Wednesday, March 18, 2015


GPA LEARN sent us a full year of access to their GPALOVEMATH program.

What is it?
GPALOVEMATH is an internet based math program for grades K-5 that uses a research based approach. All grade levels have animated learning coaches. Each session starts with a lesson given by the character that teaches math skills. Then the new skill is modeled for the child. The child and the character work "together" solving problems. Next, the child practices the problems with feedback given by the character and optional lifelines. At the end of the session, the child completes a quiz (Li's had 10 questions.).

Record of Achievement and Motivation
Achievement is recorded by a badge assignment based on the number of problems answered correctly. Getting 10-9 correct makes your child a Rockstar. The lesson is mastered and the child earns 150 points. Correctly answering 8 problems gives an excellent rating. Again the lesson is considered mastered and your child receives 125 points. A Nice Job is given for 7-6 correct, your child is an apprentice and earns 75 points. Any of the activities can be repeated to get more points or unlock new lessons. Missing no more then 5 will unlock the next lesson.

With the points your child receives, he/she can earn rewards. You can choose the rewards, let the program auto build the rewards with popular choices, or let your child visit the marketplace to trade points for gift cards (Li has earned two $10 gift cards to Target). The gift cards to choose from change and are based on availability in both value and store.

Getting Started
The first step is setting up the child's login and password.

Then the parent determines what will be given for motivation. The choices are categorized by Family (customize yourself), Bed Time, Bonding Time, Chores, Cooking, Indoor activity, Monetary, Outing, Play time, Play Date, TV Time, and Treasure Box.

Parents can leave the lessons locked to the 'Recommended Order' or unlock them, so that the child may do lessons in any order. A child may attempt lessons through the 'Topics' view. We chose to work in the recommended order.

The program can be played on MS Window or Apple MAC computer; Apple iPad, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (10”). Google Chrome is the recommended browser, but Apple Safari 6 & 7, MS IE11 and FireFox will work as well.

Our Experience with Kindergarten
I would sit with Li while he worked on his lessons 3-4 times a week, each lesson taking about 20 minutes. His animated learning coach was Detective Digits. A lesson was provided and within the lesson there was a challenge, puzzle, or riddle to solve.

The kindergarten level has 3 paths: green, purple, and blue. Green is operations in algebraic thinking; purple is counting and coordinates and number and operations in base ten; Blue is measurement and data and geometry. We recommend watching the first two on the green path first: introduction movie and the guide.

Each lesson used the acronym CLUE. C-Comprehension: checking understanding; L-Let's Stop:Think about how to solve the problem. U-Use: consider what is learned and the prior knowledge acquired, and E-evaluate: review and check.

When your child finishes a lesson, an email is sent letting you know what your child has completed. It includes a summary of the lesson completed, what time it was finished, how long it took, how many were correct, the badge received, and quick tips. 

Technical Notes
We found that the program works faster on the computer then the iPad.

Occasionally the sound would not play (on the iPad) and I would read the words to Li. And a couple of questions only have one item to to choose from; however, it was the right answer every time.

If your child does not finish his lesson, he will need to start over. Once Li was finishing the very last problem and our page froze. So we had to complete that lesson again from start to finish.

I would generally read the test questions as they don't automatically play. He got to where he thought he knew exactly what it wanted and he didn't want me to read it to him. Whenever he made a mistake, he had thought the program was wanting him to answer one way, but it was actually another.

What I Think
I really like the way the program helps kids think through problem solving. While it takes awhile to work through the lessons, it is a very valuable process. It allows for thoughtful decision making and incorporates a check your work component. Many times we think of checking our work as an extra step, instead part of the process of solving the problem.

What Li has to Say
Whenever I say, "Hey Buddy! It is time for math." Li replies, "Yay! I'm going to be a super sleuth and a hot dog."

And if we miss a day, he says, "When are we doing math?"

What Li Learned
Li worked on colors, counting, and number recognition. I wouldn't say any of the this information was new to him, but the thinking process used was very detailed and seemed to make his answers more thoughtful.

I would like a pretest or evaluation so I know where to start without Li having to work through things that he already knows.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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