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I have two games on my site, plus links to many.
Equals is a set of math jigsaw puzzles on the computer. Most of the puzzles are in the form of math tables (such as multiplication table) so it reinforces the student's understanding of the underlying structure.
The puzzle idea is very simple, yet powerful. Seeing the places that are still missing a piece makes you feel you just have to finish it! And, being in the math tables form helps students understand it all better than just, say, disconnected flashcard practice.
The Level I & II CD has puzzles for (view screenshots):
- Skip-counting by 1's - 5's
- Skip-counting by 6's - 10's
- Learning Time - the student matches analog time to digital time.
- Adding money (coins). I liked the fact it practices adding four figures mentally. The student can learn to think as to which numbers are easiest to add first.
- Multiplication tables (1-5)
- Multiplication tables (6-10)
- Division table by 1-5
- Division table by 6-10
- Another money adding puzzle
- Simplifying fractions. I really liked the fact it had fractions shown as pictures but student needs to match them to the numerical form and do the simplifying mentally.
- Factors puzzle - or multiplication tables backwards. This is the best one on the CD. Very needful practice for all 3rd-4th grades but in a very fun form.
I had my kindergartner try the first skip-counting puzzle, and she completed the first row easily (counting by ones). We worked together with the twos, and soon she was able to do that row too. She liked working with the puzzle a lot and was enthusiastic.
I will definitely continue using the product to let her learn skip-counting, multiplication tables, mental adding, and all the other topics on the CD.
I let some of my friends children 'test' the puzzles. Overall they liked them very well. The kids commented how they liked this form much better than working in a notebook, or flashcard practice.
A mother of a 5th-grader commented, while his son was doing the simplifying fractions puzzle, "This is good for him because he's used to doing it on paper but not in his head."
Another mother liked how she could use the puzzles for varying grades as she had several children.
Several children also noted how the "Factors" puzzle was kind of hard, because it really made you think. I think that puzzle is the best one there because it gives nice practice in a very important area: kids need to know, not only that 5 × 8 is 40 and 7 × 8 is 56, but what all possibilities there are to have (number) × (number) = 36 or (number) × (number) = 20; in other words they need to easily be able to tell the factors of a given (small) number.
This CD would make a great gift, I feel!
The only thing I missed was I would have liked to have more puzzles come on the CD, in various areas of basic mathematics.
Website: EqualsMath.com. Price: $21.95 for Levels I & II, $12.95 for either Level I or Level II.
Review by Maria Miller, MSc, author of HomeschoolMath.net
Times Tales is now on DVD
The fast, FUN, and easy way to learn multiplication. Learn the upper times tales in two sittings using mnemonic stories.