Spectacle City is a fabulous
cartoon city with a big problem: it's not doing so well
financially because none of the clerks in the city's shops are
good with math! Kids help the city flourish again by doing a
little math wizardry. When they help all of the clerks, they are
able to play games in the Spectacle City Arcade!
We just love this program! It has
been quite some time since a solid (and fun) new math software has
been released, and this one is very impressive. Filled with
options and even a "tutor" in the form of a device
called an "a-pet" (automated personal educational
tutor), this program is both child- and parent-friendly. One of
three difficulty levels must be selected at sign-in, and these
roughly correspond to Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade
Kids need to help the clerk at
"Jump for Toys" by filling toy orders. On the easy
level, they may need to "pick" an order of 33 toys by
pulling them from bins of one's, ten's, and hundred's. On the hard
level, the order may already have 158 toys and kids need to add
enough toys to fill an order for 539 toys. Children work with
pattern tiles at the World Piece Building in order to fill in the
panes of glass and walls that were left incomplete by
constructions workers. At the grocery store, Incredible Bulk, more
order-filling is in store. On the highest level, kids may need to
choose two boxes of cookies that, when combined, will equal a box
of 53 cookies; or they may need to select all the containers of
2Slow Ketchup that are less than 600 ounces. At the pet store,
Creature Comforts, kids help the distracted clerk by sorting
animals who have escaped from their habitats. This clever activity
involves sorting animals according to their features. On the
easiest level, kids might need to sort a group of animals into
habitats labeled "spotted", "striped", or
"blue". On the hardest level, more advanced thinking
skills are required to sort animals into habitats labeled
"yellow", "no legs", or "yellow AND no
legs". At the pier, kids fill seafood orders by weighing
items like lobster, smelt, and mahi mahi; determine which plate of
pies has more or less than the other; measure and compare fruits,
and so forth.
Finding all of the activities
requires riding the subway, the bus, and the ferry. Each method of
transportation requires a math problem to be completed. For
example, kids need to fix the ferry clock, provide exact change to
the bus driver, and find the correct number-labeled subway stops.
As children complete activities, they are rewarded with a
"cha-ching"--the city is making money again all because
This program is very cute!
Children enjoy the activities and the educational content is both
clever and valuable. The program provides very encouraging
more screenshots from the game, along with our notes here.
For more information, user
reviews, or to buy: Math Mission K-2 With Bonus Card Game (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade) (DVD Box)
- Clever activities in a
- Real-world math
- Three difficulty levels
cover grades K, 1, and 2.
- Encouraging feedback and
a positive message.