Account Help

Guests | Students | Teachers | Administrators

For Guests:

Where can I find out more about the Problems of the Week program?

There are a number of ways to learn more. Here are a few:

  • Try it yourself—sign up for a free Trial Account.
  • Got six minutes? Watch our Flash introduction to a Trial Account.
  • Read all about it—our PDF-format Teacher's Guide gives a more thorough orientation, including classroom tips and a step-by-step illustrated guide to where to find things as you set up your account.
  • Try our Teaching with PoWs page for a host of bite-sized resources on using the PoWs: links to the resources mentioned above, information on scoring and mentoring, and articles on implementing problem solving and writing in the classroom.
  • Check out sample problems, with associated teacher resource pages, teacher packets, and activity series packets. (You can see five problems through your trial account, as well.)
  • Take a course—we offer online Professional Development courses based on our program. One is an introduction to your subscription, and others offer ways to expand your expertise in using the PoWs in your classroom. There's even a free online orientation session you could use with a Trial Account.
  • For even more information, please contact us by email [any time]
    or phone: 800-756-7823 [Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 6 pm Eastern].

I signed up for a trial account, but never got to use it. Can it be extended?

Sure, we'll be happy to extend it once for you. Just email us.


For Students:

I can't log in!

Check that your password is properly capitalized—passwords are case-sensitive in our system. Ask your teacher (or whoever registered you) for your username and password. If you or your parent signed up for this account, request a password change on this page.

How do I know when I've got a response to my answer submission?

Your My PoWs page will tell you, and your Message Center will have a new message waiting for you. If your account has an email address attached to it, you'll get a notification email that you have a new message.

How do you come up with the Problems of the Week? Do you accept suggestions? Our class just created one...

We have a team of mathematicians and math educators who get together each week to hash out the problems and their wording. (They actually do the math for everything!) They're always happy to have suggestions—you can send yours in to us using the contact information at the bottom of this page. Be sure to include accurate contact information for yourself so we can get back in touch with you about it!


For Teachers:

How do I set up my account?

For a quick intro, try the account set-up help video.

If your account was created as part of a school or district-level purchase, the administrator who bought your account may set up your account, in which case you will receive an email with your login name. For your password, you should either obtain it from the person who set up the account, or just request a password change.

Those who buy school or district level subscriptions may also choose to ask teachers to set up their own accounts. In that case, follow the link in the email you receive. Either way, unless your administrator has set these up too, you can set up classes and student accounts (until you reach the limit) using your My PoW Work page: click the link at the bottom right to Manage your students' accounts.

If you have your own class- or teacher-level account, there are instructions in the confirmation email with a link to follow. The linked page will give you options to set up your own account and then your classes' and students' accounts. You can also choose to sign up for discussion groups using that link. If you stop in the middle of that process, and can't log in yet, try using the second link in your original confirmation email to resume the set-up process. (This is our most common reason for login failure.) Once you've created your account, you can add more students or classes (until you reach the limit) using your My PoW Work page: click the link near the middle of the right column to Manage your students' accounts.

I can't log in to my account!

This could be due to a number of factors. First, check our most common situation: when you purchased an account, did you follow the link in our order confirmation email to set it up, and did you finish the process? That's what gives you a username and password. If you did that but were interrupted and didn't finish the setup process, go back to the original email and follow the second link to resume the process.

If you've set up your account and still can't log in, the error message shown when you try logging in should let you know which of these tips applies to your situation:

  • If you're trying to access the Problems Library, you must have a class-level or higher membership. A $25 teacher account does not include access to this service. We'd be happy to upgrade your account for you, and apply any money previously paid for the lower-level account towards your new account. Class-level memberships start at $149 ($119 for primary level).
  • You may be entering the wrong username and/or password combination. Please check that you are using the correct combination, and that you are using correct capitalization, as passwords are case-sensitive. You can also double-check your original confirmation email for your username.
  • If you've tried these ideas and still can't access the PoWs, request a password change on this page.

How can I find out more about using my account?

There are a number of ways to learn more. Here are a few:

  • Got six minutes? Watch our Flash introduction to a Trial Account. It will give you a brief orientation to navigating the site. (A Trial Account is a class-level membership, so that's what's best illustrated by this video.)
  • Read all about it—our PDF-format Teacher's Guide gives a more thorough orientation, including classroom tips and a step-by-step illustrated guide to where to find things as you work with your account.
  • Try our Teaching with PoWs page for a host of bite-sized resources on using the PoWs: links to the resources mentioned above, information on scoring and mentoring, and articles on implementing problem solving and writing in the classroom.
  • Take a course—we offer online Professional Development courses to support our PoW program. One is an introduction to your subscription, and others offer ways to expand your expertise in using the PoWs in your classroom. There's even a free online orientation session you could use with a Trial Account.
  • For even more information, please contact us by email [any time]
    or phone: 800-756-7823 [Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 6 pm Eastern].

Setting Up Student Accounts

To have your students submit online, set up their accounts following these instructions.

How Students Use Their Accounts

After students have accounts, what's next?

Why don't students need email?

Students can check their mail using our Message Center. This saves worrying over privacy regulations, firewalls, and mis-typed addresses, and prevents spam entirely.

Can my students see the solution before they submit?

No. They can see our answer (not the process we used) after they submit their own, and they can revise their solution after checking our Answer Check. Students will see fewer links than teachers when they log in, which is why teachers shouldn't share their own access with students.

How do you come up with the Problems of the Week? Do you accept suggestions? Our class just created one...

We have a team of mathematicians and math educators who get together each week to hash out the problems and their wording. (They actually do the math for everything!) They're always happy to have suggestions—you can send yours in to us using the contact information at the bottom of this page. Be sure to include accurate contact information for yourself so we can get back in touch with you about it!


For Administrators:

How do I set up the school or district account I just purchased?

Follow the link in the confirmation email you received after you purchased a school or district account. You can create your own district, if it doesn't already exist, and add teachers to it, or let the teachers create their own accounts.

If you create teacher accounts yourself, you'll need a list of your teachers' emails. Keep track of the passwords you assign each teacher if you want to tell them their passwords later. They'll get their usernames in an email, but not their passwords. They can always reset their passwords themselves once they have their usernames, using the password change form linked from the login page.

If you have other questions, please contact us by email [any time]
or phone: 800-756-7823 [Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 6 pm Eastern].



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