A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a more of a learning aid than a video game. This product turns your Nintendo DS into a high tech way of drilling math facts and covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It encourages kids to practice these math drills daily by playing with the game for 10 minutes. The game introduces the 100-Cell Method of doing math facts on a grid, which can be played with up to 15 other people using one game cartridge where all are vying for the best time.
What's it about?
PERSONAL TRAINER: MATH is a high tech way to drill math facts. Instead of using math flash cards to learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, this game provides a systematic way to review math facts. And it takes about 10 minutes a day. Narrated by the cartoon version of Professor Kageyama, a pioneer of the 100-Cell Calculation Method, kids take a daily math test, and then practice math by choosing from 40 different exercises or exploring 100-Cell Math (a process that involves placing answers to math questions on a grid).
To play, kids write answers on the DS touch-sensitive screen. The Daily test involves three exercises geared to your level of math mastery. You start on Level 1 and work your way to Level 20. Examples of exercises includes identifying groups of objects, or writing the answers to addition facts as fast as possible. The game keeps track of accuracy and time.
Is it any good?
This game is pretty dry and not as engaging as other brain-training games like Big Brain Academy or Brain Age. But compared to math flash cards, this method is more fun because the math drills vary. The video game format helps to take some of the drudgery out of memorizing math facts. And it is helpful that the game keeps track of how you are doing and records your daily testing on a calendar.
The writing recognition software works pretty well, but occasionally your scores will get bogged down because the game fails to recognize your handwriting even though you wrote a correct response.
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