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The Math Goodies CD, Version 6 Review by Deborah Burt

Gisele Glosser
Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies, Inc.
424 Furnace Dock Road
Cortlandt Manor, New York 10567

The Math Goodies CD, Version 6, is a PC/Macintosh-compatible CD-ROM. Pop this CD into your computer, and you have instant access to over 275 pages of math! Geared toward fifth grade and up, the 11 units include Perimeter and Area of Polygons, Circumference and Area of Circles, Number Theory (factors, multiples, prime numbers, etc.), Understanding Percent, Integers, Probability, Pre-Algebra, Introduction to Statistics, Symbolic Logic, Percent Applications, and Data and Graphs.

Each unit is broken into several lessons. Each lesson begins with short and simple instructions regarding the topic at hand, followed by several examples of working through problems step-by-step. Mrs. Glosser has done an excellent job of concisely explaining and then skillfully demonstrating each mathematical idea.

Next your student is given a short list of problems similar to those worked through in the examples. The problems are presented as either fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice. As soon as an answer is typed in, Math Goodies gives immediate feedback as to the correctness of the answer. If, as happened to us a few times, Math Goodies tells you that you have the incorrect answer but you cannot for the life of you come up with the correct answer, go directly to the Solutions section. This section provides answers to all the problems presented within the software, and it often demonstrates the steps to working out these problems as well.

Besides the problems that accompany each lesson, each unit comes with extra links to practice and challenge questions. These problem sets also give immediate feedback regarding correct and incorrect answers, and they too come with answer keys for further understanding.

Each unit comes with 3 worksheets (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) that can be printed out for extra practice. Each unit also has a corresponding word search puzzle to test your student's knowledge of the mathematical terms used in the lessons. I liked the fact that each word search was available at 3 levels--the easiest level providing hints of letters or even whole words for students who get stuck.

The CD includes a link to an Educator's Guide where you will find concise Learning Objectives for each lesson. To facilitate real-life mathematical understanding, the Educator's Guide also gives a few ideas for "classroom" activities and projects.

The lessons are geared for all types of learners. Students move at their own pace. Those who love to work alone or at the computer will particularly enjoy this CD. The immediate feedback means instant correction of wrong ideas. No more sending your child back through an entire worksheet to re-work the problems the right way!

If you are expecting the glitz and glam or bells and whistles of the typical math gaming software, Math Goodies is not for you. This is not a computer game. Even the included Football Integer Game, although fun and educational, is not a "game" by today's gaming standards but more of a simplified board game. I would also not recommend Math Goodies as a stand-alone curriculum, as it simply does not provide enough instruction or practice.

Math Goodies would excel as a supplement, an extracurricular activity, or a review. It would be great to use in the summer or to take along on an extended vacation. It provides solid theory, wonderful feedback, and just enough practice to drill without the kill.

For only $35, Math Goodies offers math instruction and math practice for grades 4 through 10. If you have multiple children, especially those who enjoy computer time, then you can't beat this much math for this price.

Product review by Deborah Burt, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007