This link is connected to a research paper that examines the effectiveness of First in Math on Fourth and Fifth grade students in New York City. Although you have to pay for full access to this website, it is filled with wonderful research articles on education so is worth it!
DreamBox is another online math software that my district has, and the kids really do love it. This link refers to the dreambox homepage which provides a short overview video of how DreamBox's interactive math software helps users make sense of math.
This article takes a step back from First in Math and focuses more on virtual manipulates; specifically, how their benefit is greater than concrete manipulates. This article also contains links and examples of virtual manipulates that other teachers have found effective.
This was one of my favorite articles on First in Math as it gives a personal story from one of its users. This article is about the success a girl named Josephine had on First in Math (one of the top players in the country for three years). It is definitely worth the read!
Splash Math is another online, interactive math game (similar to First in Math) that other schools have adopted. This link is to the review section of the Splash Math homepage which includes great success articles and videos on the success of the game and how it correlates with success on standardized tests.
This article focuses on the success of First in Math in different school districts across the country, and states that these online games have made it "cool" again to be academically challenged. This article stresses that games: motivate students to learn, provide fluency practice in a fun way, allow students to manipulate numbers, change the ways kids engage with math concepts, and foster transformative play.
One of the greatest aspects of programs such as First in Math, is that is based upon student directed learning. In order for students to grasp mathematical concepts (and not just memorize) they have to be engaged. This program allows them to explore different areas of math on their own without being confined to one specific area. This article suggests that concept is one of the strongest attributes as to why so many student's have seen success with this program.
This article discusses how engagement outside of the classroom has changed to be more digital than ever before and in order to run a successful classroom this must also be implemented. First in Math provides instant feedback that this generation of students is used to in their leisure time.