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We were lucky to get an insiders look into Math Blaster, a brand of educational games that have helped millions of students refine math skills through lessons and arcade-style game play. First introduced in 1987, these games can supplemental learning programs in the classroom, from Kindergarden up to Grade 8.
Math Blaster has a huge range of different online math games, that teach all key math concepts like prealgebra, decimals, fractions and probability. It uses arcade-style games with math concepts cleverly built in. The graphics used in the game are bright and clear, and each player can create their own avatar by choosing different hairstyles and clothes. The gameplay is based on players being a cadet in the ‘Blaster Academy’ and after learning the ropes, they join the Intergalactic Space Patrol exploring galaxies.
The gaming begins in the Academy, where players navigate around the 3D space and enter the different games. Here they use math skills to play games and work on math concepts. For example, Oozami is a platform game where toxic ooze is trying to take over the Math Blaster spaceship. Players must use their math skills like numeric place values, decimal place values and money recognition. By answering the problems correctly and successfully jumping from one platform to another without falling in the toxic ooze, Blasters can save the space station. Another game, Zapper Turret Training, has players defending the space station by blasting away approaching asteroids using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.
What we liked most about the online Math Blaster games was that we didn’t feel as though math was being forced into the learning. It felt that learning was cleverly designed around the games. This is an excellent way of getting students, who may be finding math difficult, to enjoy and learn math through gaming.
Students can also interact with each other using a buddy system. Math Blaster have designed a safe, student-friendly system including multiplayer, chat and buddy list (B.F.F list) features. Teachers and parents can select the level of interaction, including Safe Type Chat. This allows players to type in and send their own messages, from a database of approved words and phrases.
Math Blaster have also expanded into the mobile apps market, with five math game apps available for both Apple and Android technologies. These can be used on iPads in the classroom, and again are great for supplementing teaching or for students to play at home after school.
As well as using their technology to teach math, Math Blaster have created a huge array of different worksheets and lesson plans for teachers to use. We liked Blast Off, a simple board game, where students have to add up the faces of the dice and place counters a board. Students have to make the dice from paper, which creates a nice arts and crafty feel, followed by a simple to understand board game. Frankies Facts is another paper based activity, where students must colour in a picture with colours that relate to different answers.
Aside from these fun paper-based games, Math Blaster provides free worksheets with math problems to supplement learning in the classroom. There are lots of these to choose from and they are grouped into grade and subject levels.
Math Blaster has both individual and classroom membership rates. Membership for single users starts at $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year, and they also have a lifetime membership at $99.98. This includes access to Math Blaster and JumpStart.com and four downloadable JumpStart games. Contact Math Blaster for school rates.
AvatarGeneration was provided with a membership good for Math Blaster and Knowledge Adventure at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give our own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.