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spacer all reviews > > > fractions software

Decimal & Fraction Maze

Great Wave Software

Ages 8 to adult

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

Decimal & Fraction Maze Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Decimal & Fraction Maze is a complimentary product to Number Maze Challenge a program we reviewed (and liked) in 1998. As the title implies, this program focuses on non-whole number problem solving drills and practice.

As with the earlier program, Decimal & Fraction Maze places the user in a series of onscreen mazes that can be successfully navigated only if the user correctly solves a series of written and spoken math problems. Upon completion of the maze, the user enters a house where collectible winnings are stored.

Educational Value
Decimal & Fraction Maze provides a vast, possibly infinite, number of practice problems in a sequence designed to cover non-whole number math topics covered in grades 3 through 8. After a review of whole number topics like writing numerals for word names, equalities, and rounding, the program moves on to methodically cover:

- writing, comparing, rounding decimals
- adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals and fractions
- converting between decimals and fractions
- reducing and comparing improper and mixed fractions
These topics meet 12 of the 26 draft NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards for grades K-8.

Each user must sign in -- the system can track the progress of up to 50 students. A management screen allows a parent or teacher to select which subjects are to be covered, if the default sequence and starting point are not desired. The tracking capability generates a graphical display for each user, showing their progress and success rate for each of the over 400 levels in the program. This is one of the nicest tracking features SuperKids has seen.

Decimal & Fraction Maze does an excellent job of providing sequenced problem solving practice. It does not, however, provide true instruction. The closest the program comes to explaining how a problem should be solved, is with 'hint' and 'show me the solution' options under the help button in the toolbar. Neither option, however, does much more than show the correct answer.

Kid Appeal
Mazes, printable award certificates, and on-screen collectibles provided a surprisingly strong reward-response drive in our kid testers, especially those under 11. Decimal & Fraction Maze does not offer exceptional graphics or animation, nor familiar characters. Nonetheless, we observed a strong repeat use interest in our kid testers, both in school, and at home.

Ease of Use / Install
Decimal & Fraction Maze installs easily from a foppy disk onto the user's hard drive. Usage is pretty straightforward, but a parent or teacher will have to consult the manual to make any customization changes beyond selecting the appropriate starting point. Possible customizations range from designing and saving unique curriculums, to providing the voice which will read the numbers in the problems the program generates.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Decimal & Fraction Maze is a great program for students who need practice to master these important mathematical skills. It is best suited for kids who "get it," but need some fun and structured practice.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other fractions software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 and up, 386 or faster cpu, hard drive, floppy drive, 4 MB RAM, VGA/SVGA display, sound card supporting speech

Mac: System 6.07 or higher, Mac Plus or faster cpu, hard drive, floppy drive, 4 MB RAM

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
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