Tom Snyder Productions' Fizz & Martina's Math Adventures
Some software packages are motivating and reinforcing. Others are conducive to cooperative learning. A few encourage thinking about the consequences of students answers. Some include built-in assessment measures. Software that includes all of these educationally sound jewels amounts to quite a classroom treasure. Not only d'es Fizz & Martinas Math Adventures deliver all this for any standard math curriculum, but students also enjoy the entire learning process.
The degree of ease in implementing Fizz & Martinas Math Adventures into classroom instruction depends upon several factors. First, the teacher must be comfortable with the philosophy, methods, and uncertainty that accompany the cooperative learning method of conducting class. Otherwise, the teacher will be frustrated with the nontraditional format. Second, the teacher must be familiar with the program: what to expect, how to transition from one step to another, having appropriate groupings and materials arranged ahead of time, etc. Third, students themselves must buy into the various components of the program in order to learn from it. Fourth, and finally, having the computer equipment available and in proper working condition is as necessary as the above factors, since the program depends on it for success. If all of these factors are in place, the program is quite easy and enjoyable to implement.
Fortunately, Fizz & Martinas Math Adventures is very easy to learn and use. Assuming all four factors described above are in place, the process is quite user friendly.
Fizz & Martinas Math Adventures is mathematically and educationally sound, and students enjoy the process. Testing indicates that students learn math concepts, retain strategies, and re-apply them in separate non-program math lessons. The program is highly recommended for any teacher wanting to extend his or her math lesson plans to include not just math per se, but also an enjoyment and appreciation for the role math can play in everyday life.
By Dr. Carol Utay
Total Learning Centers
Tom Snyder Productions
This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.