had to understand to complete the work. Each 15 minute session was full of non-stop thinking. Canyon had to think past addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and had to reason and think logically to work through the program. He also had to read. I like that.
Smartick is actually pretty cool. I love the combination of the math, critical thinking and reading comprehension in the program. In just 15 minutes, Smartick gets your child’s mind going and ready to keep learning/thinking.
The only thing that may keep me from regularly using the program is the monthly price. I only have one child and we would be using it as a supplement, so the price is a bit too high for me. If you think Smartick may work well in your school, you may try it for free.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Smartick has a few subscription offers.
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