Sunburst’s Math Arena

##AUTHORSPLIT##<--->

Contact Information
Sunburst
Pleasantville, NY
(800) 321-7511
www.matharena.com

Platform: Mac or Windows

Price: Lab Pack of Ten - $99

Network Version - $699.95

Math Arena is a fast-paced, graphics and sound-filled interactive CD-ROM that focuses on mathematical problem solving. Concepts covered include angles, coordinate graphing, transformational geometry, Venn diagrams, symmetry, addition, multiplication, circle graphs, percents, money and percent of change. Students are allowed chances to practice 20 activities individually or compete with up to three other students in a TriMathlon.

Teachers can track student progress using the Teacher Management Tool (TMT) software included in the CD-ROM. Once student names have been entered into the TMT, teachers can view and print performance reports for individual students. Reports include summaries of what activities students have played, dates played, scores, and whether or not awards were earned. In addition, teachers can customize Math Arena and make various activities active or inactive depending on class content or skills that require practice.

The manual that accompanies the software is one of the best I’ve seen. Even my students were impressed — and instructional manuals don’t typically glean their interest. The tables presenting NCTM Standards (for both grades 3-5 and 6-8) and how Math Arena correlates with them are invaluable for planning curriculum. Detailed instructions are presented for each activity, along with reproducible classroom worksheets and lesson plans to accompany each concept.

In “practice” mode, students may complete Time Trials, BuZzins, and TriMathlons (three 30-second Time Trials, one played after the other). Time Trials involve racing the clock to amass points, and BuZzins require “buzzing in” on the keyboard when the correct answer is discovered. In competition mode, a small group of students completes three rounds of activities, each consisting of one Time Trial and one BuZzin, and a TriMathlon, consisting of the three previous Time Trials linked together in 30-second sessions. The competition plays like a game show, hosted by Helix Hypotenuse (the “renowned emcee and part-time mathematician”).

All activities in Math Arena have engaging titles, like Splat Degree (an activity used to teach angles, in which students try to swat a pesky fly on a plate by rotating a flyswatter the correct number of degrees), Lost in The Crowd (coordinate graphing), and Flipster (transformations). Instructions are presented textually and orally (a bonus for lower-level students), and graphic examples are given to demonstrate each concept. Helix Hypotenuse, the “emcee” of Math Arena, has an excellent sense of humor that makes Math Arena less threatening and more enjoyable.

As an educator, I welcome the addition of Math Arena to my classroom. All of my students thoroughly enjoyed the software and easily learned concepts I hadn’t taught yet. Josh P., a seventh grader, and Ray C., an eighth grader, both got a laugh out of Splat Degree, an activity in which the fly laughs if you miss him with the flyswatter. Josh says Math Arena is “the best [he’s seen] in a long time.” Both students gave Math Arena an “A” for educational value, an “A+” for directions/instructions, and an “A+” for sound/music. Houghton Mifflin Interactive and Sunburst, the brains behind Math Arena, have done an excellent job at making math fun, exciting and enjoyable.

Matt E. C'enen and students
Special Education,
Gifted, and Computer Teacher
Nathan Weeks Middle School

Contact Information
Sunburst
Pleasantville, NY
(800) 321-7511
www.matharena.com

Platform: Mac or Windows

Price: Lab Pack of Ten - $99

Network Version - $699.95

Math Arena is a fast-paced, graphics and sound-filled interactive CD-ROM that focuses on mathematical problem solving. Concepts covered include angles, coordinate graphing, transformational geometry, Venn diagrams, symmetry, addition, multiplication, circle graphs, percents, money and percent of change. Students are allowed chances to practice 20 activities individually or compete with up to three other students in a TriMathlon.

Teachers can track student progress using the Teacher Management Tool (TMT) software included in the CD-ROM. Once student names have been entered into the TMT, teachers can view and print performance reports for individual students. Reports include summaries of what activities students have played, dates played, scores, and whether or not awards were earned. In addition, teachers can customize Math Arena and make various activities active or inactive depending on class content or skills that require practice.

The manual that accompanies the software is one of the best I’ve seen. Even my students were impressed — and instructional manuals don’t typically glean their interest. The tables presenting NCTM Standards (for both grades 3-5 and 6-8) and how Math Arena correlates with them are invaluable for planning curriculum. Detailed instructions are presented for each activity, along with reproducible classroom worksheets and lesson plans to accompany each concept.

In “practice” mode, students may complete Time Trials, BuZzins, and TriMathlons (three 30-second Time Trials, one played after the other). Time Trials involve racing the clock to amass points, and BuZzins require “buzzing in” on the keyboard when the correct answer is discovered. In competition mode, a small group of students completes three rounds of activities, each consisting of one Time Trial and one BuZzin, and a TriMathlon, consisting of the three previous Time Trials linked together in 30-second sessions. The competition plays like a game show, hosted by Helix Hypotenuse (the “renowned emcee and part-time mathematician”).

All activities in Math Arena have engaging titles, like Splat Degree (an activity used to teach angles, in which students try to swat a pesky fly on a plate by rotating a flyswatter the correct number of degrees), Lost in The Crowd (coordinate graphing), and Flipster (transformations). Instructions are presented textually and orally (a bonus for lower-level students), and graphic examples are given to demonstrate each concept. Helix Hypotenuse, the “emcee” of Math Arena, has an excellent sense of humor that makes Math Arena less threatening and more enjoyable.

As an educator, I welcome the addition of Math Arena to my classroom. All of my students thoroughly enjoyed the software and easily learned concepts I hadn’t taught yet. Josh P., a seventh grader, and Ray C., an eighth grader, both got a laugh out of Splat Degree, an activity in which the fly laughs if you miss him with the flyswatter. Josh says Math Arena is “the best [he’s seen] in a long time.” Both students gave Math Arena an “A” for educational value, an “A+” for directions/instructions, and an “A+” for sound/music. Houghton Mifflin Interactive and Sunburst, the brains behind Math Arena, have done an excellent job at making math fun, exciting and enjoyable.

Matt E. C'enen and students
Special Education,
Gifted, and Computer Teacher
Nathan Weeks Middle School

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

comments powered by Disqus

White Papers:

  • Make a Difference. No Compromise. PDF screen shot

    Printing solutions have become complicated. With new options and technology, such as MFP or CLOUD services, it is making short and long term printing decisions much more complicated. Read this whitepaper to learn about available printing solutions that offer low acquisition costs, low energy consumption and speedy print production. Read more...