Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
NRICH Website Poster Image
Fantastic math site engages kids through problem solving.

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Educational value

Kids can learn to solve age-appropriate, multi-step problems involving number operations, measurement, algebra, reasoning, data, geometry, statistics, trigonometry, and more. A “Getting Started” link boosts thinking with questions, introductory problems, and experimentation ideas. The “Solutions” link shows what other kids thought as they solved the problem. NRICH shows kids how to think mathematically and empowers kids to decide how much problem solving support they want or need.

Positive messages

Kids build confidence in their abilities to solve problems in math and in everyday life. Problems reinforce the approach over the answer, drawing on strengths that may not show during timed computation activities.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NRICH's free K-12 math activities require kids to use mathematical thinking; this type of problem solving can take a while, so encourage kids to stick with it. For math-anxious grown-ups, there are solutions and plenty of tips in NRICH's parent-friendly teaching area. Funded by England's University of Cambridge, NRICH is geared toward a British audience; however, grade level info is given for both United Kingdom and United States systems (e.g. UK Key Stage 1 = US Grade 1 and 2). Some problems are wordy but parents can print the pages and/or read them aloud if necessary.

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What's it about?

From a student home page, kids can choose to solve live problems, view trending math topics, or search for older problems by collection, keyword, or from a list. Problems use text, video, and graphics, but kids need to work offline with pencil and paper. Click \"Submit a Solution\" to turn in a solution idea for live problems; the site gives directions. There are offline games for young kids and interactive online activities for all kids to explore concepts with tools like a peg board, Cuisenaire rods, spinners, and modeling activities.

Is it any good?

Kids whose palms sweat over speed drills may welcome the slower pace and creativity required to solve problems on NRICH. (It’s solid for kids who kill at those drills, too.) They can engage deeply with innovative "Live" problems that make math both social and conceptual; kids can work together on solutions and must recognize there are multiple ways to get the same result. For example, accepted solutions to the Coordinate Patterns problem involved making a table, finding a pattern, and using an equation -- all lead to the same correct answer. There are projects, too and a special section of activities that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The site's assortment of math content and its support for parents and teachers through professional development have earned several well-deserved educational endorsements in the United Kingdom.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Manage screen time by playing some of NRICH's offline games for upper elementary students. Check out our advice for setting computer time limits for all kids.

  • How many famous women in mathematics history can you name? How many men? Check out NRICH's article "Women in Maths." How have things changed for women mathematicians over time?

  • Find out about men and women working in mathematics today. Discuss how kids can challenge both male and female stereotypes in the media.

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