Friday, January 28, 2011

TOS Review ~ TenMarks

I have a high schooler and boy is it scary when he is better than me at maths. He is working on Algebra 1 and while I am decent at it he is quickly passing me by. So how to teach this subject that takes more time for me to learn to teach it than it does for him to learn it? Simple I don’t.
I let TenMarks do it for me.
TenMarks is an subscription based, online math program for grades 3 through 10 (as stated on the site), including Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry (which around here is 11th grade) aligned to state standards. Your student works through a series of multiple choice “worksheets” (called Tracks) grouped by concepts (called albums), watching whiteboard videos along the way to teach lessons that are new. If they are having trouble after the lesson they can use hints to help them understand the concept as they work through the problems. Tests are scheduled after the worksheets for the concepts are finished and can be retaken after more practice if needed.
I like the way the website is set up, very easy to get around. I do wish that the tests would pop up in the sequence of worksheets so they can be taken before the next concept is introduced. I also felt the worksheets should not be available until the student “learns” the concept by watching the video.
You can also set up a reward system in addition to the ones on the program in which math games are unlocked as a certain number of worksheets are finished. I do think this should be able to be turned off and on by the parent as many times I found my oldest doing games instead of his assigned worksheets.
My only real complain on this one is that there are a few videos that do not seem to be explaining the worksheet being worked on. Also, in order to practice work that was previously completed (beyond a certain point) you have to select the album and then the track from drop down menus . I found myself having to write down what my son needed to practice and then having to go find the right concept. It would be much nicer if I could click on a button on the worksheet like I would to learn or complete it. This really wouldn’t be a problem if the tests would come up in the worksheet listings.
I had to back track with both boys as they had done ok on the worksheets but did not know to take the tests since new worksheets popped up. The ended up having to go back and take the tests while working on a new concept so we had to go practice some more. You get emails telling you when things are due for each student but the emails only made it to me about half the time for my younger student but never for my older one.
We used this program last year and my oldest did not like it. When I told him we were doing it now as a review he was not thrilled. When I asked him how he liked it now he said “It is a lot better, there are things they made better”. My opinion is that this is a great program and while their are some glitches it is very easy to get them to help you out. The support is wonderful. Overall I think this is great as either a stand alone math program or one to supplement what you are already doing.
Cost is per student with multi month discount packages available as follows:
$10 per month
$49 for 6 months
$89 for 12 months
See what the rest of the TOS Crew had to say about this program at the link.
Disclosure: I was provided with a free trial in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.


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