CM . . .
. Volume X Number 6. . . . November 14, 2003
The software allows elementary school students to work on their basic mathematical skills in the following areas: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, telling time, greater than less than, word problems, and sequence completion. The software has five skill levels. The most difficult (Expert Level) is usually quite challenging for most elementary school students. A pencil and paper would help students work at the expert level.
The strengths of the software include the following. It allows students to review basic mathematical facts in a fun and interactive way. It spans over multiple topics in elementary school mathematics (e.g. addition and subtraction, patterns, and comparison of two numbers). The software seems to be appropriate for both girls and boys. Finally, the format of the software is similar to that of many computer games. Hence, I believe many children, who like computer games, will be able to relate to it and enjoy using it.
Since the focus of mathematics education is problem solving, more emphasis could have been put on word problems and other types of problem solving. Some of the games may seem too long to some students with short attention spans; I didn't see a way of shortening the games. In spite of the aforementioned criticisms, I believe teachers and parents who are interested in helping their students or children learn basic facts in mathematics will find this software helpful.
Recommended with reservations.
Dr. Arsalan Wares is a professor of mathematics education for early and middle years teachers in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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