Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ten Marks New TOS Review

TenMarks is headquartered just outside Boston, Massachusetts.
38 Glen Avenue
Newton MA 02459
$10 a month
$49 for 6 months
$89 for 12 months

Ten Marks is an online math curriculum.  The program utilizes online "worksheets" for practice and short videos to teach the concepts.  There are also tests generated as well as opportunities for additional practice. 
They offer courses for 3rd grade through high school. There is a set curriculum for each grade level, but topical order can be rearranged.

The work is presented in the form of 10 question worksheets with multiple choice answers.  The worksheets are assigned to the student at the rate of 4 per week, but when the assigned 4 are completed there is an option to "Fast track" or have more worksheets at that time.  It is possible to pause the program so that no new worksheets are generated for a period of time.  I found this helpful as we reviewed the program during the holidays.

Each worksheet shows up on the students page when they log in and lists a due date as well as a link to the video(s) for the concept.  The students are presented with one question and multiple choice answers at a time.  They also have a link to watch the video on the question screen as well as up to 3 hints are available for each question.  However, as the hints are used their concept strength decreases.  If a student does not complete a worksheet with enough correct answers a new worksheet on the same topic is generated.  Upon completing a worksheet it is submitted for grading.  This is happens immediately, there is no waiting for answers to be sent back.  Incorrect answers can be corrected and resubmitted. 

There is also the opportunity for more practice on each of the topics.  The practice format is identical to the worksheet however, there are more questions for each practice.  Grading for these is the same as the worksheets.  Tests are also the same format as the worksheets and practice, except there are 20 questions and they are timed for a half hour. 

After a set number of worksheets are completed there are games in the reward center which are unlocked and the student is allowed to play.  There are a total of 4 different games.  Some of the games require using math skills to play, however one of the games is not overly math related.  Also in the reward center are certificates which are awarded upon completing a concept and can be printed.  There is also an option for the parent to set up their own rewards for different milestones.  I did not do this.

Also on the students homepage are outline figures which are colored in as the student completes worksheets for the various topics.  

Each account also has a parent log in to view all students that parent has accounts for at the same time.  Here the parent can see what has been studied, number of correct answers and score percentages for everything completed.  It is also possible to rearrange the order in which topics are presented. 

  • Ten Marks offers a thorough on line math curriculum.  I found this helpful for my son who is eager to do just about anything on the computer. 
  • Some of the concepts taught are more challenging than often found in textbooks at that grade level.
  • Reward games are offered frequently.  This helped keep my children interested in completing the worksheets. While they can still play the games,their interest waned after all the games were unlocked.

  • It is a multiple choice format.  My daughter who does not like math could just pick an answer that sounded right.  She didn't have to put much effort into learning.  
  • Some of the video tutorials are difficult to understand.  The teachers speech patterns are not always very clear. The instructors right notes to illustrate their points, but some of this is difficult to read because it is small or not very neat.
  • The technical aspect of the grading process often experiences glitches.
  • Some of the problems in the Math Man game are extremely difficult for the 3rd grade level

You can see samples of Ten Marks:

This link will allow you to preview the practice portion of Ten Marks 

This link will  allow you to try out the premium program
Ten Marks also has several videos on their site which explain the program as well.

How We Used Ten Marks

My 6 year old son used the 3rd grade level course   He was able to use it with help to stay on task, but very little help otherwise. He thoroughly enjoyed the program and I can tell he learned from it as he talked about angles and graphs appropriately in daily life.  He also wrote  some of his own worksheets after completing Ten Marks worksheets.  He used the same format they did and wrote the correct answers.  He didn't understand the concept of writing wrong answers to choose from though.  He loved to keep track of his progress by watching the outline figures being filled as he completed worksheets. He also enjoyed playing the reward games, so much so that I had to limit how many games he could play a day.

My 9 year old daughter also used Ten Marks at the 4th grade level.  She is not very fond of math, but used it fairly willingly.  I am not sure how much she really learned as  she soon figured out how to guess at an answer by eliminating those that definitely weren't right.  I learned she needs to fill in an answer on her own, not have multiple choice.  She also picked up skills and knowledge of several concepts which were new and has been trying to apply them to life.

I found Ten Marks an excellent way for both of my children to practice mental math.  I didn't tell them they couldn't use paper and pencil to figure out their answers, yet neither of them did so.

Ten Marks also sends weekly emails to remind the parent there are worksheets to be completed.  I found this to be annoying.  There wasn't any information in them that I couldn't find on the site and I don't need extra email to deal with.

While the website offers correlations between state standards and Ten Marks, it is not specific or detailed.  It just lists topics for the grade and state provided by the user.  I found some of the information covered  to be more difficult than found in the same grade level textbooks.

One thing I would appreciate is information about the length of time a child is logged in.  My state requires logging  hours and having the computer keep track would be great.

See what other TOS Crewmembers have to say here.

Disclaimer:  I received free limited time access to Ten Marks for the purpose of using it and writing this review.  I have not been paid or compensated in any other way for this review.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.


    1. My boys enjoyed their TenMarks experience as well. I found the same difficulty as you did with my son - who is actually very good in math - that you did with your daughter. He discovered he could narrow down the choices and guess at an answer. If it was wrong, he'd have a chance to change it without it affecting his score on the worksheet. I found this to be one of the few weaknesses of the program. Otherwise, I was very pleased with the review it provided.

    2. We used this as a supplement, and the boys liked it for most of the same reasons.