Quarter Mile Math Review

8/15/2009
Quarter Mile Math
Wild horses race through a green meadow and smoking dragsters peel out and race towards the finish line in this self-competitive math practice program! In Barnum Software's Quarter Mile Math, students compete against "Fast Eddy" during their first race and then each successive race they compete against their previous scores. Each correct answer increases their speed. Their goal is to answer as many problems as possible during the race. The faster they answer, the sooner they finish the race. And they loved racing at 170 mph with colorful '57 Chevys, '32 Deuce coupes and sling shot dragsters! This self-competitive format boosts student's confidence and self esteem in a fun and exciting way. As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was able to review the Deluxe version which inlcudes:
  • student progress tracking features
  • 323 topics and over 70,000 problems
  • Topics for K through 9th grade
The Deluxe Version is priced at:
  • $2.95 per family per month
  • $19.95 per family for one year (save $15.45 over one year)
  • $34.95 per family for two years (save $35.85 over two years).
Topics are categorized by three levels. Levels 1, 2 and 3 cover topics for grades K-3, 4-6 and 6-9 respectively. Topics include:
  • Numbers and Letters
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percents
  • Estimation
  • Math Strategies
  • Integers
  • Equations
See a complete list of topics and subjects covered here.
A Standard version is also available for a one time fee, includes 7 different programs to choose from and ranges in price from $39.95 to $89.95. A comparison of the two versions is available here and the system requirements for each version is listed here.
You can also download a free trial version here. I found this very simple to install and use. I am not a manual reader typically, but I did find the guide to be helpful to understanding and using key features. For example, students can track their progress over time and to access that information, you need to highlight the students name in the sign in menu, hold down the Control and Shift keys and then press the g key. I never would have figured that out had I not read the guide! (Note: I did see later how to do this from the screen! It was pretty simple). You can also print the scores on the screen and export the data. The website has some short videos that explain key elements of this program and the many benefits, such as:
  • if students enjoy what they are doing, they will learn much quicker.
  • self competitive format frees the student from the fear of competition.
  • it can free them from their own history of not liking math.
That last point is key for me. My 8th grader hates math but he loves this game!
Here is what he had to say about it:
  • "I like that it gives you a lot of things to do and makes it a game."
  • "It helps you but it is not stressful."
  • "It starts out easy and then gets harder."
  • "It is encoruaging that I get faster and faster and it gives you compliments like "You are getting better each time," and "Outstanding! You came in first!"
My other boys, who like math, liked that the time limit (their previous score) pushes them to try harder and do the problems fast. They all agree that they could do this daily. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to review this! My boys struggle with basic math facts and we have tried everything from flash cards to speed tests and nothing sticks. I really think that because they enjoy this and it hits a deeper emotional level as Christopher Wright, President of Barnum Software, suggests. So, I am hoping that this will make a difference in how they see math this year.
I plan to keep a copy of the topic checklist handy for each student. Each day I will assign them a new topic that they must work on for a set amount of time. I plan to make this an extra activity that I can daily add to their schedule strip for their workboxes. I think this will be a fun addition that they will look forward to each day!
I will also be using it with my 4 year old. With help, he was able to work on several topics such as keyboarding (typing in one digit numbers or letters of the alphabet), learning the alphabet (finding the next letter; A, B, ?) and counting topics (counting forward 1). He especially loved the option to be able to watch the race again, including the photo finish shot! (Actually they all loved that!) Mastering the basics will give them the confidence they need to succeed in their math program and I'm all for that. And it is worth it for me if it helps my students like math just a little more!
To see other crew member's reviews, click here or on the banner below!

1 comment:

Susana said...

This is a very interesting program. I love your reviews. I just wish they didn't usually peak my interest--I've got to learn to say enough is enough in the curriculum exploring area:-)!!

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