Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mad Dog Math - Review

I vividly remember standing in Mrs. Moser's 3rd grade class and reciting my multiplication facts. For each set of facts we earned we could choose a "ticket" that had various prizes on it. The most coveted prize was, of course, a free homework pass. We practiced multiple times each day in class and were very competitive. Math was my strongest subject so it was easy for me. Well, Paul is not that great with remembering math facts. We have tried so many different methods over the last three years with Paul. First it was addition and subtraction and now that he FINALLY has those down (most of the time) we have moved on to multiplication and division. He gets the more complicated Math without a problem, but the math facts are just tough for him to memorize. It has come a little easier for Zach, but it is still something we have to work on. He, at age 5, is only working on his addition facts.

When the opportunity for us to review Mad Dog Math, a math facts program, came along, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. Anything to help get those facts in their heads, and help them to stay there. It seems like if we take a week or two off from drilling math facts then Paul forgets all of them. It takes constant review and I guess we will continue that for a while until they are cemented in to his brain.


Mad Dog Math is a simple program that is geared for Kindergarten - 5th grade students. It could definitely be used with older students for remediation/review of all the math facts. There are 4 levels. Level 1 and 2 are addition and subtraction, level 3 is multiplication and division. The 4th level is the "Challenge" level and includes all 4 of the basic math operations. You can used the timed or untimed option for the program, depending on what works best for your students. As your student reaches mastery of each set of facts they are given a "sticker" and they are automatically moved on to the next set of facts or the next level. When they earn all their "stickers" they are a "Mad Dog Top Dog".

Our thoughts
Everyone knows that mastery of math facts is essential for success in higher math. So, any new idea to get math facts mastered is truly welcomed by me. Both boys worked really hard and have really tried to master the facts they need to know. I was very pleased with the simplicity of the program, and how easy it was for me to install and set up. I also like that it is easy for the boys to get started on their own. If I tell them to go do "Mad Dog Math" even Zach can open it and select the correct level and get started without my help. I also really like the "no frills" approach to learning the math facts. I don't want a video game when I am looking for my kids to drill math facts. Below is the main page of the program--very clean and simple, I really like that.

Mad Dog Math

For Zach, he truly loves Math, and anything related to numbers (it's reading we have to work on more with him). He gets upset if I don't have his Math drill sheets in his workboxes daily. Since he struggles a little in several other areas I think he really likes to show me how well he can do with his addition. So, for him, this program has been great. Also, since he is only 5, the "stickers" and the "Mad Dog Top Dog" award is very motivating to him. He likes the simplicity of the layout so that he is not distracted by "bright and shiny objects" along the way. It has worked really well for him and I have been really impressed with how well he is doing on his addition facts.

Paul, on the other hand, isn't as thrilled about doing math drills everyday, not even if it is on the computer. It is difficult to find anything to motivate him to work on this skill. So, he didn't love this program. At almost 10 the "stickers" that you earn aren't super interesting to him. He wants more of a game to play. His personality and learning style is so different than Zach's and the "bright and shiny objects" are not so distracting to him, but they keep him motivated. He doesn't play a ton of video games so he is not looking for a video game style, just something a little more interactive. So, the simplicity of the program didn't draw him in. However, it did help him with his multiplication and division facts, which, in my mind, means it is a great program. After all, I am not the type of Mom who only has their kids do what they want to do. I make them do what I know is best for them.

You can purchase the program at their website. It is available as a one year subscription for $19.95, two years for $29.95, or the best option, if you have multiple children at various ages, a perpetual license for $39.95. If you would like you can watch an informational video about the program here

They also offer several other products for Math fact mastery. You can take a look at them here

Don't forget to see what other crew members have to say about the program here

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the program. No other compensating was given for this review, and the above is my honest opinion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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