Ms. Nicole Roberts


A super nice member!

I teach ages: 9 to 10


June 12, 2013

Not as advertised. To actually get any apps made, there is a charge. This is not free beyond a trial ‘Discovery Pack.’

April 26, 2012

This site is amazing! I use this site almost daily for math fact practice. My kids love the variety of games (you can play any game on the site and it will use the same assigned skills for each one). I love being able to pick exactly which skills each kid needs to work on (and they can't really change it ;p).

It also features a nice avatar system where students earn coins for each correct answer. The coins help them 'level up' to another animal, and they can use them to buy accessories for their avatars. Even I have found myself playing for hours (I had to research it before I let my kids play, right?) trying to get just the right ensemble for my avatar.

By far, the most engaging aspect is competing with kids from around the world in the games. Each games has up to 4 players, and by default it will connect you with 3 other random players on the site. It's really cool to start to see students from Australia and England as you play into the wee hours of the night and those kids start to wake up. (What? I'm a busy teacher! The only time I have to play is late at night!) If no one else is playing that game it will set you up versus the computer (which you can also set it to do yourself, if you're not the competitive type).

However, you can also set it to play with classmates, which means you can play with your friends online. One night while I was playing (get off my back, man) I ran through about 10 consecutive games with one of my students who just happened to be playing the same time I was. In class, this usually results in shouting, "Okay, I'm playing Junk Pile! Who's gonna play with me? Okay, press start in 3, 2, 1 . . ." Then the "awws" and "woo-hoos" when they see who they're playing against. (They even love playing with their teacher, moi.) They also shout, as they shut down their laptops, 'I'm gonna be on at 7:00. What do you want to play?"

Yeah, I'd recommend this site.

April 26, 2012

My students (and by extension, I) love this website. Fun games and competitions with schools from around the world really motivate my kids to get online and practice. I can set challenges for the kids so that they are working on skills that we are currently reviewing, or general year-long needs.

The site is designed for about grades 2-12, but it seems like it was designed 12-2, if you get my drift. The bulk of the standards addressed are geared towards middle and high school, but there is still quite a bit left for my little fourth graders. However, this means that if my kids just go to play games they are interested in (as opposed to what I have assigned) they are highly likely to be in over their heads and start guessing.

The site is divided between challenges and games. The games are great practice for certain skills, and the kids obviously prefer those, but I love the challenges. The challenges support several elements of gamification into the practice. First, questions only get harder if the player is successful. If questions are too hard, they get bumped down to easier questions. Although they are definitely aware of what level of questions they are on, this doesn't usually discourage them. They try like mad to get up to a higher level, and it is really motivating.

There is also a badge system where they are awarded for getting a certain score on the activity. Other than being proud about your own badges, you can compare your progress with that of your classmates. My kids not only strive to be number 1, but they congratulate those kids who are beating them.

Recently my class was invited to participate in our first Fai-To (Manga High's competition system). We competed with a school from England, and even though it was clear that our competitors weren't really using Manga High at the time (I think that had one badge earned throughout the whole week) my kids were dying to get on there and practice both during math time at school and during the evening at home. The Fai-To basically compares how many badges were earned by each school, each day, and decides the winner. It also names one 'Round Hero' who is the person from the winning school who earned the most badges each round. I will never forget how, at the end of the first round, I announced who the 'hero' was, and the class spontaneously erupted in applause and cheers for him.

In short, you can tell my whole class loves this site.

April 26, 2012

Class Dojo allows you to set up a specific list of positive and negative behaviors for you to track. Each student gets a cute little monster avatar (it assigns a random one by default, but you can go in and change it later) and you can assign points by clicking on the avatar. You get a pop-up where you can select the reason for the point (positive or negative) and then it flashes a quick message on the screen about the point awarded. You can also select multiple students at a time by using the class list on the left. The kids are really motivated to see what points they get, and it has a handy analysis tool to see where you award the most points. This can be helpful to track patterns in behavior that can help tighten things up in your classroom.