Thursday, March 19, 2015

GPA LEARN - GPALOVEMATH (Great Parents Academy) - {TOS Review}

Critical Thinking Company Review



Captain has been working for the last few weeks on a new supplemental math program GPALOVEMATH by GPA LEARN. It's a web-based math program for grades K-5. It is cartoon based with animated characters acting as 'learning coaches'. Each grade contains over 150 lessons and over 10,000 practice problems. They recommend 4-5 per week to complete a grade in 10 months.

Although Captain is 6 he is working at at first grade level in his regular math program, so that's where we started him in this program. It was really easy to set him up, including his own log in so he can have a short cut on his laptop.

To say Captain has taken to this program is an understatement. He has often done four or five lessons in a day.

When you log in the program you come to a portal dashboard. This is where you can see exactly where you are and how you are doing. This screen shows your scores and how many lessons you have passed at 'Rockstar', 'Excellent' or 'Nice Job'.


You can add a goal date and each week it will tell you how many lessons need to be completed to stay on track to finish the grade during that time. As you can see from Captain's dashboard above he is 14 lessons over goal. If you work on their schedule you will finish the grade in 10 months. Every student has access to every grade from K - 5.

Each lesson is introduced in three stages. First comes the instruction, then practice and finally the quiz.


Captain figured out how to skip the learn and the practice stage, which I didn't catch for a little while. Mainly because he was passing the quiz with scores of 8/10, 9/10, and 10/10. I kept getting emails saying that he completed a lesson - which come automatically. Then came the day that I got the email saying that he had to re-do a lesson - meaning that he got less that 5 right in the quiz. This email led to a conversation with him about skipping lessons. After that I told him he had to complete all parts of the lesson, but he could skip the practice if he felt confident he could score at least 8/10. A score less than that resulted in him repeating the lesson, doing the practice and then the quiz. He seemed to think this was a good compromise.

I also figured out how to navigate the lesson myself and how to preview lessons and assign him lessons out of order. You can click to complete the lessons in the recommended topic order or choose by topic as you go. Since we have used this as a supplemental program I have just left it on the recommended order. The child has to work through the lessons in order and as he completes each one more lessons are unlocked, this makes sure that he builds on each concept learned. Although there are 3 different paths the program (in the suggested lesson mode) won't let you go too far ahead in anyone area before making you catch up in the others. You may get a better idea from the picture below. This also shows how the results of each lesson are shown. The symbol and color change depending on the score.



An excellent motivator is the built in reward system. As a parent you can add rewards to each child's profile. I have Captain's set up for every 7 lessons. Some of them have been - pizza night, a trip to the zoo, ice-cream, and extra 30 minutes of TV time. There is also a limited number of store gift cards and other special rewards available in the child's reward store under the section 'Marketplace' Captain was also the one to find this feature as well.


I said earlier that this program is available for grade K-5 Boo has just finished her 6th grade program and started 7th so she was a little disappointed that she couldn't join in on the fun. Especially when Captain earned his first ToysRUS gift card!

Each grade has a tutor who helps teach the lessons and encourages the child in his math journey. 1st Grade has a penguin called Pi. Captain wasn't keen on the robotic sound of the voice - and would have rather had a 'superhero' character instead.


The lesson's are bright and engaging and apart from the robotic voice Captain didn't make any negative comments at all.


Overall we have really enjoyed using this program and will continue to do so. I work from home for a couple of hours each day and this program keeps Captain occupied and learning at the same time. I have noticed that it is helping him understand some of the math concepts and terminology that we have been working on in the math program we do together. I love that I am sent an email immediately he finishes a lesson with his score. I love that it will tell me whether he is a 'Rockstar' or that he needs to repeat it. The program also sends a weekly digest email too which really helps to stay on track if you are really concerned about the deadline to finish the program.

The only problem I had using the program is that I forgot Captain's password (I could have sworn I wrote it down somewhere!). His computer automatically signed him in after the first time, which was great until I wanted to access it on my computer. From the parents portal, the only way to change the password for the child's access is to already know their password. After emailing GPA LEARN customer support and I received a call back within 24 hrs. They quickly explained how to do it. The man I spoke to said this is something that they are going to improve soon!

Since my experience with this program has been limited to 1st grade - make sure you click on the link below to check out what other thought about the program, especially those that used a different grade level.

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