Do your children struggle with fast recall of basic math facts? Mine do. Although they KNOW the multiplication tables, they often have to THINK about them before they can answer questions and work problems. And that just won't work. I knew that we really needed to up the ante on multiplication fact speed around here as we enter higher level maths, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review UberSmart Software's digital flashcards and timed tests.
Do you remember how we learned math facts way back in the day? Flashcards and timed tests. I remember writing down all of the multiplication facts each day and taking short timed tests first thing each morning in math class. It was tedious work, but it drilled those math facts into our heads so that we didn't have to THINK, we just KNEW. The just KNOWING is my goal for my children and it is what I like most about the UberSmart Math Facts program -- how it takes the old tried and true ways of learning from the past and turns it into something new and relevant for the present. My children are thanking me (they had both expressed a genuine desire to make real improvements in math this year) and yours will thank you, as well.
UberSmart Math Facts ($24.95) is downloadable software geared for students in K - 6th grade, but a nice tool for any students who need math facts reinforcement. My rising 8th grader found it to be a fun way to keep sharp on multiplication and division facts this summer and says it has not only helped her brain to "think quicker" but that it has also helped her fingers to "type faster."
With UberSmart Math Facts, students can learn and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division math facts. This program is purchased and downloaded to your computer (Windows based computers only) so that you do not have to have an internet connection to continue its use. Up to eight students can work with the program at one time -- and each student receives individualized training as they study to master basic math facts. Students learn one number group at a time (all the way through the 9s in addition and subtraction and up to the 20s in multiplication and division). A memorization program, UberSmart Math Facts encourages students to excel by self-adjusting timing and by allowing students to filter out the math problems they have mastered. This leaves them free to focus on what they are unsure of without distraction as they drill to increase speed.
This is a simple "no bells and whistles" program that focuses on learning math facts. There are no distracting characters, crazy music, or flashing lights. There is no mountain to topple or bridge to blow up. Instead, students have fun while focused on math improvement. They practice to "beat" their own recall time and the prize is found in the lifetime of continued learning.
While our main focus was on the flashcards of multiplication and division (because we are determined to build speed), students who need help with addition and subtraction can choose to use domino-like dot cards, keyboard entry, or flashcards as they develop speed. My daughter was easily frustrated when she began because she needed "more time to think, mom" but working with this as a daily warm up helped her to develop confidence as the speed of recall improved. She enjoys seeing improvement in her test scores and takes pride in herself as she whizzes right through the multiplication tables. She asked me to make sure I share with you that she is doing MUCH better. :) And she really is.
We are definitely not done with UberSmart Math Facts and will continue using them daily. Just 10 minutes a day this summer has made a HUGE difference.