Tutpup

Website review by
Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Media
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Product no longer available

Compete with kids worldwide using math and spelling facts.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about arithmetic and spelling. They'll build fluency in the four basic math operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They will also learn about equations and, on the word side, practice and memorize spelling words. Kids who love to compete will be fired up to use Tutpup to practice their math and spelling facts.

Positive Messages

Kids can get competitive and do their very best; they'll be proud to see their results on the website.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tutpup is a free site that helps kids build fluency in math and spelling facts. They'll practice by playing games against users from all over the world. Classroom teachers may provide a class code for kids to join their Tutpup class, while kids using it on their own will only enter a parent email. Screen names are limited to a color, animal, and number combination that they'll select from a drop-down menu, which keeps them from using identifiable info on the site. The site doesn't really teach kids how to do the things they're tested on, or help struggling students; it's best used once kids have already been introduced to the skill to give them practice building fluency.

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What's it about?

Tutpup is a place for kids to practice math and spelling by playing games against users from all over the world. How to become the winner? Answer the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time. The site doesn't really teach kids how to do the things they're tested on or help struggling students; it's best used once kids have already been introduced to the skill to give them practice building fluency. And not all kids will benefit from Tutpup. The heavy competition may stress some kids out; save it for those who love to compete. Other sites like XtraMath or IXL may be a better fit for children who need practice in a lower-pressure environment.

Is it any good?

Tutpup really gets the competitive juices flowing. Since kids win by being fast and accurate, it can create a serious adrenaline rush. You may find certain children spending more and more time practicing their math facts and spelling using Tutpup, but those who prefer more processing time may actually find the site very frustrating. There's a large emphasis on winning, and the results of every match are public on the website.

It's still in beta form, so there are some glitches. Frequently, a screen will pop up indicating that something has gone wrong, with the claim that "they'll look into it." Also, kids are forced to wait to play until there's a challenger somewhere in the world who also wants to play that same game at that level. Students sit waiting while an annoying fog horn sounds off every few seconds. Although it's great that kids will always be playing against a real opponent, there's got to be a fix for this.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of regular practice when building a skill. What happens when you stop practicing?

  • There's a lot of competition on Tutpup. Talk to your kids about the ways we respond when we win or lose.

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