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Light Speed Math: Numbers & Operations Review by Courtney Larson

Cerebellum Corporation
1661 Tennessee Street, Suite 3D
San Francisco, CA 94107
866-386-0253
http://www.cerebellum.com/

Light Speed Math: Numbers & Operations is a DVD released by Cerebellum Corporation. It includes a 71-minute DVD and a digital workbook on CD-ROM. It is intended for middle school students.

Light Speed Math: Numbers & Operations is divided into two segments: "Beyond Multiplying and Dividing" and "Working with Fractions & Decimals," though you can pick various chapters individually without having to watch the entire segment. This DVD covers comparing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals; squares and square roots; and prime factors. It also covers converting fractions and decimals, equivalent fractions, and common denominators. The explanations are very thorough, and all of the problems being worked are shown on the screen. However, the program teaches how to do math without explain why things work. For example, when dividing fractions, the student is taught to flip the second fraction and multiply. Easy enough--but at this level I would like my children to at least get an explanation of why this works.

The 39-page digital workbook on the included CD-ROM supplements what is taught on the DVD. The digital workbook includes handouts (notes from the segments) and activities, along with a handful of worksheets. Answer keys are also included.

I think the content of Light Speed Math: Numbers & Operations is good, and I can see myself pulling it off the shelf to help teach, or simply reinforce, fractions and decimal skills. The segments are quirky and fast paced with a bit of humor thrown in, which is great for keeping the attention of middle school students. However, the content of the digital workbook is dismal. I think it would be very helpful if there were more than a handful of worksheets given for practice. Overall, though, I think Light Speed Math: Numbers & Operations is a good product, and I'd recommend it as a handy supplement to other math programs.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2011

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