I used to love math. Unfortunately that got away from me and I have struggled with a love/hate thing with math since high school. I want badly to not pass that along to my children and we are struggling to find the right fit for each of them with math. I was happy to be given the opportunity to review a product by A+ Interactive Math. There are a couple of products that A+ has available. The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan is what we have been reviewing.
The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan is an interesting concept. The student will enter the program and begin a placement test on a concept such as Number Sense or Fractions. The test is considered adaptive because during the test, the program is monitoring for correct and incorrect answers. When the program determines that answers are incorrect at a concerning level, it will pull up a set of questions for a lower grade level to allow the student to try those questions. This will continue until the program has determined the grade level at which your student is successful with the concept. At this point, the Individualized Lesson Plan is generated. If no issues were determined, the student is considered “at grade level” and can move on to another concept. If the student answered questions incorrectly, the program will generate a lesson plan for the student.
The student will then go to the lesson plan for that concept and be able to see the lessons that need to be completed. After going through each of the lesson plans for the concept, the child is supposed to take the Adaptive Placement Test again. If at this point, there are no issues, your child will be marked as “at grade level” and can move on to the Adaptive Placement Test for the next concept. If the test determines that there are still some parts that are not understood, a new Individualized Lesson Plan is created for the student to work through.
Each lesson in the lesson plan consists of a couple of pieces. When you click on a lesson plan, you are taken to another screen where you then choose either the Multimedia Lesson with Interactive Q&A or Online Worksheets. The student will view the Multimedia Lesson, which is fairly short, and answer the questions. This is followed by a set of 5 – 10 questions. The student works the question and answers it. I am not sure why this called interactive because we did not feel there was any interaction at all.
After answering the questions, the parent can decide whether or not the student needs to work on the worksheets for more practice. These are online. I could not find a way to print them off. Each worksheet is just more questions for the concept.
As a parent, I was excited to see a product that is supposed to test your child and adapt to help your child work to their potential. There are some strong points to this program. The Adaptive Placement Test can help you determine if your child is on grade level. In many states, this is of significant value. The Placement Test can help determine which concepts your child is struggling with. For many parents who struggle to teach math, this does some of the teaching for you with the video instruction.
As a student, if you enjoy working fairly independently, this is a great program for you. If you do well with video lessons, this program might be a good fit for you. If you do well with math, this might be a good program for you to look into but if your child often needs reteaching, this program will not work.
We found out very quickly that this was not a good fit for our family. There are several reasons but there are two biggies.
1 – The test became extremely long for one child who was struggling with the concept. I let her quit the test after it exceeded 30 minutes. This created major tension and frustration and she was hesitant to try again with another test because she was afraid it might get too long, as well.
2 – We have determined that our girls do not do well with video instruction in math. They often need concepts presented in multiple ways with different words used each time. This program does not have the ability to adjust the teaching to the student which is something our girls need.
One last thing I would like to make you aware of is that we experienced some technical issues while using this product. A couple of times we were unable to login or got an error message when logging in. That seemed to resolve after a day or so. More than once one of the girls was taking a placement test and she was kicked out in the middle of it. It did not record her progress so she had to retake the test or she wouldn’t get any of the lesson plans she needed. These were definite points of frustration with this program and I hope that the vendor is able to address them quickly because this is a program with a lot of amazing potential.
Please read some more of the reviews by clicking on the banner below. There are lots of folks out there for whom this program is a good fit and their reviews will look really different from mine. So please go check them out. There is also a sale coming up with 40-50% off of the Family Math Package and the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan. The sale will run from 5/4/2015 – 5/18/2015. There are also some freebies on A+ Interactive Math that will help you determine if their program is a good fit for your family.