On those days when your middle or high school teens are asking questions that you may not be prepared to answer quickly, Math Advantage can help. Like its name says, it is an advantage, not only for your young charges, but also for you. While your middle and high school students are solving math problems, you can work on chores around the house, or just take a short break. If you're a bit behind the curve in teaching your students math, try going through a course yourself in order to catch up on those lessons you learned oh-so-long ago (as is my case!).
Math Advantage offers several interactive computer-based programs, on various math topics including:
Real World Math
The programs include not only step-by-step instructions, but tests, timed tests, and simulations geared towards several age groups. The screens are pleasing to the eye and are easy to navigate. If you are lost in a plethora of software, the help files and tutorials are also easy to use and learn.
After you install Math Advantage, a circular main menu screen appears, rotating, that reminds me of the hieroglyphic contraption in the show Stargate. From here You may choose:
Sign-In, which allows you to login with a unique name
Help, which takes you to a video, online help file, or quick tour
Exit, which is self-explanatory
Play Game, which takes you to several games that you can play after learning from the tutorial
Tutorial, which is broken into chapters and sections for you to learn and/or review
Report Card, which shows the results and dates of all levels
Interactive Zone, which offers tests and questions in interactive format with immediate correction
An iconized vertical menu bar is always available on the right-hand side of the screen, so you can access other portions of the Math Advantage screen. The icons on this screen change with the screen, but include some of the following topics:
Main, which takes you back to the main menu
Topics, which relate to the topics
Reference, which goes through formulas and symbols, among other topics
History, which gets into the history of the mathematical topic you are studying
Calculator, for that all-important button-pushing!
Various controls, such as volume, help, progress, and print
One thing to note: a narrator reads aloud the words that appear on the screen. In some cases this feature might be helpful, but I found it annoying, at least during the tutorials. The voice did offer new material in the interactive section.
All in all, for the price you pay, you get quite a bit of information that would be helpful to older students. It would be a great companion to a text-based class.
There are minimum system requirements for your computer. You must at least have the Windows® 95 operating system, although 98, ME, 2000, and XP will also work. A Pentium® 266MHz processor or stronger offers the optimum speed, along with 32MB RAM, 400MB Free Hard Disk space, 4X-CD ROM, and an 800x600 256 Color Video Card, along with a 16-bit Windows® compatible sound card. The sofware also work with a Power Macintosh® with 266 MHz power, versions 8.1, 8.5, 8.6, 9, X, along with 32MB RAM, 400MB Free Hard Disk space, 4X-CD-ROM 800x600 256 Color Video Card, along with 16-bit Windows® compatible sound card.