Sites and Software that Develop Your Child's Math Skills
The days of math drilling and rewriting multiplication facts over and over are over. As a teacher, I look to the Internet for resources to recommend for math practice and tutoring. There are a wealth of sites designed to help children build their basic math skills and develop some new ones along the way, all while giving them an entertaining experience. Dealing with everything from simple addition problems to working with fractions and decimals, these sites are great resources that will make math practice something to look forward to.
An all-around great site that focuses on English, science, and math is Bitesize. Children from 2nd grade up looking for math assistance can choose from such topics as “Numbers,” “Shapes,” “Space,” “Measures,” and “Handling Data”. To further assist in the topics, each of the games comes with step-by-step lessons that can be read online or printed. These lessons have easy-to-understand tricks and tips for improving math skills. After your child reads through the lesson and plays the game, they can take a quiz to test their abilities. These games, which can be played in full-screen, are fun and have pretty impressive graphics. One of my favorite games on this site, “Questionaut,” takes you through fantastical worlds and breathtaking graphics while asking questions about math, English, and science.
Stop flipping through multiplication flash cards, and try Timez Attack, a math program made for true gamers that focuses on the 1-12 times tables. Made for students 3rd grade and up, Timez Attack takes their character through various visually appealing worlds. As they journey through each board, they’ll have to solve multiplication problems.
The game begins with a pre-assessment board to test your child’s knowledge of multiplication facts, then provides your child with the facts they need to practice. The questions get progressively difficult (if they’re answered correctly). Students that consistently get certain facts wrong will have to answer more questions involving those facts. The free version includes all of the facts, pre- and post-tests, a base retention element that reviews facts already covered, and the dungeon board. More levels can be added at a cost of $39.00 or at a rental price of $25/year. The Deluxe version, which includes even more levels, costs $59.99 to buy or $39.99/year to rent. The creator of the game, Big Brainz, recently released their division expansion pack, and expects to release an addition and subtraction component during the 2011 holiday season.
Who knew problem solving could be so much fun? Based on PBS’s popular cartoon series, Cyberchase, this site has students from 3rd grade and up working on their math and problem solving skills. Your child will get to practice basic math facts, geometry, measurement, and algebra, while solving real-world issues. There is also a page entitled “Parents & Teachers” that assists parents and teachers in game choice. In this section, along with a brief summary of the game, the specific math topic, and, if applicable, science topic, is listed. After your child gets their fill of math practice, they can also watch videos, read adventures, and create art. A section titled, “Quest,” will lead a character, customized by your child, though an online quest in order win awards and items to decorate their cyberhome.
Created with children in 2nd grade and up in mind, Arcademic Skill Builders uses an arcade-like interface to focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, integers, decimals, money, fractions, and time. To encourage some healthy competition, your child can choose to either play with other people online, or practice their skills alone. Because there is no real interaction between the gamers, it is completely safe. After they finish the various levels of each game, you can view their score, accuracy, and rate at which the questions were answered. It also lists the missed questions and gives you the option to see your child’s progress in graph form.