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Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure Grades 3-5 is based on the same model as Math Missions: The Race to Spectacle City Arcade Grades K-2, with a slightly more involved plot. The user is still asked to help the math-challenged clerks of Spectacle City. But this time the goals are two-fold: to raise enough money to open your own arcade, and to foil the plans of Randall Underling, who doesn't want to see you succeed.
Once again, the user is left alone at an intersection on an animated street, and left to point and click on various storefronts until activities and puzzled clerks are found. Real-world problem solving activities ranged from helping clerks with weights and measures problems, to putting together athletic uniform combinations.
Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure Grades 3-5 includes more than a dozen math activities covering a wide range of grade-appropriate skills, in everyday settings. Examples include reading a ferry schedule, comparing discounts and per unit prices, using graphs and tables, and computing fractions. Topics are presented in a non-sequential fashion, but provide good thinking and practice opportunites for students. Some, however, could stand a little editing. For example, a graph interpretation problem was not clear: it asked which of four graphs showed whether more customers bought a specific movie on DVD or on video. The correct graph was confusing because it did not show the program in the question!
SuperKids' young reviewers enjoyed Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure Grades 3-5. The individual activities were age appropriate, and dealt with math topics they were seeing in school. Repeat usage, however, depended on the individual's interest in math.
This program installed easily on our Windows test machine. After installing, users are prompted to enter (or select) their names, then select a difficulty level. We found program navigation to be consistent, if somewhat non-intuitive. For example, in some areas of the program the user has to click on the word 'Go' to enter an answer, in other areas, the enter key is sufficient. Uninstalling the program required the use of Windows Add/Remove Program utility.
This program is best suited for students that are working at the indicated grade levels. Although the program does not provide much math instruction, it does provide good real-world examples of where the math they are learning in school can be used in everyday life.
PC: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium II 266 MHz or faster cpu, 175 MB hard drive space, 64 MB RAM, 256-color display, 8X or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, .return to top of page
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