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Boxcars and One Eye Jacks Review by Trisha White

3930-78 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6B 2W4
Phone (780) 440-MATH

Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks is a very fun way to learn math, spelling, and parts of speech or the alphabet. They have a large assortment of products to offer.

There are various volumes of games and different manipulatives that go with them. Quite a few of the games in the books can be played with ordinary cards or dice. You use these props to play games that teach a certain element of math or literacy. It is so simple your child will enjoy learning math and spelling! My children ask for more!

There is something for children from kindergarten up to twelfth grade. One of the fun games is Multiplication Zap for 2-3 grades. You would need two decks of cards- one complete and one with 1-4 only. For this game the incomplete deck would be used to create multiplication problems, so the player would turn over two cards from the incomplete deck and then multiply them together. Then the player says the product out loud and finds it in his hand of seven cards from the complete deck. If he does not have the product in his hand, he says "Zap" and the other players look to see if they have it in their hands. The first player to get their card down can leave it down; the others have to put the card back in their hand. Play continues until one player has laid down all their cards. This is a great hands on way to learn math. There are games to help with place value, number recognition, sequencing, sorting, subtraction, multiplication, division, rounding and much, much more.

With the spelling games you use manipulatives like rubber letter tiles that can stick to the window of your car for playing during long trips. There are games that teach the different sounds of letter combinations like "tion" or "ing" or "ou", "ow", and "oy", and spelling rules. There are many to choose from.

At the website, they offer you an activity of the month for added games to help with "thinking, reasoning and/or problem solving".

Boxcars and One-Eyed Jacks has special dice for some of the games that can be purchased separately or you can buy kits that include all you need and more. These products, in my opinion, are worth the investment. They can be used for many years for many children.

-- Product Review by: Trisha White, Maine State Coordinator, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2005