TenMarks, an Amazon company, is an online math program with a built-in Common Core-aligned curriculum for students in first grade through high school. After teaching a lesson using the tool's curriculum resources, teachers handpick and assign content for students to practice online and then track student progress toward standard mastery. With a free account teachers can access content from four standards per grade (3 grade maximum). However, a premium account, which starts at $20 per student per year, unlocks all standards for all grades, as well as additional features, such as formative and summative assessments, remediation recommendations, and school and district-level reporting. TenMarks is aligned to Common Core State Standards, as well as Texas and Virginia state standards.
There are two primary components that come standard with a TenMarks account: TenMarks Math and TenMarks Math Teach. TenMarks Math provides a library of Common Core-aligned assignments for students to complete online. Once teachers set up their class pages, they can build a course by dragging and dropping standards into customizable units and sequences. Teachers then create assignments by selecting the standard(s) to be covered, the number of items, and the due date. These assignments consist of a series of assessment items of various formats, including multiple choice, short answer, classification, and a number of other interactive question styles. In addition to assignments, teachers who have a premium subscription can assign formative and summative assessments to gather additional data on student achievement.
Once created and assigned, students will see assignments on their home page whenever they log in to their individual account. Each student’s home page lists all currently assigned classwork and also provides a snapshot look at his or her progress across the entire Common Core curriculum. When working on any assignment, students will be presented with one question per page, and they will always have the opportunity to have the question read aloud to them, watch a short video related to the standard, or read through a hint for answering the question. Students receive instant feedback upon answering a question, and they are even shown the correct explanation whenever they answer incorrectly. Students receive an overall score and summary when they submit each assignment, and they are rewarded with points to spend on games in the TenMarket. The TenMarket houses a handful of educational games that students can play by spending the points they earn on assignments. Students pay for an allotted amount of time to play the game. Besides the assignments created by their teachers, students can always sharpen their skills in a Jam Session, which is a series of questions that cover a particular skill or process relevant to the grade level standards.
All student progress can be tracked and monitored from the teacher’s home page. Teachers have access to class-level and student-level reports on usage, performance, and activity. These results are presented both as charts and as tables. Teachers can also view auto-generated report cards that pull data from all student assignments within a given time period.
Whereas TenMarks Math is designed for teachers to assign and track independent student work, TenMarks Math Teach serves as a library of Common Core-aligned interactive lessons to be used at the whole-group level. Teachers browse by grade level and standard to select and organize a series of lessons and videos that align with their own curriculum. Lessons can either be printed out or projected onto an interactive whiteboard or projection screen, and teachers can check each lesson off upon completion. Each lesson component is presented as a slideshow, allowing teachers to click through notes, items, and sample work. In addition, a panel to the side of the presentation screen offers a number of notes for the teachers and prompts to consider posing to students. Every lesson consists of the following sequence of components:
- Assess Readiness: poses various student prompts that will help teachers to determine whether or not their class is ready for the content
- Misconceptions: Explanation of common mistakes that students might make during the lesson
- Warm Up: Student warmups
- Focus: Main topic of the lesson
- Extend: Extension activities on the chosen topic
A free TenMarks teacher account only allows teachers to access lessons from four standards per grade level and to create assignments for one grade level. A premium account unlocks all content (lessons, assignments, jam sessions) for all standards and grade levels, as well as formative and summative assessments. In addition, a premium account provides a whole suite of additional features. Some of these include advanced assignments, differentiation features, recommendations for remediation and enrichment, individualized assignments, and school and district-level reports. Pricing for premium accounts starts at $20 per student per year, however district must request a quote for exact figures.
A study of the effectiveness of TenMarks Math was sanctioned by the University of San Francisco in 2011. A controlled experiment was conducted with the participation of 150 students from one high school. It was concluded that students who used TenMarks Math made significantly greater gains in math achievement than those who did not.
So far, the product l...
Allowing teachers more flexibility is choosing questions (for me particularly questions I would want to eliminate if I have only done one part of the lesson but not the other part) as well as an easier way to get individual student feedback. Perhaps having the results download into an excel...