Educational Insights brings a terrific idea to life in Math Shark, a combination skill-building tool and calculator. The shape, colors, flashing lights, and beeps--all reminiscent of a hand-held electronic game--will appeal to kids who may not otherwise be interested in practicing math. (Parents: the sound is unobtrusive, but can be turned off.) Math Shark offers eight different skill levels and seven skill groupings: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, and percentages. After every question a red or green flashing light and a corresponding beep let you know whether or not you answered correctly. If you get one wrong, the right answer flashes, and the question keeps appearing, along with any others answered incorrectly, until you get it right. After each set an encouraging comment--"You did it!" or "Way to go!"--comes up on the screen. The sets are timed, and your score, based on how long it took to answer all the questions correctly, appears at the end. When practice is done for the day, Math Shark becomes a handy calculator. Requires two AA batteries, not included. --Rachel Radway
Kids will want to practice their math on this portable skill-building ELA that turns math into a video game. MathShark quizzes eight different skill levels in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages, and works as a full-function calculator with the press of a button. Problems are displayed on the LCD screen either vertically or horizontally. Answers receive immediate feedback with colorful flashing lights and tones. Sets are timed, and the elapsed time plus a message appear at the end of each set. As they see their time improve, kids are continually motivated to beat it, just like when they play a video game. The more they play, the more they learn. Requires two "AA" batteries (not included). Measures 10" x 6.1" x 3.9".