Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.

The guide gives some good, though not entirely polished, tips: Have kids start by taking level A quizzes in operations (and other concepts) they already know in multiple-choice mode, ignoring the time bonus. Allow younger kids to use paper and pencil to work out their answers, but for higher grades, emphasize mental math. Once they've mastered beginner quizzes, you can urge them toward higher levels, mental math, and getting time bonuses.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders will benefit from the four operations and next 12 categories; the final seven categories are definitely middle school only.

Continue reading*Math Pack Flash Cards *is a series of well-organized quizzes (not really flashcards at all) ranging from simple one-digit addition to eighth-grade-level probability. With a simple menu and layout, the app includes multiple-choice or type-in answer modes as well as data reports. A short but sweet guide for parents and teachers is tucked into the About section with how-to hints.

Kids choose from 25 math concepts including operations, decimals, four-quadrant graphing, algebra, and probability. Ten-question quizzes, four for each concept, offer four choices each; type-in mode offers a number pad and buttons for “clear” and “enter.” Even though the five-second bonus timer is small, it adds a bit of stress. The “game over” screen shows total number of correct and incorrect answers, score in percentage, total bonus points, an efficiency score based on speed, percentile rank, and a link to the user forum efficiency statistics.

*Math Pack Flash Cards* is a great way for kids to increase speed and efficiency in math basics as well as advanced middle-school concepts. The built-in time bonus and superb data reporting, including efficiency displayed on the main menu, really give kids a helpful view of how they're doing and how efficiently they work. Downsides: inconsistent and hidden explanations of concepts, lack of depth for some concepts -- particularly geometry -- and relatively basic, dry design. An adjustable bonus countdown quantity would also help provide a bridge for kids who get stressed easily under time pressure.

The "help" explanations accessed through operator and concept icon buttons are not always super useful but worth a look anyway. Overall, kids should already have a good understanding of the concepts -- and an efficient solution algorithm -- before taking the quizzes. Though the main menu has a pleasing and simple layout, A to D rows are a bit confusing at first, and some numbers in parentheses remain cryptic.