TOS Review: CapJaxMathFax

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Curly sometimes struggles with her addition facts.  We’ve tried flashcards which don’t work well for us.  We’ve tried additional practice and more reviews.  Nothing has increased her speed.  She knows and understands the facts, she just cannot recall them quickly.  So we were very excited to try something new to help her with her math facts-CapJaxMathFax.

CapJaxMathFax was created by Jack Fretwell who has a Masters degree in Educational Technology.  This program is an online math facts program designed to increase a student’s computational speed in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

“Reinforcement builds skills. Feedback rewards skill performance and maintains importance of program. CapJaxMathFax™ employs a patented rating system that uses reinforcement and feedback data to create a game-like feeling. Ratings allow learners to keep score and set personal achievement goals. Student ratings also constitute a measure telling teachers and parents precisely where a student is in his or her math fact development.” (from the website)

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The program allows you to choose which operation to test the student.  You can also select multiple operations for students to receive problems that cover more than one operation.  The program has 10 levels which allow the student to start with smaller math facts and progress to math facts with larger numbers.  You can choose the number of facts per set, increasing the number as the student increases speed.  The student can play in practice mode or in “play for rating” mode.  In the latter mode, the program keeps score of correct answers.  The program also awards additional points for answers completed in less than 3 seconds which is called “Super Seconds.”  As the student earns points, he/she also earns merit badges which can be printed.
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You can see the details and overview of the program as well as a list of features with detailed explanations.

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We had difficulty downloading this program-even Prince Charming could not get this to install on our computer.  We did have to call Captain Jack, but he was able to resolve our issue in a very timely manner.

Curly began using the program at Level 1 with addition facts only.  She only played in practice mode as I know her perfectionist nature would quickly become frustrated with her lack of points in the ratings mode.  Curly was able to progress slowly through a few levels but her speed slowly increased with practice.

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Pros:
The program allows you to set multiple parameters on the types of facts presented.  I like that I can adjust levels, number of facts per set, as well as the number of seconds for the Super Seconds.  The program is very customizable.  Tracking a student’s progress is also very simple.  I liked that I could monitor Curly’s progress easily.
When math facts are presented, some are horizontal and some are vertical.  I liked that Curly could see the problems in both formats.
The student controls the pace of the program.  When Curly was ready for a new fact, she would press the enter key and the new problem would appear on the screen.  The program does not keep presenting facts until the student presses the enter key.  

Cons:
The graphics are very simple and the program seems outdated when compared to current computer technology.
The screen cannot be enlarged and only takes up half of the computer screen.
Even though the graphics are simple, the screen is very busy and cluttered with all the options visible at all times. 

Overall:
For a perfectionist like Curly, a program that allows her to control the speed at which the facts are presented is important.  She did not become frustrated at the pace and was able to experience success when I set the appropriate parameters for her practice sessions.
The amount of customizing, made the program workable for a student at any level, even a beginner like Curly.
This program worked well for extra practice and her facts are slowly improving and her speed is increasing.  While she does not enjoy math practice, she liked the ability to control the speed and pace of the facts.  Curly enjoyed the program but did not find it as interesting or exciting as other computer activities. 

If a student is driven by a competitive nature and prefers a faster pace, he/she might find this program uninteresting.  This program might not work if a student was used to playing computer games with high interest graphics as it is very simple and the student might find the program repetitive.  Printable merit badges are the only motivation as the student earns points, which may not be enough to motivate some students to continue with the program.

You can purchase an annual license to use CapJaxMathFax for $29.95.

Check out the other Crew reviews here!

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Disclaimer:  I received a free subscription in exchange for an honest review.

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