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DK I Love Math! CDROM Review by Stacy Rocha

Software for Kids
2217 Armada Way
San Mateo, CA 94404

I was excited when I received DK's I Love Math to review. The math program we'd been using made my kids hate math; they dreaded it every day. I Love Math was a welcome reprise. For ages 7-11, and 1 to 2 players, your children will "rescue their math grades while they save the world" from Gretchen and Wilbur, who hate math and are out to destroy ancient civilizations. Your children will journey in a time machine to Atlantis, Egypt, Greece and Aztec working math problems to save the world.

There are three different modes of play. Your children can choose to Save the World, where they can pick which ancient civilization they want to travel to, then once there, work math problems according to the level they've chosen. For every right answer, they will get points towards saving the civilization. Once they have accumulated enough points, they can either choose to stay and play more, or go somewhere else. In Free Play, they can choose to play wherever they like for however long they want to stay. They can also stay in the time machine and work on specific concepts including, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals or percentages. The last option is challenge where they can pick up an extra set of questions on concepts that need to be worked on before you travel to your destination.

The concepts for each civilization are different. In ancient Egypt, your children will visit the tomb of King Khufu. While there, they will answer questions to story problems. Depending on which level they have chosen the concepts covered are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. After answering so many questions correctly in Save the World mode, the wall of the tomb will be knocked down and the civilization saved. For Atlantis, Gretchen and Wilbur have pulled the plug. Your children will need to fill in the gaps on the pipe to help fill it back up. They will do this with fractions. They will need to fill in the gaps according to which fraction will fit. In level one, your children will do this according to what size fraction is missing. In the higher levels, they will have to answer more complex fractions problems to figure out what piece will fit in the gap. When they've answered enough questions correct, Atlantis will be under water again. In ancient Greece, the Olympic athletes are trapped underground and the flame has been distinguished. Your children will need to free the athletes by deciding which form of measurement needs to be used to answer the question. Once they've done this, three athletes will appear with their answers to the question. Your children will need to award them their medals, according to their answers. The skills covered in this civilization are time, money, numbers, area, and measurement. Once your children have answered so many questions correct, the Olympic flame will be relit. While visiting the Aztecs, your children will work on shapes. The goal is to answer enough questions correct to free the birds that Gretchen has captured and trapped in the temple. In the beginning levels your children will be asked to pick a certain shape. Once they have the correct shape, they will then need to turn it or cut it to make it fit in the key hole. For the upper levels, your children will be asked to pick the shape according to more complex questions. For example, one question is for your student to pick from the four shapes shown which one has only one right angle.

If your children have trouble with a problem, there is a clue button they can click on that will show the answer and how the algorithm works. I think this program will work well as a supplement to any math curriculum you are already using. It isn't a standalone program but provides extra practice at your child's level. My children have had a great time playing I Love Math. It's been a great way for them to play on the computer, which is something they love to do, while getting the extra practice they need in math.

Product Review by Stacy Rocha, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2009