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Friday, April 19, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Math Rider

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Back in 2011, I had an opportunity to review Math Rider with my son Nicholas. It was then and still remains my favorite software for drilling math facts.  I was thrilled to have an opportunity over the last several weeks  
to review the program again with Alex (9) and Anthony (7.)

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Math Rider was designed for children ages 6-12 by a parent who was frustrated that he couldn't find any good math games that worked really well for his kids.  So he took matters into his own hands and developed a his own math training game.  Math Rider is a game that drills 4 different operations of math facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division from numbers 0-12.  There are four difficulty levels in each area: easy (numbers 0-5), medium (0-10), advanced (0-12), and mastery.

In the game, your child is in the land of Ray, riding on a horse named Shadow, and setting out on 4 different noble quests (one for each difficulty level.)  After completing each quest, your child earns a reward that appears on the quest map.  Each of the four operations has the same four quests for your child to complete, but they continue to earn rewards for each operation. A quest map shows your child where he is and how many more points he needs to complete the quest.  Points are awarded for correct answers and bonus points are awarded for speed.

All your child has to do to play the game is type in the correct answer and hit enter.  The game will speed up and slow down based on the child's response time.  If they get an answer incorrect, they have an opportunity to try again.  If they get it incorrect again, the answer is displayed for them.  All of the child's answers or unanswered questions are analyzed by the game so it is customized to each child and they get plenty of practice on the facts they need to practice.  Feedback is giving during each ride and both the child and the parent can see which facts the child needs to work on.

Math Rider is a program that you download to your computer. Up to 8 riders can use Math Rider on a single license.  Each rider gets their own login.   You need to have internet access to download and validate the registration key.  Math Rider uses Adobe Air runtime and will work on Windows and Mac.  To see the full set of system requirements, click here.

You can request a full 7 day trial here.

You can purchase Math Rider for $47 by clicking here.

Watch this short video to see how the game works.

 I used Math Rider with my 7 and 9 year olds.  The program was very easy to download and set up the riders.  In minutes we were ready to start playing.  We have been using Math Rider 4 days per week for 15-20 minutes per child per day.  My 9 year old started and worked on the program completely independently, but my 7 year old wanted me to sit beside him while he worked on it everyday.

After creating a log in and password, you have the option to take a practice quest, or start a new quest.  After clicking on start a new quest, you are taken to a screen where you can choose which operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) you want to start with, and with level of difficulty (easy, medium, or advanced.)  You click on the operation and level of difficulty and then start quest.  Then you hear  and see the introductory story for the quest and begin your quest.  After completing your first ride, you can see how many answers you got right and how many points you earned.  The map shows you how far you have come and how many more points you need to finish that quest.  When you earn earn all of the points you receive a reward on your map and you can begin another quest.  The mastery level only opens up after you have achieved 100% on the advanced level quest for the chosen operation.

There is so much I love about Math Rider!  I love that it is so easy to download and use.  I think turning memorizing math facts into noble quests was a wonderful idea!  It makes learning math fun!  I think the quest aspect is something that can appeal to both boys and girls.  We love the animation and the stories that go along with the quests.  We love the map and the rewards that you earn as you complete each level.  I think it is wonderful that the game is so easy to use.  I love that the game is so intuitive and speeds up and slows down to adjust to your child's answering speed and repeats the problems that your child missed.  It is very easy to see how your child is doing even if you are not sitting right there with them.  I think it is wonderful that one game covers all 4 operations, but you do not need to complete all 4 in order to master the game.  Each operation is separate.

Math Rider does contain magical fantasy elements including a magic flower and a wizard.  Some of you may be interested to know that before purchasing.

I think Math Rider is a great, fun way for children to work on those important math facts.

To see what other Crew Mates had to say click on the banner below.

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