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Site Review: McGraw-Hill's Redbird Math

Site Review: McGraw-Hill's Redbird Math



McGraw-Hill’s Redbird Math is a K-7 interactive online math learning platform, embracing a data-supported learning model that was developed based on 25 years of research by the world’s top learning scientists at Stanford University.


Redbird’s interactive instruction, practice item sets, digital manipulatives, skill-based games, and real-world STEM connections make this product particularly unique among other online learning curriculum programs. The standards-aligned, well-scaffolded range of modules tackle a number of real-world themes, from animal behavior, food chemistry, and medicine to 3D printing, disaster relief, and video game design.

The Experience: Review

Logging onto Redbird’s site, I was honestly a bit hesitant. Being an educator for well over 15 years, I have seen numerous attempts at engaging classroom students in online learning. However, I now think that McGraw-Hill has figured out a solution for digital supplemental math instruction.

You start your Redbird experience with a simple course placement assessment, developed to figure out where your learner needs to begin their journey. From this initial experience, to the lessons, practice sessions, and applications, this product is absolutely all about differentiation, and this is what makes it a gem in the rough.

The learning model is structured in a simple enough format: understand, apply, and create. The lessons are well-paced and include clear visuals, many of which are digital manipulatives that allow for hands-on interaction throughout the learning experience. I loved being able to immediately move shapes across graphing paper to model and apply the skill I had just learned in the video lesson. The learning here is not passive: you must become an active participant in your learning process in order to advance.

I loved how well-scaffolded everything in my lesson seemed to be. I moved from fundamentals, through more and more challenging sets, to next generation word problems and clever games. The adaptive technology was following me throughout the process, lending support where I might need it, and moving me on when I was ready. This kind of adaptation paired with easy-to-access support means greater opportunities for self-guided instruction, which in of itself means ultimate classroom differentiation.

McGraw-Hill and Stanford University really went above and beyond when it came to the performance tasks and project-based learning. Following the lesson and practice modules, Redbird allows students to use what they’ve learned to learn about and tackle real-world problems encountered by real-world professions. I spent a good amount of time integrating a number of learned math skills, going through the specs for safely launching a satellite into space. The task was easy to navigate, had a number of very real-world manipulatives, and most importantly answered the questions many a math teacher hears throughout the school year: “Why do I have to know this? When will I use this?”

Finally, from the teacher’s desktop, the monitoring can’t be beat. Redbird’s data-driven reporting allows teachers to check standards proficiency, check a comparative classroom overview, and even use the “student replay” to watch videos of how students navigated through each activity, allowing educators to pinpoint areas for remediation and support.

Bottom Line

McGraw-Hill has done something wonderful here. Redbird Math is one of the first online learning platforms I’ve seen that really gives educators what they need in the elementary classroom. They’ve clearly taken all the lessons learned from the past twenty years of digitizing learning and built it into one comprehensive, top-notch learning system for complementing your core curricula with digital-supplemental instruction to accelerate each learner's math trajectory.


Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor

Lambert is an English/Language Arts teacher and teacher leader in Connecticut.