## Tuesday, 26 August 2014

### UberSmart Math Facts - TOS Review

I am always happy to improve our math skills so was quiet excited by the chance to review UberSmart Math Facts from UberSmart Software

UberSmart Math Facts was created by David Kocur, a homeschool dad. His wife asked him to find a math fact programme for his kids but he couldn't find one that guaranteed to cover all the math facts so decided to create his own.
He created a downloadable software programme for Windows (XP, vista, 7 or 8 - it doesn't work on Macs.) that teaches mastery of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication facts.This is a review program, not a curriculum and is designed to be used daily for best results.

We received the 4.0 version which is available from Sept 1st. It's really easy to download and fairly easy to use. Once loaded the first task is to set up profiles for each student (up to 8) - I set up a four profiles for the girls.

The icon now sits on our desktop (you can download to multiple computers in the same home but I've just set it up on one) when they click on the icon, it opens to a tabbed page where there are several options to choose from:
• Learn
• Practice
• Test
• Compete
• Report
• Maintain
Learn
There are two options - Beginner or Intermediate. Beginner covers addition and subtraction using dot cards. Intermediate uses flash cards and covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You simply view the problem then click show to view the answer.

Practice
This section is again divided into Beginner and Intermediate but it also allows for keyboard practice - they show you a number on a flashcard and you have to type it in the allotted time.

(Rose did get stuck on this section for a while - in fact she got so frustrated with keyboard practice that we skipped it and moved onto the 'real' section where she just read out the sum, told me the answer and I'd type it in for her.)
Practice is similar to learning (beginner get dot cards and intermediate gets flashcards) except the student has to enter the answer before moving on to the next question. If no answer or the wrong answer is entered, the correct answer is shown (you have about 7 seconds to answer). These sections are about 2 1/2 mins long.

Test
This has 2 sections. First an assessment test which looks at counting dots, odd/even numbers, counting forwards etc. The second section is the mastery test, this is a timed test but you can opt to hide the 'time bar'.

Compete
This allows you to compete to be ranked against other users scores. You get to answer a series of problems on flash cards and you can compare with other UberSmart Math Facts users globally. This is not a live competition but when all of the questions are completed, your score and rank are shown. For this, you can also choose grade level (elementary, middle, high, or adult) and user.

Report
This details the progress of each student by topic and is really useful if your children use this independently.  It shows a series of smiley faces and highlights areas that need more work.

Maintain

I will be honest and say that Lilly and Tulip didn't really 'enjoy' this, but regardless of that it has worked - I've noticed a vast improvement in their ability to recall facts and they are much quicker with their math work since using it. Sunflower on the other hand, loves it! she is obsessed with getting 100% and starts over if she makes a mistake.

I am really happy with this, it does exactly what it says on the tin - It teaches math facts mastery.
I loved that once downloaded it is there until I've finished with it, so I can wait a year and then use it for Rose when she is more ready for it. I also liked that you could select different levels of problems in multiplication and division (up to times 20) for each individual. UberSmart provides a simple, easy way to drill your kids independently.

UberSmart Math Facts is aimed for children from K to grade 6 but would suit anyone who needed to review their math facts. It is available for \$24.95 but there is a discount code for 30% off the new version, valid until Sept 30th  - v4 Early Bird

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog