Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mad Dog Math New TOS Review


Mad Dog Math  is available for Windows 32 and 64 bit systems
Downloadable Software        1 Year license       $19.99
                                             2Year license        $29.99
                                             Perpetual license   $39.99

Also available in a Mastery System which includes written timed tests as well as a computer CD        $69.99

A free trial download is available on the Mad Dog Math website.

Success in math requires knowing math facts in all four operations and being able to recall them quickly.  However, this is something many students struggle with.  For some students learning their basic math facts is a tearful never ending process. I have at least one child for whom this is true.

Mad Dog math is a computer quiz program for math facts mastery.  It includes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Students start out with addition and subtraction operations and upon mastering these move into multiplication and division. Facts are grouped together in small fact families and students work with one group at a time.  Examples of facts groups are When they master one of these groups they then move on to the next group.  After several such groups there is review group including all of the facts they have all ready mastered. 

Mad Dog Math is timed practice with 1 and 2 minute and 30 second intervals.  Students begin with the 2 minute time and are presented with 20 problems in the selected fact group.  They proceed through all the fact groups, answering the facts within that time limit. Upon successful completion they receive their 2 minute club sticker. Then the student moves on to having 1 minute to answer the questions correctly to master the group and upon completion of all the groups they receive their 1 minute club sticker. The same process is repeated with the 30 second time interval.

Main Drill Screen
Level 2 addition provides one addend and the sum and the user needs to fill in the remaining addend.  Level 3 is multiplication and division and has 24 problems in the first fact family. Additionally there is a challenge level that features mixed operation drill and a magic square of addition and multiplication.

Using the timing feature is optional, users may also practice without being timed using the same format, but these scores do not count towards earning a club sticker.

After finishing up a group of problems the incorrect and unanswered problems are highlighted so the user can easily tell what was missed.  If the mouse is placed over these incorrect/uncompleted questions the proper answer is shown.

Some examples of the problem groups are: 0-3,1-4,2-5,3-6,0-6.  Sums in addition and subtraction go up to 18. Multiplication and division focus on single number families with periodic review groups of previously mastered facts.

After logging in, the main screen will present options for which group to practice with and which time option as well. These are found in drop down menus and the yellow bone.

PhotobucketThe main screen also has a bone button which opens a progress window.  Here you will find a listing of the groups of facts and the completed ones are checked.  Progress on both addition and subtraction are shown at the same time. 
This is a sample of the Multiplication and Division progress screen,  The addition and subtraction progress chart is the same.

I think the program is designed to alternate between addition and subtraction quizzes.  After one group of facts has been mastered there is a short note stating which group is next and subtraction is listed after addition.  My children have preferred to work on one type at a time. They both understand the 
relationship between addition/subtraction 
and multiplication/division. As long as they 
are working and learning I am not going to fight it.

Mad Dog Math is designed to be used for only a few minutes a day, the website says 5 -10 minutes a day.  The creator advocates using it for students in any educational setting, not just homeschooled students.

How we used Mad Dog Math

Both my 7 and 10 year olds have used Mad Dog Math and are loving it.   They are both increasing in speed, proficiency, and accuracy. Not a day would go by that my son didn't ask to use Mad Dog Math. I only requested that they use it for 10 minutes a day and most times they were begging to use it longer.

This is a very simple program to download and get working. It is also very easy to operate.  Everything is done from one main screen that is free from a lot of distractions.  There are not a lot of complicated operations which could side track the learning process. I believe the simplicity belies the effectiveness.

This is a very uncomplicated program to use. Logging in is simple, it just requires a name.  No complicated user names and passwords to remember!! I really liked this.  It also doesn't require hitting enter or the space bar, just enter your answer and its on to the next problem. It also doesn't require 100% master to complete a fact group.  The student is allowed to miss up to 2 problems and still receive completion credit for that group.  I think this allows the student to feel like they are making progress and encourages them to go on. Just because they have completed a group doesn't mean they can't go back and redo it. 

I am very seriously considering purchasing this program later this summer as both of my children have really enjoyed it and I can see how both of them have benefited.

Read what other TOS Crew members had to say at the crew blog.


Disclaimer: I received a free trial download of the product to use to help me write this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed here are truly my own.

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