Monday, May 14, 2012

CapJax Math Fax - TOS Review

You know, sometimes a kid just gets plain, old, TIRED of boring flashcards.  True, you can't deny that sometimes there are some skills and math facts that kiddos are just expected to memorize (I'm still traumatized by the "Math Minute" we were tortured with in the 6th grade, not to mention the awful months I spent trying to memorize the dreaded times tables.)  I'll admit though, knowing the multiplication table has saved me numerous times and I'm glad that I can still remember them as an adult.  Thanks to the TOS Crew and CapJaxMathFax we were given an opportunity to review a fun program that focuses solely on math drill.

Who is CapJax?
Starboard Training Systems is headed by Jack Fretwell.
Mr. Fretwell earned a Masters degree in Educational Technology and has spent over thirty years in education and computers.
With Mr. Fretwell heading up CapJaxMathFax™ for the last 10 years, we have seen many children develop stronger math skills and confidence.
Starboard Training Systems’ goal is to help organizations that teach, train and mentor our children so that not one is without basic math abilities.

What is CapJaxMathFax all about?
CapJaxMathFax is a computer based program that provides drill to your child in 4 key math areas: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.   It is simple.  A low-frills approach to drill. 

To get a better idea of what CapJax is all about, enjoy the tour of screen shots below:

The main screen gives you a chance on the upper right hand side to choose the math facts you would like to work on, level, single vs. double digits and how many facts per set.

You can also chose "super seconds."  If your child provides the correct answer within the time-frame a big "SUPER!" will flash on the screen.

Choose whether you would like your child to play for a rating.  If you select yes, each time your child plays a new game he/she is playing against their old score to achieve a higher rating.

You can decide whether you want the seconds to show as they answer each question.

Print outs are an option, I've printed out several to keep in our math file.

Once nice thing:  If you miss the answer 3 times, CapJax will give you the correct answer.

When they beat their rating they get a great message on their screen!

What we thought about CapJaxMathFax:
-It is a great program that is a wonderful tool to focus on DRILL.  No matter which way we slice it at my house...some things require practice, and math is one of them.  A no frills, non-flashcard approach to practice was a welcome change of pace.
-When you get a correct answer it makes a sound kind of like a "clunk" which, on our iMac sounds like you are hitting a wrong button or getting an incorrect answer.  It caused confusion at first.  A pleasant "ding" or something would be a bit nicer but that is just aesthetics. 
-When you log in to CapJax  it automatically sets at Level 9.  If you choose your addition/subtraction button first it pops up a box that says "Licence needed for higher levels"  Or if you choose one of the check boxes first, the same.  When I click "ok" it pops back up...again, and again, and again...  So, I had to force quit the program in order to start over.  I'm not clear why it kept doing this but it was frustrating until I figured out how to input my choices to avoid the dreaded box!
-Kayley thought CapJax (the cartoon-guy) was a little scary looking.
-Sorry, we will not continue to use CapJax - not a good fit at our house BUT--to find out what my fellow crewmates thought of CapJax check out the link HERE.  I know a lot of my crewmates did like it a lot and you may find it a great fit for your family!

Want to buy your own CapJaxMathFax? 
The CapJax download retails for $29.95 and can be purchased HERE.  You can also download a free evaluation of the program to try before deciding. 

Have fun!

Disclaimer:  I received CapJaxMathFax free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.

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