Friday, January 28, 2011

Ten Marks ~ Online Math Curriculum

Ten Marks is an online math curriculum designed to teach Elementary ( starting at grade 3) , Middle and Highschool Math.  It is subscription based.  It is available for $10 a month, $49 for six months, $89 for 12 months.  You can access a free trial by clicking here, or you may click here to see several videos about the program. 

Their website describes their program as:
"TenMarks is the only online math program that helps students refresh, learn, and master math concepts - in their own time, at their own pace. Each child receives a personalized curriculum to help them master the concepts quickly."

"Intuitive, interactive, and fun way for students to practice, learn, and master math. Builds confidence. Drives success."

It is a multiple choice worksheet based program, that offers your child worksheets to complete each week.  The default number of worksheets the program will provide is 4.  In the parent profile you can choose as few as 3 worksheets per week, and up to 7 a week.  The default setting seemed to be just right for both of my children.

A child can work at his or her own pace to complete the worksheets.  The goal is to get a 10 out of 10 correct (hence the Ten Marks name...) on each worksheet.  At the end of a sheet, the child is given the opportunity to correct the missed problems once.  If they are still wrong, it will show the student why the problem was wrong.  When a child misses 3 problems after correction, the program will automatically generate a "Do-over" worksheet to be completed.  Concept Mastery is clearly the goal of the program.

The parent page is easy to navigate.  When you log on you see your child's name and worksheets.  Under the worksheets, the program will show the percentage of concept mastery your child has shown.  You are able to see at a glance, your child's score, how many videos were watched, and hints used for each concept.

You are able to view report cards for each of your students.

It was very easy to see at a glance how my kids were doing in the areas that they had been working on.

There was also a very nice breakdown of work that was completed each day.

Any text that was hyperlinked, would take me to the exact worksheet that was worked on.

The student page is equally easy to navigate.  My children could easily see the worksheets they had completed, were working on, and what the upcoming concept would be.  There are little people on the page that help visually indicate concept mastery on specific topics.  They can see how far they are from the next reward that the program would generate for them.  ( Math related video games ) Parents have the option to enter personal rewards into the program as well, to further motivate their child to success.

There is the option to suspend the automatic generation of worksheets, and I must admit I should have remembered to do this for the week we took off at Christmas.  I forgot to do so, but the kids didn't have any trouble catching back up. 

Students are able to view and print certificates of Mastery, and access their game rewards from the Rewards page.

Our Experience:

We used Ten Marks as our Math Curriculum for both of my High School Students;  specifically Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.  From my perspective, sitting with them to watch the video lessons that the program provides, it reminds me of my own High School Algebra class.  The teacher introduces a concept, and then discusses one version of the problem, and assigns homework that is full of questions that are not anything like the modeled equation.  This was a great source of frustration for both of the kids.  They often felt like they were totally guessing at the answers, and didn't feel like they fully understood the concept, even if the program said they did. They both often expressed the desire to see immediately if they had answered a question correctly.  Several times they both thought they were really understanding something, and when the grading happened they missed over half the problems.

The program does offer practice sessions, for the children to work through at any time.  When I reminded my kids of this feature,  I received typical teenage eye rolling.  To my knowledge, my children did not avail themselves of this option.  Possibly because of their frustration with the initial worksheet, they did not desire to willingly choose more frustration. 

In order to better grasp concepts and definitions, my children would seek other sources to help them understand.  They would flip back through their textbook, or look up YouTube videos for help.  Many times I was called over to help explain and talk them through the questions.

The things they did like were the games that they were rewarded with after completing their work.  They also very much enjoyed only having 4 worksheets to do a week.  They could complete them in one day, and be done with Math for the week, or they could stretch out the number of days, and complete them one at time.  They also liked how if they had to leave a worksheet, the program saved their previous answers so they didn't have to repeat any work.  In most cases they said that the hints were helpful.

My daughter says, " the program is growing on her", and as she completes more worksheets, she is understanding how the program works better.  She is pretty sure her frustration is with Math in general, not the Ten Marks Program.

There are several  suggestions that we would like to offer:
  • Notifications on the Student Home Page of tests and parent email notification of tests.  There is a tab that says 'Tests' but we were so busy completing worksheets, that we never clicked there to see them.  Consequently we missed many tests.  The program does a GREAT job of sending out email reminders to the parent that new worksheets are available, but it doesn't notify the parent that a test is ready for the student to take.
  • Glossary of Terms.  We often didn't understand what in the world things meant.  Not being a Math professor myself, didn't help our cause either.  It would have been wonderful to have terms linked to clickable definitions, possibly located with the hints that are offered with the questions.  Even a separate Glossary Tab for the students would be nice.
  • Assessment integration.  The company does offer a math assessment.  It is located on their homeschool tab on the bottom right side. It is optional to take this assessment, and frankly we missed seeing it altogether.  As a parent, I would like to see that become something that every child is required to take at the start of the program. I think that integrating it as the first set of worksheets that a child does would be beneficial.
Ten Marks is a great program for supplementing current math curriculum, and will stay right on track with your state standards.  I would definitely recommend it for publicly educated students who need extra reinforcement.  It compliments that style of teaching very well.

The company is very open to feedback, there is a feedback button on the right of every page.  They encourage you to contact them with questions, problems, and concerns.  You can also contact them by email for more information at

As always, opinions on curriculum will vary from family to family.  Much depends on the learning style of the children.  Please take the time to read the other reviews that have been written by my TOS Crew Mates.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Reveiw Crew, I received a free 6 month subscription to Ten Marks, for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been received.  All of the above opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I like the positive tone of your review, even as you offer suggestions for improvement.


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