Friday, January 28, 2011

TOS Review - Ten Marks

As part of the TOS Crew we recently had the opportunity to review TenMarks

TenMarks is an online math program for grades 3rd - highschool.  From TenMarks website:

TenMarks is the only online math program that helps students refresh, learn, and master math concepts - in their own time, at their own pace. Each child receives a personalized curriculum to help them master the concepts quickly.

Watch this one minute video below to see how TenMarks works (pause player on the right first!)

TenMarks offers lessons and specialized programs to cover the breadth of the core math skills your child will cover in school.
  • Grades 3-High School
  • Over 300 core math skills
  • Hints and video lessons for every topic
  • Mapped to state standards 
Check out the courses offered here.

How TenMarks worked in our home...

I registered my 13 and 9 year old daughters for this review. Both really enjoyed the online aspect of TenMarks. I've mentioned before on my blog that we don't do a lot of video based learning so any time we do, the kids seem to really enjoy it. I think they feel like they are playing instead of doing work. Which is not necessarily a bad thing! I don't know if that's due to the novelty of it all or if it's due to them actually learning better through video lessons. Hard to really know the difference. But I digress. ;)

Each week four new worksheets are automatically generated. An email is sent to me letting me know that the girls have new work to complete and the due date, which is one week later.  Each worksheet has 10 problems and each problem has three hints allowed and a video lesson they can watch. Watching the videos does not change their score, however, if they use the hints their overall concept strength drops.   

As worksheets are completed, games and rewards are unlocked. The parents can set up the rewards but the games are automatically opened as they progress through the program.  My girls loved the games aspect and I suspect worked harder at completing the worksheets to open the next game.  ;)

The website is nicely done and you can easily track your child's progress. You can see each area that they worked on, how many hints they used, whether they used the video lesson and what their score was on the worksheet. Tests are automatically generated, something that we didn't realize were there until quite a few were sitting there waiting to be done.  Oops! Tests are under a separate tab and you don't get any notification you have one. You need to actually go and take a look every so often to see if you've generated another test. Once we knew about the tests, we stayed on top of them! 

My take on TenMarks...
There were things I liked and disliked about this program. These are my pros and cons for my family. Other families experiences may be totally different. :)

  • I liked that the girls could work fairly independently through their worksheets. 
  • The program was easy to follow and laid out nicely. 
  • I liked that there was one problem per page and the student was able to go back through the pages to rework a problem before submitting the page for correction. 
  • I also liked that the worksheet was graded on submission and the student is able to go back and correct their answers.
  • It's affordable
  • The program uses multiple choice questions. Instead of requiring the student to type in their answer, they click on a,b,c or d. Much easier to guess at the answer with this format.
  • The video lessons didn't always correspond with the problem the student was working on. There would be one video lesson per worksheet but not all of the problems on the sheet could be solved using that one video. There were no other ways to understand what was being asked for that particular problem. This happened with my oldest a few times, which was rather frustrating.
  • There were a few incorrect answers (which happens with any math curriculum, so this isn't a huge con to me about this program specifically :) ).
  • Some questions were ambiguous in their wording.
Overall, I think TenMarks is a great supplemental program to utilize alongside our current math program. I didn't feel that the lessons gave enough information to say it's a full curriculum on it's own. My girls really enjoyed math with TenMarks and asked if they could go do their math, which isn't something I hear too often. ;)

TenMarks is a subscription based program. There are a few ways you can "purchase" the program:

 $49 for 6 months
 $89 for 1 year

To give TenMarks a try, they offer a free trial. I love the try before you buy options, don't you? :)

To see what others on the Crew thought of TenMarks, click here.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.

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