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Aug 27, 2014

Ubersmart ~ A Math Facts Review

UberSmart Software asked the Schoolhouse Review Crew to test run UberSmart Math Facts version 4.0, due to be released to the general public September 1. 

UberSmart Math Facts Review

I was happy to jump on this review because one of the punks is struggling mightily with math facts.  We are trying everything math related we can think of.  The poor kid is probably about mathed out.  But we know how important a solid foundation is in regards to math though, so he'll be practicing for as long as it takes!

Maybe the easiest way to tell you about the UberSmart Math Facts program is to go through each tab and tell you what happens there.

Here, the answers are not typed in, but instead the student answers out loud and clicks on "Show" to see if they were correct.  In the beginner mode, dot cards are used with or without the numbers on the tiles. 

In intermediate mode, flash cards are used.  The user selects their name, function they want to practice, which numbers they wish to use (0-9 or all), and whether to have the cards shown in order or shuffled. 

The beginner selects either dot cards or keyboard entry.  Keyboard entry allows the student to practice using the number pad to type in the answers through the rest of the program.  I really do recommend a keyboard with a number pad on the right.  That's much easier than keying in numbers from the top of the keyboard.  The faster the student gets, the better they will be able to perform the rest of the requirements. 

Intermediate consists of flash cards and again has the same options at log in as the Learn tab, but keyboard entry has to be performed to complete Practice.  If you get them all right on a practice run, UberSmart cheers for you!

The beginner test mode, students answer how many dots are on a dot card, what number comes next in a sequence, even or odd, and greater than or less than.  Once that section is complete, they are checked for speed and accuracy.  Finally, each function is tested.  Sadly, if your speed and accuracy is too low, the math facts are not tested (see below).  I definitely was disappointed about this, since neither of the punks was fast enough to take a complete test.  I did them for you though, so I could tell you about each section.  I even did one s u p e r  s l o w l y so I could see the "you're too slow" result.

 The intermediate test mode is a bit different.  This one shows your time and test progress, if you like, in bars across the bottom.  The entire test is just math facts.  You determine the parameters.  Another difference is that the previous, current, and next flash card are all shown on the screen at once.

In competition mode, you compete within your age group.  These options are elementary, middle school, high school, and adult.  Sadly, I did not do very well on this section.  I didn't even suggest it to the boys because they are so slow.  I was pretty certain, they'd just feel disappointed.  The timer jumps ahead each time you miss a question (speed and accuracy, people!) giving you less time to compete.

Here, you find all the need to know info on your student's progress.  I thought these Mastery Charts were especially helpful and cute.  Who doesn't like getting a smiley face on their math papers?

Also, the assessments results are stored here.  You can see how much time was spent on the test, the date it was taken and all kinds of factoids about the speed, accuracy, average time answering the correct portion of the questions.  If you like to see facts and figures, this is a terrific result form.

This is the section to administer the UberSmart Math Facts program.  I ended up increasing the length of times my guys had to answer because they would be just about to type in the answer and the answer would appear on the screen and the next card would pop up.  This was frustrating for them, but it was simple to increase the allowable response time from four seconds to six seconds.  Way better attitudes once I did that!

The only bug we seemed to have experienced was the pop up at the end of the boys' practice runs.  No matter whether they were adding or subtracting, and no matter which number facts we chose, they got the same message upon completion.  Mal saw, "You're getting real close to completely mastering addition of zeros!"  This drove Xav nuts, because his original score was lower and he only saw a "Good Job!" and a score of 84% (yes, adding zeros).

If you click this icon, the PDF of the UberSmart help file opens.

UberSmart quizzes kids on the multiplication facts up to 20x20.  For automaticity of all facts, UberSmart recommends use two or three times daily.  We didn't use it more than once, simply because math is still a struggle and I don't want to overload them drilling facts.  Some day, I'd like to say, "He finally got it!" and know that it is due in part to UberSmart Math Facts.  I like how much the program has to offer in practicing the same boring facts in several different ways.

Once you purchase UberSmart Math Facts, it's yours.  You can install it on as many Windows computers as you'd like.

The age range for this product is K-6, but pretty much whatever age you begin math instruction through adult.  (There's even a setting for Adult in the dropdown box under the compete tab.)

Price: $24.95 to purchase the standard home version.  If you purchase before September 30, 2014 and use code “v4 Early Bird” in the discount code box on the purchase page you'll receive a 30% discount.

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