Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mad Dog Math


Mad Dog Math

It is a simple fact of life that math drills must be mastered in order to move ahead to more difficult subjects.  Traditionally, this meant worksheets, and columns of math problems.

My boys are great at mental math, but the minute I put a worksheet in front of them, they freeze up.  They can tell me in a matter of seconds exactly how many problems are on a page (using math) but they balk at doing the problems.  The worksheet format just doesn’t work well for them.

What my boys do like love, is using the computer – even for math!  The Mad Dog Math Program is a much better way for our household.

Designed to model the method Julie Kotoff, a veteran teacher and administrator, used in her 3rd grade classroom - this program keeps track of students work, and moves them progressively through levels until they become “Mad Dog Top Dogs” at math.

Students from K-grade 5 are encouraged to spend 10 minutes each day practicing with Ruff, the program’s mascot.  (who was named after Julie’s beloved Golden Retriever)

The program has 4 levels.  Level 1 and 2 are addition and subtraction facts.  Level 3 is multiplication and division, and the challenge level mixes all the operations for what is called “mutt math” and mixes operations for “kennel trouble”.

The children can time themselves with two minute, one minute and 30 second time limits.  If they complete all the levels in under two minutes, they receive a “sticker” for the “Two Minute Club”.   then they will earn their One minute Club and Thirty Second Club stickers, too.  When they have earned all their stickers they are a “Mad Dog Top Dog”.   It’s a cute idea, and it gives them a goal to keep them interested.  They also have the option of working untimed, if that works better for your family.

The graphics are clean and neat, with nothing flashy to distract the eyes.  The student can also control what work they want to do if they so desire.  The program when opened looks like this:


Mad Dog Math

As you can see, the choice of levels is on top and chosen by clicking the bubble beside it.  Then time allowed and fact family are picked.  On the bottom half of the page are the problems, and the student can also click on the dog bones if they want to be timed to earn credit toward their sticker.  The fetch button will provide a new set of problems, the about button will bring up the instructions and  program information,and the stop button will stop the timer.  When the problems have been completed, the score will be calculated.


Mad Dog Math


Mad Dog Math is a Windows based program.  A free trial is available for download on the site.  It will entitle the user to use the first fact family for three levels.  A user’s key is required to unlock the rest.  Before you order, you will need to know if your computer requires the 32 or 64 bit version.  If you are unsure, they have a link that you can use to run a test and figure it out before ordering.

You have several options when ordering.  For $19.95 you will receive a one year license.  (the expiration date will always be available in the upper right corner of the screen, so you’ll know when your time is running out)  For an second year, (2 years total) it is an extra $10.00. ($29.95)  For $10.00 more, ($39.95) you can buy a perpetual license that never expires.

There doesn't appear to be a limit to how many students may use the program,but it is for single family or classroom use.  There is no master or parent account though, so the parent would have to log in as the child to see the progress made.

Customer service is a available through the website contact form.

If necessary, you may also contact by email, or postal mail.

E-mail
julie@maddogmath.com

Phone
(562) 533-5772


Mailing Address
Mad Dog Math
4562 Ocana Avenue
Lakewood, CA 90713


We were using this program as members of the TOS Crew.  Many of my fellow crewmates used this with their families as well.  You can read their opinions by visiting the crew blog.
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**I was given a trial of this program in order to write an informed blogged review.  I was not compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.