Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, check here first!

  • Is this a K-12 Story Problem Challenge or an Algebra Challenge? Can you explain the difference?
  • What do I need to know about signing up?
  • Wait, where do I sign in with my account?
  • How do I know if the Copilot and Riddle Books are compatible with my computer?
  • Is Riddle Books Common Core compatible? How so?
  • How do I delete a classroom?
  • I forgot my Copilot login information.
  • How do I create a classroom?
  • How do I add/remove a student from a classroom?
  • I have a class with multiple grade levels. How should I organize my students?
  • Can students play at home?
  • What do I do on the day before the students arrive?
  • What do I do on day 1?
  • Can I pause the students?
  • How do I read the dashboard?
  • Why do some of the rectangles on the dashboard contain more than two green squares?
  • What if the dashboard doesn’t seem to be updating?
  • How do I end the exercise?
  • I’m getting lots of blanks on the dashboard for one student, what does that mean?
  • Some of my students have extended beyond the right side of the dashboard?
  • My student and I are stuck on a particular problem. What should we do?
  • How does the game determine when a student reaches mastery and goes to the next level?
  • Is this a K-12 Story Problem Challenge or an Algebra Challenge? Can you explain the difference?

    This challenge is officially the “K-12 Story Problem Challenge”, which is the next great new chapter in the Algebra Challenge family of math events! We’re focused on bringing fantastic pre-algebra concepts to all classrooms, regardless of current math or reading level!

    What do I need to know about signing up?

    The Copilot system allows you to easily set up a class. The class code assigned to the class is how the students will connect to you. You get to decide if you want to set up their accounts for them or the students create the accounts themselves. At no point is any personal information required from the students. The system only needs a unique user name for your class – first and last name is asked as a convenience for you but is never used elsewhere.

    We want to hear your thoughts about our Algebra Challenge Events!

    Already signed up?

    Sign In!

    How do I know if the Copilot and Riddle Books are compatible with my computer?

    They probably are: Riddle Books and the Teacher Copilot are completely free, and will work on any recent web browser. Any class with access to a PC, Mac or Chromebook can participate in the challenge.

    Is Riddle Books Common Core compatible? How so?

    Riddle Books teaches Common Core-aligned pre-algebra concepts via story problems in a friendly game-based environment. You can read more about it on this page and see sample problem types.

    How do I delete a classroom?

    To delete a class simply click on the class from the Manager screen and then click the trashcan to the right of the grade.

    I forgot my Copilot login information.

    If you have forgotten your user name or password, select “forgot password” from the login screen. Supplying your e-mail address will send you your user name and a link to reset your password.

    How do I create a classroom?

    After signing in, the first screen lists your classes (blank if your first time). On the right side of this screen is a “Manage” button. Clicking on this will bring up the Manager screen. From here, clicking on the “+ Add Class” on the left, will prompt you for a class name, class code, and an optional grade level.

    Note that “average grade level” of the class is helpful for reporting purposes but is not used by the game.

    How do I add/remove a student from a classroom?

    If you decide to add students yourself, you first add them on the Manager Screen. Clicking on “+ Add Student” button on the top right will prompt you for first name, last name, and a username. As you add each student they will appear in the “All Tab” immediately above the input form.

    Note: You do NOT have to set up the student accounts yourself. As long as you have a class with a class code, the student can add themselves when you first start a lesson.

    Once you have students listed on the right. Select the class you want from the left side of the screen. Using the arrow button, you can move students into this class. If you have a large number of students already, you may want to click on the “Unassigned” tab at the top of the screen to help you only move those who are not yet in a class.

    I have a class with multiple grade levels. How should I organize my students?

    For the purposes of this Algebra Challenge, grade level is not being used in any particular way. When creating a class, simply pick what you feel is the average grade level of your class as a whole. Since you can only run one class at a given time, it’s important that everyone who will be in the room at the same time is organized in the same class.

    Can students play at home?

    Sure! We have a feature we like to call “Bonus Play (Home Play)”. Students should be able to use the same link and class code to play from home. After your very first class session, Bonus Play will be active for all students. If your students later log in from home, they will receive a message “Your teacher is not currently active. Bonus Play is available. Would you like to Play or prefer to wait for your teacher to start the class?” Note that after the first day, it is possible for students to log in before you do. If they do so AND choose to activate Bonus Play, they will appear offline to you. If this is the case, the student simply needs to logoff and log back in after you have started the lesson.

    What do I do on the day before the students arrive?

    Log in using your name and password. Go to the Manager page and set up one classroom for each of your classes. For each class you will need to come up with a unique class code. It is suggested you use a variation of your name and a number.

    You can optionally set up accounts for your students.

    You might consider making sure that the student website http://bit.ly/cgsplay is not blocked by your school servers.

    What do I do on day 1?

    Log in using your name and password. Pick the class.

    Give your students the website http://bit.ly/cgsplay and the class code. If they are setting up their own accounts, tell them to look for the “click here” button in the upper right and give any guidelines about appropriate names or user names. If you have already set up accounts, tell them to find their name in the list.

    Click on the lesson button. Open the first section of the first page and click “Start Exercise”. This will open the dashboard and start the game on the student computers.

    Can I pause the students?

    Yes! Clicking pause from the dashboard will temporarily pause the students.

    How do I read the dashboard?

    The best use of the dashboard is to find students who seem to be lagging behind the majority of the class and make sure they are engaged. The other students to look for are ones with LOTS of RED. Some red is to be expected but lots of red indicates the student is frustrated, not understanding the problem, not understanding the game, or possibly just goofing around.

    The Green and Red squares indicate individually right and wrong submissions. As Riddle Books is very puzzle-y, it is expected that the students will experiment and make a reasonable number or errors. If done perfectly, a problem will consist of two green squares (one for the model and one for the equation) contained in a green rectangle. If done slightly less perfectly, a problem will consist of a mixture of red and green squares and the rectangle will have a “color average” ranging from solid red to orange, yellow, light green, and finally to dark green.

    Why do some of the rectangles on the dashboard contain more than two green squares?

    Those would be tutorials. After each successful level, a student gets a short tutorial consisting of 3 to 6 screens.

    What if the dashboard doesn’t seem to be updating?

    Clicking on the “Back to lesson” button will hide the dashboard. Clicking on the “Exercise in Progress” button or the “Show Dashboard” button (upper right drop-down) will usually refresh the update process. Refreshing the browser itself would also probably work but not recommended.

    How do I end the exercise?

    From the open dashboard, clicking on the “Finish Exercise” button on the top left will stop the students and cause them to receive an “Eyes on the Teacher” prompt. The next time you start the exercise, they will begin approximately where they left off. If the student was in the middle of a tutorial, they are returned to the start of the tutorial.

    I’m getting lots of blanks on the dashboard for one student, what does that mean?

    It means they are skipping problems without attempting them.

    Some of my students have extended beyond the right side of the dashboard?

    First, make sure you have tried to scroll all the way to right. We think we’ve provided enough space for the average student during 45 minutes of play. However it is possible they have exceeded the available space. You have two choices: 1) Not worry about it – a student who has gotten this far probably doesn’t need any monitoring. 2) Stop the exercise and then start it again. This will give you a fresh dashboard going forward. If you choose this route, you may want to make note of any students who have fallen behind before you do so.

    My student and I are stuck on a particular problem. What should we do?

    Riddle Books is aptly named. Some of the problems are quite enigmatic. We hope this will be viewed as a challenge and not a source of frustration.

    Here are some suggestions for making your Riddle Books experience smooth!

    1. Is there another way that this model or equation might be built? If so, try it.

    2. Did I use the hints? At the end of the standard hints is a “Show Hint” button. Level one of the show hint is an example of the model where the letters represent the known numbers and the ? represents the unknown label. Level two of the show hint is a “cheat” hint. It will show you the correct answer but will not give you credit for the question. This should be used sparingly as it will cause the student to remain at the current level longer.

    3. Am I reaching an uncomfortable level of frustration? Use the Skip Button. The Skip Button is available in the Options menu available in the lower left. Similar to the cheat button it should be used sparingly as it affects the student’s mastery statistics.

    If you have a technical issue, please search this page first then contact us by e-mail.

    During the entire period of the Algebra Challenge (April 27 – June 5), we will attempt to respond to weekday e-mails immediately and evening/weekend e-mails by early the following morning (if not before). Please be sure to include any steps you may have to help us replicate your issue, as well as include your browser, operating system and version.

    How does the game determine when a student reaches mastery and goes to the next level?

    The game looks at the last three problems. Two of the last three problems must meet the following criteria:

     Add & subtract: Each problem done in under 60 seconds and 2 mistakes or less

     Multiply & Divide and Fractions: Each problem done in under 120 seconds and 5 mistakes or less

     Two step: Each problem done in under 180 seconds and 8 mistakes or less

    Note that if a student can meet these criteria on the first two problems that they are not made to do a third.