Mathwords

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Math dictionary defines, leaves deeper questions unanswered.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This resource is great for kids who want to stay familiar with terms and formulas: they're all in one spot. Understanding the sometimes-scary math vocabulary is a big part of keeping up.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are dynamic banner and column ads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No issues are apparent; there's no login or option for saved data.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mathwords is a math dictionary organized in three ways that gives kids formal definitions of math terms with little to no elaboration, sparse or indiscernable examples, and dynamic, non-kid level ads (for stuff you've been looking at online, from Pottery Barn to real estate).

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • calculus
  • equations
  • functions
  • geometry
  • graphing
  • measurement
  • numbers
  • probability
  • statistics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Plain, dated interface, sparse textual content, indiscernable diagrams and examples all combine for an uneventful experience.

Learning Approach

Despite depth and accuracy, inaccessible definitions discourage learning.

Support

Though it's well-organized and cross-referenced, kids will struggle with clarity of definitions and find themselves frustrated by the lack of help.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • calculus
  • equations
  • functions
  • geometry
  • graphing
  • measurement
  • numbers
  • probability
  • statistics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Kids can learn formal meanings for a huge number of mathematical terms from algebra through calculus. Since most entries raise more questions than they answer, kids will need a strong foundation before using this resource. Expanded definitions with better examples and diagrams would make a significant difference in overall quality. Mathwords suffers from a traditional dictionary concept and undeveloped content. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Jeff Knutson

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Mathwords defines about 2000 mathematic terms plus a few from physics, finance, and modeling. There are four ways to search: A to Z, full list, subject areas, and Google-powered web search. Most definitions contain multiple references to other terms plus either diagrams or examples, but only a few have textual explanations, for example, arctan. About 20 terms are accompanied by a dynamic diagram from McGraw-Hill's Geometer's Sketchpad. About 36 terms populate a real-world application list.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mathwords's accurate definitions could be useful for advanced students who just need a nudge to remember a particular aspect of a term, but kids needing a bit more hand holding who will likely be stymied. Definitions are overly concise, contain a plethora of references, and assume basic foundational understandings. For instance, the entry for three dimensional space never uses the terms height, width, or depth though it does refer to three-dimensional coordinates. Textual explanations are rare and more attention is paid to "formal" meanings than making the material clear, especially to kids who are already having a hard time. And most examples, if present, are actually diagram images pixelated beyond recognition.

About twenty terms are accompanied by a cool JavaSketchPad, QuickTime, or LiveGraphics3D-based dynamic diagram from McGraw-Hill's Geometer's Sketchpad, but even these lack sufficient labels and took nearly 5 minutes to load. Overall, accessibility is a problem for the kids who need this site the most.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to truly understand math beyond just memorizing formulas and terms.

  • Have your kids explain math definitions in their own words to see if they've grasped concepts.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Mathwords was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Hundreds of useful math definitions, examples, and charts.
  • Info and games designed to boost math's fun factor.
  • Complex math concepts presented as real-world examples.

For kids who love Math challenges

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written bycolbox January 2, 2014
 

encyclopediadramatica.es is great for kids

encyclopediadramatica.es is great for kids
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byclarence August 6, 2015
 
LEARNING

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass