Algebra Stars and Math Blaster: Cross Terrain Challenge

Algebra Stars from Sunburst Technology helps seventh- through ninth-grade students review and refine their understanding of algebra by playing two challenging equation games. Students construct, categorize and solve equations, as well as classify polynomial expressions using algebraic tiles. In the first game, students match equations to their descriptions by moving cards to numbered spaces. The idea is to fill the spaces with as many high scoring cards as possible. In the second game, students are asked to create as many equations as they can to satisfy conditions imposed by randomly generated written descriptions.

These activities are designed to help students raise their comfort level when working with algebraic equations. At the same time, students advance their knowledge of the properties of number sets, use deductive reasoning skills and improve their fluency in algebra. As they play the games, students build skills and master concepts in linear equalities, inequalities, polynomial expressions and quadratic equations. Both games can be timed and played competitively against other students or the computer. The CD-ROM also allows teachers to print reports showing a student's performance for each problem.

Knowledge Adventure, which is now operating under Sunburst Technology, has released Math Blaster: Cross Terrain Challenge. This title addresses the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' updated standards, which call for an increased emphasis on problem solving. This new addition to Knowledge Adventure's Blaster Learning Series helps students in grades four to seven strengthen their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Students join Max Blaster and G.C. at the Hero Training Academy in quest of "hero enlightenment." The Zen master of the training dojo challenges students to test their mind and body in a race against time as they make their way through a rugged obstacle course. Fast-paced activities keep students engaged, and provide those who need it with extra time to complete each activity. A variety of missions and multiple levels provide a new experience every time students play. Sunburst Technology, Pleasantville, NY, (800) 321-7511, www.sunburst.com.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.

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