A few years ago I had the opportunity to review the 1st Grade program from A+ Interactive Math with Supergirl. I know that she has learning gaps with her math skills and so I was intrigued by the idea of the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan that I could use with her. I chose to get the three student plan which allowed me to add both Turtlegirl and Tailorbear to my account along with Supergirl.
What is the Adaptive Placement Test?
The Adaptive Placement Test is a grade specific series of mini comprehensive unit tests covering a general concept area. For example, I assigned First Grade to Supergirl and her mini-tests included the concept areas: number sense, addition, subtraction, geometry, time, and money. I assigned both Tailorbear and Turtlegirl to the highest test currently available, Pre-Algebra. Tailorbear has been working through an Algebra program but I knew she struggled with fractions and scientific notation. Turtlegirl has been working through Geometry with her regular math program and will move onto Algebra 2. I wanted to use this program as a review to make it easier to move back to her Algebra 2 course that she set aside to complete Geometry. The Adaptive Placement Tests can be purchased alone or with the Individual Lesson Plan.
Why is it called Adaptive Placement Test? The tests adapts to the students knowledge level. Each mini unit test will start with the first concept or sub-topic and as long as the student answers the questions correctly it will progress through all of the topics in that unit. If the student has difficulty and answers several questions in a row incorrectly, the test will end.
If the student passes the test, the student can review the test but cannot take it again, and no lesson plans are generated for that concept.
What is the Individual Lesson Plan?
The Individualized Lesson Plan includes both the Multimedia Lessons with the Interactive Q&A and the online worksheets for practice. Lesson plans are only generated for units where the student did not score above the minimum passing score.
If the student does not receive a passing score, and you have the individualized lesson plan, the program will add that concept with all of its topics to your student’s Lesson Plans. This means that even if the student correctly answered all of the questions from the beginning of the unit and only missed some at the end, those topical Multimedia lessons and online practice worksheets will still be available to the student.
The plan is not as individualized as I expected. I thought it would only include the Multimedia lessons for the topics missed. This is not a problem though because even though the lessons are available to the student, she does not need to work through all of those lessons. She can work through the topics she struggled with and skip those that she has mastered.
The Multimedia Lessons are the teaching component of the program. The Interactive Q & A portion can be used after watching the multimedia presentation or it can be used as a pre-test to gauge understanding of the topic. If the student misses the question, the program will automatically re-teach that topic. The student is encouraged to re-watch the presentation if she has any questions.
If a student requires more practice or work with the topic, she can access the online worksheets. Solutions are available for the problems so that students can see what they got wrong and how the problem should have been worked.
How We Used the Program
Tailorbear and Turtlegirl were independent with this program. They would take a test and if they passed they were done for the day. If they demonstrated gaps, they would begin working through the Multimedia Lessons with the Interactive Q & A. When ready, they would re-take the placement test.
Supergirl is not ready for the same level of independence. I made sure that I was available to sit with her as worked through the placement tests and lessons. Sometimes we would choose a test and then spend several days working through the lesson plan. In theory we would work through the test and then the lessons and then re-take and then move on to the next test but our reality would depend on how much work was needed to close the gap. Sometimes we would take another test and then go back to the lessons. At this point she has completed all the placement tests but we still have a few concepts to work through and re-test. She very much enjoyed seeing her progress. She called the animated goal markers her “buddies”.
I have chosen to not push with the addition and subtraction parts of the first grade program because I do not agree that borrowing and carrying are skills she needs at this time when we are still mastering the basic addition facts. We will continue to work on Geometry, Money, and Measurement. If there is still time left with our subscription we’ll try the 2nd grade level to see if I can gauge where she is at with 2nd grade math skills.
Features of the Program
- Student and Admin accounts. Admin accounts can access all the reports and individualized lesson plans
- If a student has not reached the goal, the placement test can be re-taken
- Visual representations of progress along with detailed summary reports
- Review tests to see exactly which questions were missed
- See the solution for every question on the test
- Individualized Lesson Plan has colorful, multimedia instruction
- Online Worksheets to practice the concepts. New worksheets can be generated if the student needs more practice with that topic
- Online worksheets are automatically graded and tracked
Our Thoughts and Experiences
One feature of the Interactive part of the Q & A is the automatic playback of the video to review the concept if the student misses a question. Tailorbear strongly disliked this feature because sometimes she’d make a calculation mistake but it wouldn’t just show her what she did wrong but instead would launch into re-teaching her the concept that she already understood. She and I both think that making the re-teaching optional would be beneficial especially for older students who understand the concept but made a “stupid mistake.”
I found myself with a love/hate relationship with the First Grade level Placement Tests. I loved that they did adapt to Supergirl’s ability and that if she got too many questions wrong the test would end sooner. If she kept getting them correct, it would keep going until all the topic questions were asked. I found it frustrating though because she had gaps within concepts. For example she “failed” the test for Time because she couldn’t answer how many days in week or how many months in a year. Because she did poorly on those early questions she never got to answer the questions about reading clocks. She can read both analog and digital clocks but didn’t get to answer those questions. I wish the program would allow the student to answer questions from all the topic areas in a unit, especially when the concepts do not depend on the previous topic as in the Time unit.
Based on my experience, this is an advanced rigorous math program. If you have a student who is advanced in math or does very well with math, he may do well at grade level using the Family Math Package. It would be worth trying at grade level for the Advanced Placement Test but if your student does not do well at grade level, do try one grade level lower. If your student is average or on grade level in your current math program, please consider going one grade lower when choosing the Adaptive Placement Test.
Overall, I love the idea of the Adaptive Placement Test and have found it to be useful to help me see specific content areas that I need to address with Supergirl. I did review the math program with Supergirl and I still maintain that this program as a primary math program is not the best fit for her but using the Adaptive Placement Test has worked well for her overall.
- The Vendor: A+ Interactive Math
- The Product: Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan
- Format: Online Subscription
- Age Range: Tests are available from First Grade through Pre-Algebra
- Price: The 3 month subscription varies in price depending on the number of students. Pricing starts at $29.99
- Also Available: Family Math Package
You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.