Wednesday, March 18, 2015

GAP LEARN: Review

Critical Thinking Company Review
Hello everyone! For the last several weeks we have been reviewing GPA LEARN's awesome online math program, GPALOVEMATH. And we LOVE IT! GPALOVEMATH is a totally online, streaming program, for math. It is not a download, so you can access it in a variety of manners* provided you have a high speed internet connection. The program covers grades K through 5th, and you can interchange the grades as needed. The program is based off a fantastic rewards systems that makes students WANT to do the work. It is entertaining, and easily adaptable to what you want to accomplish. 

About the program:

As the parent, you get your own "Dashboard." This is where you can tweak rewards, view your child's progress, and unlock specific lessons as needed. Each child has their own dashboard, too. they can access this via their own user name and password, or through the parent dashboard. Here is a screen snip of the child's dashboard to illustrate the "learning paths." You can go in and pick and choose which topics to cover, or you can use the "recommended path." 

To get the to math activities, you simply click on "Learn." Pictured is what you will see if you choose "Recommended Path" from the drop down menu. 

Now, once you're here, you can start the Love Math fun! Each grade has its own learning coach. For the purposes of this review, we focused only on 4th grade. But as I stated earlier, you can mix and match grades as needed for a more individualized plan. The 4th grade Learning Coach is an owl who is also a wizzard. You are in the land of Adds-A-Lot. It's a lot of fun to listen to Professor Owl, and go on his quests! At first, my son did not like the computerized voice of the character. It is a new concept for him, and for all of those with kiddos on the Autism Spectrum, I know you know what I mean! So we were delayed in getting started since I had to ease him into it, and get him used to doing a different math program, AND a different format. Now? He LOVES IT! He often repeats some of Owl's classic phrases like, "AbsoHOOTley amazing." He now regularly laughs at Owl and his anticlimactic excitement, and funny owl related phrases! That, in and of itself, is amazing for this momma!

  Each lesson has an objective, and the child gets ample instruction from his/her learning coach, then they get a practice session, then a quiz. At the end of the quiz they "win" a reward and points. The points can be used for goods in the market place. This is great because kids get that little extra practice they need to make sure the concept is learned, and they get positive reinforcement to motivate them to do more. 

In game:


Marketplace:

Rewards:


Overall:
Overall we LOVE GPALEARN and GPALOVEMATH! It is such a fun idea, and makes learning math fun and exciting. It not only teaches math concepts, but it gives students the chance to save their points for Marketplace rewards, which not only teaches smart spending, but also patience. It also reinforces good work with positive reinforcements that make kids WANT to do more, to earn more rewards and more points. My son now asks if he can do more math to earn more points! That's amazing! I also want to point out, I'm not a technology'ish person. I had a slight issue, and needed the help of their tech support. I sent an email message late one night, and by the next morning I had a reply. They were very thorough and polite, and made sure I completely understood. VERY good customer service!

Does it pass my 4 ingredient test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit "us?" Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

YES! It is easily customized to fit your needs. With the ability to "hop" grades, you can choose from K-5th grade with the click of a button. If you want to skip a concept you can, if you want to repeat, you can. As the parent, you can unlock and repeat any lessons you choose, in any order you choose.

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are their hidden fees?
It most definitely is long lasting. Memberships are monthly or yearly. You can choose between the grades, as needed. You are NOT locked into a certain grade level. There are absolutely zero hidden fees!

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
As you all know, my son has ADHD in addition to autism. These lessons are PERFECT! They are short enough that he doesn't lose his attention span. He enjoys "playing" his math game. The program says your child can complete 4-5 fun lessons each week to complete a grade in 10 months. The lessons can be completed in 15-20 mins, so it definitely does not last too long at all. We often do 2 lessons at a time because he enjoys it so much! It is a great online Math game/class!

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have?
It meets or exceeds all math standards. If you want to supplement, you can easily do so. I added some paper work just because I like for my son to do the same concept in a variety of formats. So yes, it DOES easily tie into other things we already have! You can use this as an online math game, a math tutor, or your main math staple. 


**NOTE** There have been some changes to Kindle Fire, and the Kindle Fire does not support GPALOVEMATH at this time. Samsung Galaxy, MAC, Apple Safari 6&7, Windows, Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox are all acceptable platforms.

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