Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Pyramath Cards

I love the idea of math games to help reinforce my boys' recall of math facts.  We are Singapore Math users, and I love to use their suggested dice games and card games to reinforce math facts -- way more fun than a worksheet!

Pyramath Speed Game layout
Pyramath cards are one of four sets of cards that are meant to engage children in learning important math skills through play. Others include Fractazmic (fractions), Prime Bomb (prime numbers), and I See cards, which are simple object cards with numerical values that can be used for basic math, language development and foreign language learning.

The colorful face of each card shows the name of the digit written in several languages.  In addition to English in the upper left side, Spanish, French, Roman numerals, Arabic and Chinese translations and symbols are given.  This is a nice addition for introducing foreign languages or using them in a multi-lingual environment (such as ESL teachers).

Pyramath cards are certainly an affordable tool -- $6.95 for a deck of 54 laminated cards numbered 0-9. You can use these card to play a number of solitare and multi-player games: War and a game called Speed are two easy ones that can be adapted for your child's learning needs.  Rather than me trying to explain how game play goes, I'll refer you to Pyramath's wiki page for detailed rules and video demos:

You can play the games using only one math operation (say you need to practice addition with your 1st grader) or using any combination of the four basic arithmetic operations.  When my 6th grader and I played,  I noticed his tendency to use addition/ subtraction skills more readily than multiplication an division;  being the "mean mommy" that I am, the next game I changed the rules and we could only use multiplication and division (insert evil laugh here).

There is one quirky bit of information that will help you determine if this is a good product for your child, especially younger ones.  When  the answer to your math problem is a two-digit number, the value of the card (for example, a 8), can be used to signify any two digit number with 8 in the one's place: 8, 18, 28, etc.  OK, here's an example.   Ben and I play a game of War.  I play a 3 and he plays a 6. The first person to play a 9 card to represent the sum (because 3+6=9), or a 3 for the difference (6-3=3), or a 2 (6/3=2).  Alternately, he or I could play an 8 to represent the product of 3 x 6 -- 18.  In a different game, the 8 could represent the product of 6 x 8 -- 48    I took a few games for Ben to get the hang of this, but then the universe returned to normal -- and he beat me at several games.  
I really like that I can just pick up the deck, shuffle and begin working on math facts with my kids, without having to sort through a traditional playing deck to pull face cards or draw a number on a joker card because I need just one. more. number.  Pyramath is easy to pick up and throw in my purse for a quick math drill review... just about anywhere. 

For purchase help,  You can check out a  free, online version of Pyramath Speed or their Fractazmic Speed game here (and try to win a free deck).  
You can read additional reviews about this product, and many others at the Crew Blog.
Disclaimer the FCC requires:  I received a free deck of cards from the publisher in exchange for my opinion about this product.     I receive no compensation for this review.

1 comment:

Michelle Smith said...

Good job on this review. Good, specific information about the game, variations on how you played it with your kids, everything someone deciding whether or not to purchase it would need to know. :)