Prodigy: Gamify Your Math!

Math in all grades can sometimes feel like a grind. Especially, before Spring Break or State testing, math can feel tedious. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching math, especially 5th grade, but during this time of the year is tough on everyone, including teachers. What teachers love about teaching is the autonomy of the classroom. Granted, we all have expectations we must abide by as a school and a curriculum that we must align with, but we have that choice on how to create the classroom culture, deliver our lessons, and manage the expectations of the room. With that said, I have found a program that helps us in the math class. The program is called Prodigy!

What makes Prodigy so great is the ability to differentiate while having fun! Students love the opportunity to play games so why not learn/review while you do it?!?!? Prodigy is a web-based tool (app too) that allows you to use a touchscreen (don't have to!) to solve the problems right there like the state and district assessments. Prodigy uses math standards from the CCSS in grades 1-8. It uses diagnostic tests to place students in the correct grade (or force them on a grade). Prodigy also informs the teacher of all the questions the students are answering. Lastly, the program is ALWAYS FREE. Literally, the only way that Prodigy makes money is the optional parent upgrade that they can sign up for, but it is not needed because the educational component is the same with or without the membership.

This is the main dashboard you see from the teachers perspective. 

This is the bottom of the dashboard screen. You can see where students placed on their diagnostic test and what weekly skill they are struggling/working on/achieved on. 

The teacher dashboard is essential to everything. You can force the students to work on certain standards for review, differentiate to meet their needs all while playing a game! 

The game functions similar to the open world type games like the old Pokemon games on Gameboy. There is a component of completing missions, but it is not required to complete. I do suggest students play at least some of the missions because it helps them build up their avatars strength.

How The Game Works
This post would take another 1000 words to explain how the game works so I am going to just sum it up the best I can. Each student will create an avatar of themselves. They will go through an "open world" where it is safe and no one can message each other at all. Students then play battles to build up their avatar by completing the missions or battle each other. They have an opportunity to change/buy items for their avatar as well. The math comes in when they are in battles with either the computer or other students. In order to win, they must be strong enough, survive the hits from the opponent, and answer their math questions correctly. The math questions are really up to the teacher of what they want to be. They can be differentiated meet their level, they can be forced to practice a skill they just learned, or they can take assessments to give you a depiction how well they are doing in a particular skill.

Ways To Use It
The game is very versatile too! It can be used as part of your game center in your rotations, it can be used to review standards that you have taught or needed to be reviewed before you start a new skill that connects to it, or better yet it can buy you time when you have those moments when your schedule changes and you need to buy yourself time plan something quick for the class. The uses are endless!

To Conclude
Prodigy is a great tool for review, practice, & reteaching. It can be used as a whole class, small group, centers, or simply when you're in a time crunch and you need the students to do something to buy you time! The game follows the format of an open world where they complete missions to build up their avatars. They also have the option to battle their classmates as well! Prodigy works great when students are in battles for most of the time because that is where the math problems live. They can be differentiated enough to let the students enjoy themselves while they are doing math! I would love to answer questions and concerns about this program that is free to use! Comment below! Email me! SHARE ME! That would go a long way in getting the word out to people what Prodigy is all about! It is worth a try! 

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