Math is not a favorite subject around here. I wish I could say it was. My husband really enjoys math and I enjoy playing around with numbers but… the girls do not seem to have any of that same fun with math. Part of that is missing out on the memorization of math facts so math is a time consuming, labor-intensive process. I was hopeful when we were chosen to review UberSmart Math Facts that we could turn that around a little bit.
UberSmart Math Facts is a software program created by UberSmart Software that you download to your computer after purchase. It teaches the math facts – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – using a different approach. Created by a dad who wanted to help his children memorize, not just practice, math facts, this program will keep track of exactly where your children are and how long it is taking them to answer each question. This allows you to track your child’s mastery of each set of facts, not just the completion of practice.
This is a great little software program that can help the entire family. Geared towards the grade levels of K – 6, where students tend to work the most on math facts, this program will work great for anyone needing to strengthen their math facts.
J, who is 5 and doing kindergarten level work, enjoys working with the dot cards. The dot cards are a beginning level practice of addition and subtraction facts. She could easily maneuver through the menu to find what she needs once she was shown what she was working on. She asked often to be able to work on the “dot math.” We let her. She is getting better at recognizing the sets of five dots and the numerals for each number.
The other two giggly girls were expected to use this program for 10 minutes a day, most days of the week. We did have some time where that didn’t happen due to things like VBS. But, they have used the program a lot over the past few weeks. And, while they don’t like it a whole lot, they do it.
L is working on mastery of her addition facts. She gets frustrated easily and when that happens, there isn’t much she can do with this program. This program is straight forward; there are no bells and whistles; it doesn’t entertain. So, once she gets back on track, she works hard and low-and-behold – she’ll master whatever fact set she is working on. The program works the student through one set of facts at a time. For example, L is currently working on addition of the 9’s. A tough set for sure! But, she is getting close and every time she gets mastery on another level, we hear a whoop and a holler and she’ll run to her dad to let him know she got another one.
E is working on mastery of her multiplication. This has been a challenge for a couple of years now. She does not enjoy numbers. At all. Give her a book or science or history and she’ll be a happy camper. So, slow and steady with E and math is best. This program is a constant force for her and she is making progress. She wants to get that Mastered! label on her table of contents. So, she keeps at it even when it is not easy or pleasant. Which we praise her for since it is the work ethic we desire for her to cultivate.
Another motivator for E: seeing all the green smiley faces on the mastery chart.
To find this, she will go to Report. Then she selects Mastery Chart and either addition/subtraction or multiplication/division and her name for student. The more of those green smileys she sees, the more she works.
UberSmart has several different ways that the student can work. I showed you the dot cards earlier. There is also a learning mode. In this mode, the card is shown and then the answer is shown after a few minutes. There is a practice mode. This is an interesting one because it remembers how well the student answers each problem and redoes the ones the student struggles on or gets wrong. After the student is doing well on the practice mode, it suggests to the student that she is ready to attempt a mastery test. The student then uses the test mode. If the student gets all of the answers correct within the given time (you can set a per question time limit for mastery – my girls are at 4 seconds per question), the student has mastered and she moves on to the next set of facts. If not, the student should go back to the practice mode and it will show only the questions missed. I like this. It is a good way to encourage the student that she is making progress.
If your student needs to work on ten-key entry, there is a practice mode for this as well. It was a unique feature that surprised me. I think it will be a good feature for the girls in the future. They played with it a little bit and had some fun.
While the girls may not like this program very much, it has been included in our daily work. I like it. I think the various modes are encouraging. I haven’t seen amazing, fast progress but I do see that the girls are making steady tracks. And that spark of pride when one of the girls masters a set tells me that, while there will be grumbles, this is good.
There are a couple of things you should know before purchasing this program.
- At this time, it is only available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.
- There is not a Mac program available and there are no plans for it as of the date of this post, according to the UberSmart Software site.
- This is downloadable software.
- The purchase price is $24.95 and is for a family license. This allows you to put the program on as many computers as you have. Note, though, that the tracking does not transfer from one computer to another.
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