Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tech Thursday:

Technology Thursday is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. Share reviews of websites or apps you've tried, tech tips that make your {teaching or personal} life easier, and helpful tutorials. Our hope is that this linky provides a place for teachers to share and learn new ways to use technology and engage students!

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Tired of your students not knowing their basic math facts?  Me too!  I need my 3rd graders to KNOW their basic addition and subtraction facts when they come to me.  Instead I find myself reteaching how to add and subtract again and again and handing out manipulatives for basic facts like 10-3.  I am all about differentiation and giving students what they need- meeting them where they are at.  I am.  But when students who can don't....well....those students need a little push in the right direction.

Xtramath is just that kind of program!  I started using it about 3 years ago, and I love it!  It is designed to give your students their daily, basic math facts practice in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Students sign in and spend about 3-5 minutes practicing their facts. The beautiful part of the program is that it then tells the student which fellow classmate to go get to use the computer next.  That student then practices their math facts and then gets then next student and so on.  I usually open up about 4 computers during morning work.  It works lovely!

How much for this wonderful program?  Great question!  It's FREE! Sign your class up for absolutely nothing!  Just click the sign in at the top right-hand side of the opening page to get started.

You first register with an email and password per usual. Create a class and select a grade. Then enrolling your class is as simple as typing in their names.  Below is a checklist provided by Xtramath to keep you on track.  You can print parent flyers for home practice and even show your students a video on how to use the website in class.  The video shows the students how to finish their session and quietly go and get another student.  It even show what to do if the student is absent or busy!

When students sign into the website, they will look at a page like the one below.  There are 3 colored tabs.  One is labeled students, another is parents or teachers, and the purple one is classroom.  

Teachers use the blue tab to keep track of their students.  Parents can also sign in and have their children use the program at home.  Parent letters can be printed out and sent home.  Students would then use the green student tab for home practice.

When students are in the classroom, students use the purple, Classroom, tab.  This requires a classroom code.  Xtramath gives each class a code for the students to input.  

Once students enter in the classroom code, they see their teacher's name. 

Students then click on the teacher's name to see a list of classmates' names.  The student finds his/her own name and enters in a 4 digit code.  Teachers can print out the codes to give to each student.  I usually have the class code and the pins printed on my kiddos computer cards.


 Students then race the teacher on the math facts that you have chosen for them to work on.

They may get a results page that looks something similar to this one below.  Xtramath gives feedback to your students on how they are doing and what problems they need to work on.  It will also review the problems they had trouble with.

Teachers can check students' progress at any time.  The program lets teachers see what days the students practiced and how successful they were.

Teachers can print out certificates for those students that have mastered a skill.  

Students usually stay on a skill until they have mastered it.  For my 3rd graders, students stay on addition until they have mastered it.  They can then move onto subtraction.  My 3rd grade team alters the setting to multiplication when we have shifted our focus to mastering our multiplication facts.  This way students aren't stuck on the same skill for the whole year.  You might need to tweak the settings to meet your students' needs. is an awesome way to start gently "pushing" your students toward learning their math facts in a fun and engaging way!  

Let me know what you think!


  1. I used XtraMath last year and loved it! Will be using it again in the classroom this year as well as with my daughter at home.

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  2. This is my first time hearing about Xtramath! Thanks for sharing! I can see my students enjoying this!

  3. I'm a huge Xtramath fan! When one of my students gets a certificate, they can have lunch with me and a friend in the room - just a little extra incentive.


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