Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review: Facts First

This is a hard product for me to talk about but I will do the best I can. The difficulty being that as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew I was given a 90 day membership to the Facts First website (, but my codes never worked so I am reviewing this product off of what was available to look at and practice on the site.

Facts First is a fun learning environment using real life situations that help to learn basic math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The two practice games available on the site are using addition and multiplication.
To begin with the students get to create a character (avatar) which will appear on the pages they are using as an indication they are personally involved.

  • The addition game is shopping at Mathmart buying bread, milk and apples. The child practices two - 3 equations put on the screen in different orders or in the same order as before. The student answers the questions and depending on how quickly and accurately he/she answers you earn time for playing Arcade games after the lesson. The Mathmart screen is shown above in the picture on the left.

  • The multiplication questions that are for testing on the site are definitely for an upper elementary child to practice on. They do involve the 12 times table. They are using an order of photographs/pictures for example, a certain number of copies of each picture resulting in a total order for a total amount.

  • Playing at the arcade with the seconds earned during the practice of math equations is a good break from learning, although the facts just learned are used in the arcade time to reinforce the learning process. Above is a picture shown of one of the 4 choices of arcade to play around on. When I played around with it I got a 'find the difference' between the two pictures to use up my free play time.

The incorrect answers are corrected on screen and the student is given a second chance to do that equation again later in the lesson. There is a chart available at the end of playing or during a session to see what answers were incorrect, sometimes correct, always correct and sometimes hit and sometimes hit. This does help the parent to see where the student's weaknesses and strengths are.

I think this would be a good program to use for a child that is motivated by the reward to play the games. My son loved the practice sessions that are available online before you buy. He actually played it over and over again as he liked it so much.

I would like to ask you after reading this review to take a look at my other Crew mates reviews too as they have children in a wide range of ages who have been using the site for about 45 days or so. Here is the link to the page for Facts First at The Old Schoolhouse Crew :

Factsfirst is being distributed by Saxon, but was created by Skills Tutor, a sister company to Saxon. This program will complement any primary math program, and was not created specifically to accompany Saxon Math. It comes at a cost of $49.95 for a whole family usage for one year. Here is a link to their website:

I have received the free access to the Facts First website for 90 days due to being a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew for 2009/10. I have not been paid for this review and it is my own opinion of the product that I have written above.

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