Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Math Blaster Review and Giveaway!


My kids and I have been associated with Jump Start for a year now, and it's the only online educational site that they don’t get tired of and it's a site that I encourage, so I was pretty excited when Jump Start asked me to review a new educational game site-Math Blaster! First developed in 1987, Math Blaster allows kids to have fun while still practicing math skills. Skill levels start at kindergarten and go all the way up to 8th grade, and kids can practice a variety of problems ranging from basic math facts to fractions and conversions.

I noticed my son hesitating with subtraction problems in his homework, especially when the problems involved two-digits. Flash cards are frustrating for both of us, so I couldn’t wait for him to try out Math Blaster.

We had a rough start at first because my son forgot his password to log into the site, but thankfully the site sent me a temporary password that I then changed, and I had the site remember it so he wouldn’t have to keep typing it when he went to log in. We also noticed that Firefox seemed to run the program a little better than MSN, and since the games are pretty graphics intensive, you really do need either a cable modem or DSL line so the games load quickly. (There still is some wait as games load, but there's graphics and music so it's not too bad. I also didn't quite know how to move around with my character, but leave it to kids-my 8 year old son helped me out!)

I wanted to do this review last month, but things got hectic around here, and then there were some illnesses to get through. But I’m glad we had a bit more time to really see what this site has to offer.

If you are familiar with the Jumpstart site, you will see some similarities in Math Blaster. You still have a character that you move from place to place, and each is completely customizable, and for some reason, this is one of the things my kids absolutely love about the game. My son showed me how to customize the skin of your character, even to the point of turning it into an alien too! Graphics are out of this world (no pun intended), and the space-like music really has you feeling like an explorer.

When Math Blaster first loads, you decide to either start right into the games or do a little exploring. My son usually starts right in because all practice involves some type of gaming aspect, sort of like an arcade. From here you pick what skill you want to practice, and the level of difficulty, and at the start of every game there are visual as well as verbal instructions on how to answer the math questions and maneuver your character.  (Click on any of the pictures to view them larger.)
Flying on the way to the alien!
The alien with all the questions...
My son’s two favorite games are HyperBlast and Alien Wrangler, and just watching him play was fun (and playing it myself was even better-LOL!) With HyperBlast, you maneuver your space ship past obstacles and bombs, (you shoot them away using the keyboard) until you reach the alien who asks math questions. But it’s not that easy-the alien dangles the answers on about 8 different arms, and you have to click on the right one. (My screen shot on the right shows easy problems)

Alien Wrangler
Alien Wrangler has you sitting atop of a blob-like alien. Math questions are given at the top of the screen, and you only have a small amount of time to answer before the Alien starts working a little harder to throw you-pause too long, and you may end up on the ground.
Bolt Crusher

I also tried Bolt Cruncher and did some conversion practice. Decimal values start turning around a conveyor belt and you have to match the fraction values before the time is up.
Easier level with Bolt Crusher
(I also did an easier match-up with shapes-see left)

My son hasn’t dealt with conversions, but as he watched me play, he started to understand, and this is the key to what these games do-they help kids master what might have been a mystery to them earlier. Teachers in the elementary levels already know this and use games often to help kids bridge the gap. And take my son and subtraction problems-he doesn’t whine so much now about math, especially if I let him practice with Math Blaster.

Would you like to win a six-month free membership to the Math Blaster game site? Your first mandatory entry: tell me who you would like to win this for. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment if it’s not in your profile. (You need to complete this entry before you can qualify for any additional entries.)Please keep in mind that I have comment approval turned on and comments made will not appear to the site immediately...


Earn "Extra Entries(Woo hoo!) with the following but be sure to leave a comment per entry (IE. if it says you get two entries, put two comments :)


-Follow me via Google friend connect (or tell me you're already a follower)- 2 entries

-Follow me on Twitter(Twitter link is on my sidebar)-1 entry


-Tweet this giveaway(you can tweet once a day.)- 1 entry

Help your kids play and practice math with Math Blaster. Win Six-month membership #giveaway @FamilyFormula http://bit.ly/fbhgRt (Ends 5/7)

-Add my blog button to your site and provide a link-2 entries


-Add my blog to your blog roll and provide a link- 2 entries


-Make a blog post about this giveaway and link back here (leave a link in your comment)- 5 entries


The giveaway ends at midnight (EST) on May 7, 2011 and is open to U.S. residents. I will pick the winner with random.org and notify by e-mail. (The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.) Good luck!


And please note: I was provided a six-month membership of Math Blaster at no cost by Knowledge Adventure to help facilitate my review. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided. My family thoroughly enjoys Math Blaster and JumpStart-thank you again JumpStart!


17 comments:

  1. I want to win this for my son...he has a math disability and is really struggling...I think since he's a visual learner this would be great for him!

    hclever at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. twitter follower

    hclever at msn dot com

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  3. This membership would be for both my son's. They enjoy Jumpstart so I think they would love this too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Follow you on Twitter @ASDsupportNC
    entry1

    ReplyDelete
  5. Follow you on Twitter @ASDsupportNC entry2

    ReplyDelete
  6. So glad I saw this! I am sharing it with the grands. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd like to win this for my 6 yr old son!

    rcaruso920 at gmail

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  8. I would want to win this for a friend who has a 7th grader who still struggles getting past the 3's in multiplication. My own son does good w/ his math fact due to the curriculum we use but my friends son seems to really have a block in this area, he could really use this extra help.
    Brandy aka Lil’Momma
    Teaching Math to Visual Learners

    ReplyDelete
  9. this would be for my daughterz!
    invisible_fairy_05@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd love to win this for my daughter :)

    ReplyDelete

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