How to Use Prodigy in Your Everyday Teaching Strategies

Wizards and duels and pets, oh my! When Prodigy’s on the table, you can bet students are champing at the bit to play.

While using Prodigy, teachers like you have witnessed:

  • Math anxiety decrease
  • Math confidence increase
  • Engagement levels increase
  • Math skills mastery increase
  • Test scores and grades increase

In short, your students have truly experienced a love for learning math. All thanks to you using Prodigy in class.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to use Prodigy with the following teaching strategies.

Curious about a specific strategy? Tap one to skip to it!

How to align your class [in under a minute]

Growth mindset

Blended learning

Personalized learning

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Differentiated instruction


How to align your class [in under a minute]

Before we dive into five everyday examples on how to integrate Prodigy into the classroom, here’s what’s possible with Prodigy.

Whether you want to set Assignments, Plans or Test Preps, watch this 5-minute video or scroll down for the quick-start steps.

 

 

To start, visit the Prodigy website, click “Login” in the top-right corner and select a classroom.

Prodigy teacher login
If you have more than one classroom, select the one you want to create an alignment for!

Go to your Assessments tool and click “Create”.

Prodigy game teacher login
When you click “Create”, you’ll see a pop-up window presenting you with options to choose your desired alignment — Assignments, Plans or Test Preps.

Select an alignment, then click “Continue” and follow the remaining steps.

Prodigy login teacher
Depending on the type of alignment, you’ll have to complete one or two more steps. These steps will involve things like selecting certain skills or choosing your region’s test prep, and setting a date range.
Click to create alignment now!

Prodigy + Teaching Strategies = ❤️

Recognizing how effective Prodigy can be at engaging students and fostering a fun learning environment, we’ve made a list of ways to use Prodigy in your classroom!

(Plus, you’ll love the quotes from fellow teachers about how they use Prodigy everyday!)

1. Growth mindset

I have had students gain past skills that they needed when they were coming into 3rd grade while simultaneously learning the new skills as they come along. Some have made substantial growth so far this year and continue to be challenged, yet driven by Prodigy every week! Morgan Wunsch, 3rd Grade Teacher, Illinois.

Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychology professor, found that the way students perceive their abilities fall somewhere between two opposites: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Prodigy’s in-game algorithm takes into account learners academic strengths and weaknesses while scaffolding and supporting students at their level of learning. This adaptive approach can shift students toward a growth mindset and improve the level and frequency of their achievements.

The biggest result that I’ve noticed with Prodigy is the positive mindset it has given my students about math. They love being able to battle other kids. Regardless of ability, they are getting the instruction they need so they don’t feel like they are struggling or “bad at math. Nichole Walje, 1st Grade Teacher, Tennessee

Want to support a growth mindset? Assign Plans when you want students to focus on one expectation. As students work through your Plan, the algorithm will deliver questions that hit varying levels of difficulty and adapt to support  learners by revisiting prerequisites when necessary.

Click to create alignment now!

2. Blended Learning

Prodigy is always used as a rotation station. It’s usually the one my kids can’t wait to get to. I also use it for intervention. I love how easily Prodigy shows me who needs help with certain skills so I make my intervention groups that way and use Prodigy to reinforce those skills. Vannessa Fowler, 6th Grade Teacher, California.

Don’t overlook a blended learning approach to satisfy the needs of your diverse learners. Adding Prodigy to your traditional classroom methods keeps math engagement high and lets you focus on each individual student.

Take the rotation model, for example. On top of stations intended for small group instruction, small group work and collaborative projects, you should make game-based learning a rotation station!

Need to support some students while challenging others? Create an Assignment in Prodigy to encourage independent student learning and fill knowledge gaps by delivering foundational or advanced skills.

You can also see students’ progress in real-time by selecting your Assignment and clicking on “View report”! Use this to inform your teaching and champion your students’ successes.

Click to create alignment now!

3. Personalized Learning

I have used Prodigy as an intervention tool for personalized learning [and] have seen struggling students show continued growth as a result of using Prodigy at their individual skill level for 30-45 minutes per week in class. Lucio Ruiz, 3rd Grade Teacher, Texas.

As a teacher, one of your goals is to customize learning for each student’s strengths, needs and abilities. Students need to reach a certain mastery level before moving on to a new skill or grade. Using the right EdTech can make the process easier!

In our increasingly digital age, students have grown up with mobile devices, so not all students learn effectively with pencil-and-paper methods. Personalize your students’ learning environment with Prodigy by using it to reinforce in-class lessons or prep for standardized tests.

As educator Mary Ann Wolf observes: “Personalized learning is enabled by e-learning systems which help dynamically track and manage the learning needs of all students… everywhere at any time, but which are not available within the four walls of the traditional classroom.”

Click to create alignment now!

4. Response to Intervention (RTI)

Students that do not like math ask to play Prodigy daily in the RTI classroom and they are now filling in gaps in their learning. My RTI students are making progress and I believe that a lot of this can be attributed to their consistent use of Prodigy. Misty Andrews, Middle School Teacher, Tennessee.

Many teachers like you have students with RTI plans. A digital tool like Prodigy engages students and  collects and provides data to help teachers easily identify where their students require support or extensions.

Students greatly benefit from targeted and personalized content, so you should use your Assessments tool to set Plans or Assignments and check their progress on a cyclical basis.

Not sure which one to use? Here are a couple of tips:

  • RTI Tier 1 — Create a Plan. Align in-game content with the skill(s) you’re covering in class. Plans are an engaging way to address gaps and misconceptions, while reinforcing content taught in class.
  • RTI Tier 2 — Create an Assignment. Choose the number of questions per skill, as well as which students must complete it. Assignments are an effective way to engage individual  students based on their unique needs.

In either case, check your Student Comprehension report in the Reports tool.

Click to create alignment now!

5. Differentiated Instruction

I differentiate my students’ math practice using Prodigy. Students who struggle with math are assigned questions in an area where they need extra practice at a level which will allow them to be successful in answering questions, so they are not discouraged while playing. Other students who are more advanced are assigned questions on a topic that will challenge them and push them to extend their understanding of math concepts. Hilary Zahacy, 3rd Grade Teacher, Alberta.

Diverse classrooms pose unique challenges for teachers — can you relate? Differentiated instruction benefits all students, including those with exceptionalities. 

Use Prodigy to differentiate instruction by creating an Assignment. Prodigy will adapt math questions to tackle individual students’ challenges in the form of problems that use numbers, charts, pictures and words.

You can even modify students’ grade levels to ensure the questions they’re answering and skills they’re mastering are developmentally appropriate!

I have seen students look forward to math and that is something that makes my heart sing. At the beginning of the year I saw so many students dislike math and not look forward to it. The way Prodigy engages and differentiates instruction for each student allows everyone to feel success and that is priceless in my book! Lauren Masters, 1st Grade Teacher, Texas.

Finally, you know better than anyone that every child learns differently and at their own pace. Make sure you provide students with time to play Prodigy so they complete the differentiated math assignment.

Click to create alignment now!

No matter your teaching strategy, you’ll likely pair them with formative and summative assessments throughout the year.

Summative assessment

I have seen a huge increase in student engagement, particularly in the link between home and school… It's wonderful. I also find that students' summative math ‘test’ (set as Assignments) results are actually higher than if I set them a paper test. Nathan van der Monde, 6th Grade Teacher, Australia.

Students can find summative assessment stressful — especially standardized tests. So let’s set your students up for success. Gamifying math practice for tests is an engaging way to lower test anxiety and boost test scores!

Use Prodigy’s Test Preps to prepare them for standardized testing season. Test Preps will give your students practice for the exact skills that are assessed by your region, as your teacher account tracks their results. Prodigy’s teachers and educational content creators have updated all the Test Preps to reflect standards specific to each state’s curriculum and include new content!

You can also create Assignments at the end of a unit or chapter to easily assess students’ understanding of math concepts they have learned. In the Assignment report, you’ll be able to quickly identify common knowledge gaps and use them to guide your in-class instruction!

Formative assessment

Prodigy helps me to reinforce topics and check for mastery. When teaching any specific topic, I can use Prodigy as a formative assessment, and gauge how well the students are understanding the lessons I've taught. Sr. Maria Angeline Weiss, 5th Grade Teacher, Pennsylvania.

Formative assessments are one of the most effective ways to collect student data and guide instruction to promote student success. It also provides students with opportunities to reflect on their learning. Prodigy makes formative assessments easy to deliver.

Create in-game Assignments to target areas where students might require additional support. You can assign formative assessments based on individual student needs, assigning up to 25 questions per standard.

Review the Assignment report in your Assessments calendar to see the exact questions and how each student answered — correctly, incorrectly or unattempted. You’ll be able to quickly identify common gaps and adapt your in-class instruction while teaching a given concept.

Ready to align your class?

You can align your class in less than a minute, so give it a try! It’ll keep your students super engaged while practicing curriculum-aligned math. Align → Play → Check Results → Repeat!

Log in or sign up for your free teacher account today!

 

Jordan Nisbet

Jordan crafts content for Prodigy — and wishes the game existed when he was in school. He's interested in education and passionate about helping build up the next generation!

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