mathematics has been a very frustrating have for my son. He has no disturb grasping the concepts ; he performs well on tests ; but homework has been an incredible job — he hits some kind of wall and spends hours on getting barely a few problems done. He ‘s easily distracted — or more accurately, very good at coming up with displacement activities to avoid facing the problems. then I spent some time watching him at work and keeping him on undertaking .

TuxMath offers a variety of options for math learning games

What I noticed is that the part that was killing him was plainly trying to remember basic mathematics facts. He ‘d spent deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as 30 seconds remembering what 8 × 9 was or even 3 × 4. He would n’t make mistakes, he ‘d just take a long meter to remember it. Of course, with something like long class, a one problem might have dozens of such mathematics facts that needed to be recalled to solve it, causing the problem to stretch on interminably .

Although he ‘d managed to pass all the tests on mathematics facts, he had n’t built up the accelerate needed for virtual problem solving

Reading: Learning with TuxMath

clearly, the actual problem was foundational. Although he ‘d managed to pass all the tests on mathematics facts ( because he could always remember the proper answers given enough time ), he had n’t built up the amphetamine needed for practical problem resolve. And the drag of doing it lento was eating up all of his free time, which in bend was making him feel very miserable .

The traditional solution to this is to drill with flash cards, but that takes discipline to keep up with, and the whole reason he got to this point is that he did n’t like drilling on the mathematics facts before. Besides, when you run through flash cards, it ‘s hard to keep up the accelerate so that you miss problems alternatively of good waiting until it comes to you. tied when you try hard, it ‘s difficult not to slip to longer and longer times .

The original TuxMath game is a kind of pastiche of the old “ Missile Commander ” arcade game

A calculator, of course, has no such failings, and it can be set up to do flash cards automatically with fasten time limits. It can even be programmed to speed up gradually as you go. And of course, with a fiddling creativity it can make this a lot more fun than good drilling with flash cards .

And that, in a nutshell, is what TuxMath is .

# Tux of Math Command

The original TuxMath game is a kind of pastiche of the old “ Missile Commander ” arcade game — fireballs descend from the sky, menacing your igloo ( in TuxMath, the buildings on the ground are igloos with dinner jacket penguins in them ). Each fireball is marked with a basic mathematics fact problem, and you have to type in the answer and press “ embark ” to zap the problem. In this room, you fend off the attack and save your igloo .

Playing the “Tux of Math Command” game is a simple and fun way of practicing your basic arithmetic

It ‘s reasonably simple, but the graphics are beautiful, the music is invigorating, and the pace is excellent. It ‘s very easy to reach a “ stream ” know, which keeps you going .

I ‘ve found that even as an pornographic, the game improves my own recall. The game levels start with identical simple addition ( flush a first or second grader can handle these ), and from there they work gradually up to harder and harder problems. At the highest level ( “ Commando ” ), the game is challenging even for me, because the problems are multi-step missing-value problems, and the fourth dimension press makes it quite a challenge solve them before they hit.

somewhere in the middle, it decidedly helps my son .

# Factoroids

As if that were n’t enough, though, the developers have added a new wrinkle to the program in the form of a different arcade version — this fourth dimension of “ Asteroids ” — for factoring problems. Although these are n’t detail problem areas for my son, they are patronize trouble spots for early mathematics learners, and these games are just equally much playfulness as the “ Math Command ” game .

The newest addition to TuxMath is the “Factoroids” game which is a pastiche of the old “Asteroids” game — but with prime factorization problems

In these games, the asteroids are destroyed by typing a number which will reduce the count ( or divide ) on the asteroid. then, for case in the “ factors ” game, if the asteroid were marked “ 51 ”, then either “ 3 ” or “ 17 ” would cause it to break into freestanding “ 3 ” and “ 17 ” rocks .

once the rocks are wholly reduced, they can simply be zapped ( that is to say, with the prize “ 0 ” ) .

similarly, with fractions, if the rock bears a fraction such as “ 21/51 ”, then typing “ 17 ” or “ 3 ” would reduce it into divide rocks. Zapping fully-reduced fractions with “ 0 ” makes them disappear entirely .

A slight variation is the fractions game, which is also based on factoring

The game play here is a little catchy — in summation to choosing the adjust number, you must besides aim and hit the rock with your beam. And, as in asteroids, the spacecraft must be maneuvered to avoid being destroyed by passing rocks .

# Math that’s Fun

I ‘ve had a lot of different programs suggested for helping out with mathematics, but I ca n’t think of any that have been as authentically fun as TuxMath is. I can wholeheartedly recommend this game as the best solution out there, proprietorship or free — and of course, this one is rid software .

In Debian, the package is just called “ tuxmath ” and is contribution of the independent distribution. In Debian ‘s KDE menu, it appears under “ Games ” – > ” Games for Kids ”.

I hope you enjoy it angstrom much as we have !

Licensing Notice

This work may be distributed under the terms of the creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, translation 3.0, with attribution to “ Terry Hancock, first gear published in Free Software Magazine “ .