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The Abacus Project: School Editions Review by Carissa Ruiz

Ingenuity Works
C3 Media Inc.
604-484-8053, then press "2"
PMB #124, 1123 Fir Ave.,
Blaine, WA 98230-9702
http://www.ingenuityworks.com

The Abacus Project: School Editions CD-ROM is an arcade math game and flashcard program, used for reviewing and practicing a child's math facts for grades 1 to 4.

The arcade part of the program is a game where the player goes through a laboratory destroyed by an earthquake. The player has to get through the rooms by running and jumping and using his math skills to open doors.

The flashcards part of the program has addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It has a timed version where you can choose the amount of time in which you want to be challenged. It also has a section for the teacher/parent to track the progress of each child playing the games. The teacher/parent can also choose what games the players should be playing to increase their abilities. At first the kids love it, but, like all things, the initial fun wears off and they are no longer as interested as they used to be. Because of this, having a check list, created by the teacher/parent, helps the child to see their progress and have a goal to work towards, thus keeping their interest in the program.

Here is what my 13-year-old son had to say about The Abacus Project: School Editions,

"It has an arcade type game that, in my opinion, has absolutely nothing to do with math, but it also has a flashcard game that is fun. It has choices for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It has a timer for the game to see how many problems you can do in a certain amount of time. In my opinion, it is more for a fun little reward after math or school for kids under 10, as it may help with their math skills. The name has no relation to the program because there is no abacus in the program. I would recommend this for a reward, like a "good job" stamp, if they finished their math or something."

So overall, if you want another way to get your child to practice their math facts that is not more boring worksheets, and yet be able to track their progress, this may be worth considering, though I really would not recommend it for kids past 6 th grade. It is easy to upload, and easy to set up for your students. As long as you remember it does not teach any math concepts, it just practices math facts, it is fine to use as a reward, or a supplement to a math curriculum, or even better skip your practice worksheets and flashcard time and do this game instead.

Product Review by Carissa Ruiz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2011

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