Stinky Kid Math: Supplementary Math Help That Combines Fun and Learning (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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I feel as if many of my reviews are for curricula and products that can help us with our ever present nemesis- math. It's that subject that I'm not particularly great at and the one that most of my kids don't seem to enjoy. So I'm always on the look out for great math helps. I was excited to have the opportunity to review Stinky Kid Math on a recent Schoolhouse Crew review. We received a six-month subscription to Stinky Kid Math, an online math site, for up to three children.

Review of an online math help program

What is Stinky Kid Math?

Stinky Kid Math is an online subscription site for math help. The video lessons can be viewed from ipads and iphones as well as from a computer, but currently the games can only be played online. The site covers the subjects of prealgebra, algebra one, algebra two, and geometry using videos, games, worksheets, and a PDF textbook.

The idea of the "stinky kid" comes from a concept that teacher Todd Matia used when he taught teachers how to teach pre-engineering classes in high school. The teachers needed a basic refresher in algebra, and Todd developed the idea of a stinky kid who lures renters into his house, takes their rent, and then makes them move with his odor. This basic story was used to explain the basic order of algebra. And from there, the tutorial courses were born. The idea behind the Stinky Kid Math program is to fully cover concepts so that students grasp the "why" behind the processes.

Review of an online math help program


How did we use Stinky Kid Math?

I originally signed up for Rachel (grade 5), Ashlyne (grade 6), and Kathryne (grade 11, algebra 2) to use the supplemental resources in Stinky Kid Math. I had thought that Ashlyne and Rachel may benefit from some of the videos in the area labeled "Foundational Algebra" and with some of the math games and that Kathryne could use videos in the "Algebra 2" section.

Because I picked those kids as my sign ups, they were each given a login. There aren't tests or assignments that are graded, so it didn't matter so much who logged in on what account. But there are activity logs for each account, so if you need to keep tabs on which tutorials or activities the kids are doing, you can.

I had the younger girls begin by doing some of the math games. There are five games- Geometry Runner, Geometry Playground, Shifter, Math-a-Mole, and Integer Game. They liked the games okay, and I took a look to see how they worked and what the kids were learning. I was a little concerned with them because some of the games seemed to really be a game of something other than math.

Review of an online math help program

For instance, I was no good at Geometry Runner even though I know all of my shape names because I can't control the arrow keys very well on the keyboard, and I can't jump very well with them. As a result I did rather poorly. The Shifter game seemed to be a traditional match three game. At first I didn't see the math connection at all. When I looked really closely- I have old people eyes!- I could see that when I slid a shape into place for a match three, I was lining up equivalent fractions, decimals, and percents. In the Expert version of the game, there are no shapes and colors, and you really do have to know fractions, decimals, and percents to change out and line up sets of three.

Review of an online math help program

I did really like the Math-a-Mole game. It requires entering coordinates from a graph to blast moles off the golf course. It was a good way to practice graphs and coordinates, and it didn't take long for the girls to figure out how to use coordinates, even though we hadn't done much with them before.

For Kathryne's use, I had her choose some topics in Algebra 2 that she would like to study more or that she was confused about. The videos covering various topics can be accessed in two ways. There is a home screen that groups the videos by lesson type. Or you can choose to see all of the videos in the program arranged in order and choose from there.

Review of an online math help program

Kathryne used it by looking up the Algebra 2 topics that she's currently working on. If you just wanted to use this program to brush up on all algebra and geometry skills, I think you could have them just work sequentially through the video lessons.

Review of an online math help program
The site offers video lessons, games, printable worksheets, and a PDF textbook as resources. All of the resources are linked, so that if you choose one, you'll see on the page the other resources available for that topic. For instance in this lesson about Number Types, I can see related videos, a printable worksheet and some related games that cover this topic.

Review of an online math help program
Kathryne does well with computer based math instruction, and it has been the way she's finally found that she learns best. So I was curious to know what she thought about the usefulness of the video lessons. She was okay with the style of instruction. It's very concept based and tries to communicate processes and the why behind them. But she said that, for her, the setting of the instruction was very distracting. The teacher is set up with a busy background such as a coffee shop or mall or outdoor park. She had a hard time focusing on the lesson with the movement in the background.

Review of an online math help program


What did I think?

I like the variety of resources that are offered. I think it's great that you can coordinate a video with a worksheet or game or textbook section. This really helps the lesson to go farther because students are having the opportunity to practice the concept in different ways.

I like the concept based instruction where students are taught the why behind what they're doing.

I think that the video lessons aren't a good fit for some easily distracted students. Having action going on in the background might not even register with some, but a student who has trouble focusing anyway will struggle.

Some of the games were better than others. I like games that are won or lost because the student understands the concept or not. It can be frustrating when a student knows the concept but doesn't do well because of other factors.

Review of an online math help program

The Facts:

Company- Stinky Kid Math
Product- Subscription to the Stinky Kid Math site
Age range- This program covers early algebra through algebra one, two, and geometry.
Cost- $9.99 per month (with a free trial!)
Connect:
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/StinkyKidMath
Twitter- http://twitter.com/StinkyKidMath

Crew Disclaimer


In short, I think if you have a student who needs some supplementary help with concepts of algebra and geometry, Stinky Kid Math may be worth a look for you. You can see what other Review Crew families thought and how well it worked for them by clicking the banner below.

Stinky Kid Math Review



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