T&L Reviews Wowzers

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Wowzers provides multiple professional development opportunities for districts. There are two primary options available: free, on-demand, virtual PD; or onsite PD ($1,000 plus expenses for one day, $2,000 plus expenses for two days). With the purchase of a Wowzers subscription, teachers and administrators have unlimited access to on-demand PD, including an informational overview document and video tutorials. Wowzers also offers a discount for educators who complete the Wowzers certification course. Contact an account manager for more details.

Quality and Effectiveness: This research-based K–8 math curriculum was redesigned with a fresh interface in 2017. It’s a standards-based curriculum aligned to state and national standards and has a partnership with the Northwest Evaluation Association. It presents students with real-world applications and personalized math instruction, guiding students along their own paths with authentic math problems. The program also provides immediate feedback and correct answers. An online certification course gives teachers a solid foundation for using the tool, and a complete online guide is available for ongoing reference.

Ease of Use: Wowzers is well designed, with easy drop-and-drag features as well as rulers, protractors, etc. The program automatically shows students the work in their paths, so they always know where they should be working—even when they’re given free time to access the reward system that uses earned coins to dress their avatars or decorate their pods. Students have access to their own avatars and dashboards to see their progress on their report cards and check on quiz scores. The various avatar options and pod decorations to purchase can also motivate students. Teachers have their own dashboards and can request a variety of reports or make changes in student paths. If the district allows it, all students and teachers can have unlimited 24/7 access to Wowzers on their computers and tablets.

Creative Use of Technology: Wowzers has many parts—lessons, practices, games, instructional video assessments, blended learning activities, and performance tasks. Students receive emotional, social, and reflective support as they work. The program is appropriate for blended learning, RTI, and small-group instruction as well as before- and after-school programs. A complete curriculum can be created by combining online and offline resources, and teachers have the ability to customize sequences that match student needs. With data from easy-to-access reports, both formal and informal, teachers can create customized classroom paths, adjust student paths, and create breakout groups. Automatic remediation is provided when students score less than 70 percent on adaptive lessons.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Wowzers’ multiple and flexible options make it suitable and easy to use with a variety of students at different levels. The default for all students entering the program is at grade level, but teachers can edit individual student paths. Teachers can move students ahead or back through the K–8 levels or create temporary paths with smaller numbers of students as needed. Authentic math problems are presented as students learn why they are studying a particular concept.

In addition, the teacher dashboard includes many useful administrative tools. Here teachers set up classes and groups and can access a variety of data which enables them to assess student progress in many ways. They can see student progress by days, weeks, or months and can export reports from formal or informal assessments in CSV and PDF formats. Every teacher and administrator has access to the entire K–8 content so they can change or set standards, preview content at a specific grade level, and pull offline resources for support. The personalized program adapts to each student as it creates a customized curriculum.

OVERALL RATING:

This comprehensive K–8 math curriculum provides personalized learning and excellent data collection and availability.

TOP FEATURES

1. The entire K–8 program is available to every teacher, so there is flexibility for teachers to place students to work above or below grade level as needed—without students knowing.

2. Excellent data is easily available.

3. Students work on authentic math problems.

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