Editorial Review Updated February 2013


Adaptive manga-style math games with intuitive teacher dashboard
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Graphite Rating 4
  • Manga-style games appeal to kids and teens.
  • Search games and Prodigi tutorials by grade level and Common Core Standard.
  • From the educator dashboard, you can see a list of Star Students, monitor assigned and completed student challenges, and note which students are struggling to complete challenges.
  • Student homepages allow kids to keep track of their performance and achievements, access teacher-assigned challenges, and monitor school vs. school match-ups and global leaderboards.
  • In games such as The Wrecks Factor, kids practice core math skills like trinomial factoring.
You can customize content for different classes and kids.
Drill-and-practice activities could get old.
Bottom Line
Fine for practice in math basics despite repetition.

Graphite Expert Review

Erin Wilkey Oh
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
Executive Editor, Education
Graphite Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Objectives for each game are clear, and kids can earn achievements for meeting specific goals. Class challenges with other schools could motivate, but kids may tire of games if they're used as stand-alones.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Games would help kids more if they built on real-world knowledge. So many of these fundamental concepts play out in everyday activities, after all.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

Easy-to-use dashboard helps teachers track and organize student progress. Tutorials and hints help kids move past obstacles even though they're quite text heavy.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

As a teacher or administrator, you can create a free school account and add student members. Then, use the school dashboard to create different classes, add kids, choose specific games each class can access, and monitor kids' activity. Under Challenges, teachers can search the games and Prodigi quizzes that target specific Common Core standards and assign them to students as challenges.

Older kids are better off in the Prodigi section, where activities on numbers, algebra, shapes, and data are text-heavier and involve some multiple-choice critical thinking. Keep these tutorials and exercises in mind as a great resource for ACT or SAT prep, as refreshers after summer break, or for teens moving into more advanced math classes. Another nifty feature: a search tool that lets you assign Prodigi tutorials based on grade level or Common Core standard. You can also inject a little healthy competition into the mix by adding your class to public leaderboards, where kids can see how they stack up against other schools nationally.

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What's It Like?

Mangahigh.com is a Flash-based platform that boasts a dozen math games and hundreds of tutorials and quizzes -- all aligned with Common Core standards. It provides a good way of acquainting kids with a wide variety of math fundamentals, from addition and subtraction to beginning algebra concepts.

Once a teacher sets up an account, kids go to their school's unique URL and log in with the user info their teacher provides. Kids can access limited versions of the Mangahigh.com games without an account, but they can't save their performance history or complete any of the class challenges. From the student home page, kids can keep track of their progress and achievements, see where they rank among their fellow classmates, and view results of school vs. school matchups (called Fai-To) and the North America Math Games Challenge leaderboard. Mangahigh.com users log in to the site (prices for membership vary), then are given access to all games. Games are keyboard-controlled and can be played solo or with multiple players.

Standout games:

  • "Flower Power" -- Order fractions, decimals, and percentages by dragging cute little flowers into order.
  • "The Wrecks Factor" -- Ahoy! Save a sinking ship by factoring trinomial equations.
  • "TranStar" -- Reflect and rotate geometric shapes across x- and y-axes constrained by limited moves.
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Is It Good For Learning?

Stylized manga characters create an all-ages look that should speak to kids and teens alike, and site content is intuitively organized. Another strength is that teachers can customize difficulty levels and which challenges kids are assigned. Stronger ties to real-world situations (rolling dice, counting money, measuring ingredients) could help kids build conceptual knowledge from activities they already know. On the whole, games and tutorials are a little dry, repetitive, and text-heavy, but they could offer a solid way to introduce new concepts before lessons begin.

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