Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UberSmart Math Facts- Schoolhouse Crew Review

Anyone else out there who struggles to get kids to learn math facts?  Anyone else tired of chanting facts and answers, tired of whining and complaining?  While it is a necessary skill, I find it is one of my least favorite things to teach.  Sometimes, it is nice to be able to pass the learning and responsibility into their hands and see what happens.

That is just what I was able to do with the help of UberSmart Software.   UberSmart Software offers a downloadable software called UberSmart Math Facts that takes the teacher out of the equation and helps teach math facts on the computer, simply and efficiently.  Devoid of bells and whistles, this straight to the point flash card system is geared for kids grades K-6th or anyone struggling with math facts!

Using three separate modes, this is how it works-

UberSmart Math Facts ReviewDot Cards (think adding dots on a domino)- This is a great way for visual learners to see what the numbers represent, but I must admit was our least favorite part of the program.  I found that instead of committing to memory the facts, CJ began just counting without giving it any thought. There is a choice to have the actual number visible on the card, but then it got confusing for him for some reason.

UberSmart Math Facts ReviewKeyboard Entry (10 key numbers)- This is the simplest mode and simply about a child learning to use a keyboard.  They see the number displayed and enter the number in.  If you have a child that is unfamiliar with a keyboard this is good practice.  I also think that if you had a child who struggles with transposing numbers, this could be good practice for them.  My boys do not fall into either category and therefore deemed this mode boring.  Go figure!

UberSmart Math Facts ReviewFlash Cards (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)- This was by far our favorite mode and eventually what we used the most.  It works just like a flashcard.  When you get a fact right, it moves on.  When you enter an incorrect answer it shows you the correct fact.  I am convinced that 10-15 minutes a day on this one alone will improve your child's speed and accuracy with math facts.  I will admit, my boys did not love doing it, but they did both see improvement and the oldest admitted finally that it was a good way to keep up his skills. I like using this as a warm up to math each day rather than fact sheets.

The addition and subtraction function goes up through the 9s, division and multiplication can go up to 20s. The dot cards, keyboard entry and flash cards all have a learn, practice and test mode.  You choose the level- beginner or intermediate and then addition, subtraction, multiplication or division as well as which fact family you want to work on.  In learn mode, you are simply practicing the facts.  The computer will show you a flash card, you will say the answer out loud and then you click the show mode and you self check your answer.   In practice mode the fact is shown and you have to type in your answer while you are being timed. A green progress button at the bottom shows you how much further you have to go.  Again, while there are no bells and whistles there is clapping at the end and you can print certificates after the mastery of a skill.

A word about the test mode- One of the cool things about the tests is that you can adjust the time limits on the tests, pushing your child to complete the problems with better mastery each time.  It also has a detailed report you can access to see how long it took your child to complete each problem.  Your child is able to skip a test problem and come back to it if they get stuck on one.  For us, this was helpful as sometimes my kids tend to freeze up on timed tests.

Overall, my boys were not thrilled with this program, but what child loves to practice math facts, honestly? The good news is that they DID see improvement, and for me, that makes a product worth using!

Price-UberSmart Math Facts can be purchased for $24.95

*This program is for Windows 7,8, XP and Vista only

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