Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Crew Review: Mad Dog Math

I think I'm in love with Mad Dog Math.

This is a  math fact software program that has made math fact practice almost painless in my house.

The concept is fairly simple: complete a set of problems within a 2 minute period.  If you miss zero, 1 or 2, you go on to the next problem set; if not try again.  When you master the 2 minute drills, you move on to 1 minute drills.  Then, 30 second drills. The child is trying to be successful enough to be in the 2 Minute Club, 1 Minute Club and 30 Second Club by answering math questions accurately and quickly.

The program was developed originally as a worksheet system by educator Julie Kotoff. You can read her story here.  She's now branched out into software to accomplish the same goal -- painless, enjoyable math fact practice (the worksheet system is still available).  It certainly is working here!

Here's a screenshot of what the program looks like when you sign in:

Level 1 practice is addition and subtraction;  Level 2 is the same operations, but with missing addends and subtrahends.  Level 3 is multiplication and division.  Once you are a Top Dog, you can move to the "Challenge" level.  It has two types of problem sets:  mixed operations called Mutt Math:

and multiple operations  (Kennel Trouble) where the child adds or multiplies two numbers first, then either adds, multiplies or subtracts a third number.  It's easier to see than explain (3 is the constant in the sample below):

I really love the concept of the challenge problems!  I have wished for math drill that would really bump it up a notch and get my kids changing gears in their math computations, requiring them to own math facts.  I think these two types of challenge problems are great upper elementary/ middle school drills to keep kids sharp!

You'll  want to visit the download page to check system requirements before ordering the software here.  There are different downloads depending on if you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows operating systems.

The Software is available with several licensing options:

1 year license: $19.99
2 year license: $29.99
Perpetual license: $39.99

We'll be doing math drill for the next 7-8 years, so the perpetual license is the way for us to go.

Our Experience.  Mad Dog Math (MDM) has been one of the most gentle math fact programs we've used all year long.

"Ben, go do Mad Dog Math," I say.  "I already did," Ben replies [the bold is because his answer blows my mind!].


Yes, it has been that easy to do math drill for the past month or so.  No complaining, whining, or grumbling.

Here's a screen shot when you make a mistake.  The wrong items are highlighted.  As I mentioned earlier, if you get more than 2 wrong, you get a reminder to re-do the fact page:

My recommendation.  If you are wanting to incorporate a quick system of math fact practice into your home education, this has really been a fantastic product for us.  My only *wish* is that there was a pull-down menu so that your child doesn't have to re-type their login name each time s/he signs in.  It would make it easier for me to check their progress, too!  My kids like is so much because it doesn't take a lot of time, and they are being successful initially.  I know that as they get into the 1-minute and 30-second problem sets, they will be much more challenged, but with the gentle scaffolding, I think their confidence with math facts is building!

Visit the Crew Review to see what others have to say about this product.

Thanks to Mad Dog Math for a trial copy of this software in exchange for my honest opinions on this product and how it worked in our homeschool!  No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

Debra said...

This sounds like it has been fantastic for your family! Loved all the screen shots.