Review by Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2013
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Math Pack Flash Cards

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Quality but dry quizzes enhance speed and efficiency

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Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
4-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: It's well-organized and offers a reasonable range of concepts, simple layout, and helpful data reporting.

Cons: Concepts aren't explained clearly and some lack depth, particularly geometry.

Bottom Line: Offers good learning potential for pre-algebra concepts, despite a few rough edges.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
2

Five-second timed quizzes provide a challenge for some but stress for others. Basic design is appealing but could be jazzed up a bit to increase the fun factor. Perhaps some more exciting challenges would draw kids in more.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Kids are gently encouraged to work faster, though flexible bonus time would be a great feature. Kids can choose between multiple-choice or type-in modes. Some directed and responsive encouragement could improve learning outcomes. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Simple layout and comprehensive main menu make navigation easy. The "game over" page gives extensive data, including a link to a bell curve histogram viewable by math concept, level, individual user, or all three.


Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Michelle K. , Other
Other
South Western School District
Hanover, PA
3
Math fact drills from adding to algebra

<p>Math Pack Flash Cards App is a comprehensive app for practicing 20 different math operations. Each operation has 4 skill levels, which gives tons of flash cards for each of the operations.</p>
<p>Math Pack Flash Cards is nice for drill and practice and does give points for responses. The quicker a student respond, the more points they receive for that question. At the end of a practice session, students are shown their individual percentile, as well as an average that is calculated by comparing the student score with other math pack users. The app uses accuracy and speed to calculate an efficiency score for students.</p>
<p>The app is not overly engaging in appearance and we did find that when we typed a response and wanted to erase to reenter, we could not. This may increase accuracy in future sessions, but did increase initial frustration. The app allows for the response to be keyed in or the student can select a response from multiple choice options.</p>
<p>Each operation has a text based tutorial screen with an explanation of the different skills and sample questions. Students familiar with an operation would benefit from reviewing the help screens before beginning the flash cards.</p>

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