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Monday, February 9, 2015

Prodigy - A Fun Game Environment for Practicing Math Skills

This is a guest post from Richie Saltzman of Prodigy, an advertiser on this blog.

Game-based learning is a popular topic in education, especially digital games that take an adaptive approach to learning. Adaptive games are not only a great way to engage, but also a great way to personalize learning to meet the skill level and needs of each student. There are some great adaptive games out there, and when used as a supplemental teaching tool, can have a profound impact on student learning.

One program that is doing a good job of gamifying math is Prodigy Math Game. Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game that integrates 1st to 7th grade math into a fantasy style game that students absolutely love playing. Prodigy’s math content is completely curriculum-aligned and covers standards from the Common Core, MAFs, and TEKS curricula depending on your location. Prodigy takes game-based learning a step further and provides teachers with a powerful set of reporting and assessment tools that allow them to easily identify trouble spots, differentiate instruction, and better manage classroom time.

Over 1,000,000 students and 50,000 teachers use Prodigy for free math practice and it’s easy to see why. Here’s what one teacher we spoke to had to say about the program:

“The best thing that prodigy has done for my students is bring excitement to mathematics. The program exhibits the perfect balance of engaging elements for students and feedback tools for teachers.

Elements of Prodigy I like as a teacher:
  • The ability to track student use and accuracy gives great information to help with evaluation of students math abilities
  • The ability to give assignments relevant to the math students are doing in class allows for reinforcement of concepts taught
  • The ability to differentiate assigned lessons for students on IEPs and students who need a challenge
  • The program’s curriculum-alignment saves me from having to weed through for relevant questions - I can be sure Prodigy’s questions will reflect the curriculum
Elements of Prodigy Math Game that students enjoy:
  • Engaging in math battles and earning new rewards, pets, and other items
  • The ability to see how they are doing relative to their classmates
  • Students who struggle seek help from classmates in the top 5 instead of always going to the teacher.
  • Game questions align with the questions seen in class.
Additionally, since Prodigy is web-based students can play from anywhere on almost any device. In fact, my students spend a lot of time playing the game at home, and thanks the reporting tool I can use their progress data to better inform my classroom instruction.” Maureen Teffer, Learning Centre SERT Prodigy is effective at engaging students using an adaptive technology to cater to each individual. Prodigy’s personalized approach quickly identifies gaps in students’ understanding and works with them by pulling them back to prerequisite skills and then scaffolding them forward through more difficult concepts. As a web-based game, Prodigy can be accessed at school and at home on virtually any device. You can sign-up your class for free in less than 2 minutes.