Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TOS Review--Pyramath Card Game

Recently I was given the chance to review a math card game called Pyramath, made by a company called I See Cards. According to their website, Pyramath is "a comprehensive, interactive, arithmetic lesson that gives your child unlimited practice at their individual level".

Pyramath is a one or two player game in which each player competes to form a pyramid out of the cards using the four mathematical operations--addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Pryamath can be adapted for any grade level, by simply reducing the number of operations that are allowed when playing. For instance, with my 5 year old 1st grader, I adapted the game rules to include only addition facts. He was able to play the game using only addition facts and ignoring the other three operations. Just to get a true feel for the game, I played it with my husband, using the full set of rules and all four operations. It was entertaining even for us as adults, which shows just how adaptable this product can be for individual ability levels.

Things I liked about it:

--Pyramath is a game that teaches. My ds loves games, and a game that helps him memorize his math facts is ideal, since it's exciting.

--The cards are well made, and included a booklet of instructions for several variations on the game--not just reducing the number of operations, but also rule adaptions, like Pyramath "War" to make the game more enticing and interesting for students. Note: the website did not specify whether this booklet is standard with all the card games or not, but I did see that it was included in the Math Success Bundle, which includes all three card games for $18.95.

--The game is adaptable for all grade levels, so it will last for a long time.

--The price! $6.95, need I say more? ;)

Things I think could be improved:

--The main issue I had with this game was that although it technically is adaptable for all levels by reducing the number of operations used to win the game, if you reduce the game to only addition, you end up going through the deck flipping card after card that can't be used. To explain: the game is set up with a row of 5 or 7 cards which form the base of your pyramid. The goal is to find a card from the draw pile that equals the sum of two adjacent cards. So if you choose a 5 card game, you have four possible sums to look for. This means that you end up flipping several cards before finding the one you need to move on. When you get to the next row, you have only three possible sums, and then two, and so on. So with each move your options get smaller and smaller when using only the addition rules. This is not an issue when playing the full game.

Also along the same line, when I played this with Little Bean, he actually couldn't win because we went through the whole deck and saw that we had used up all of the particular sum that he needed. If you were playing with all the operations, this would not likely happen because each pair of cards has four possible options, but if you adapt the game this is more likely.

--Finally, this game is kind of long for a 5 year old. Little Bean has a good attention span, but it took us about 30 minutes to play the game once he had the rules down because he had trouble keeping all the sums he was looking for in his mind at once, so each turn he had to go through and figure out if he had drawn a card that could be played or not. That being said, he ended up really enjoying this game despite it's length and says he would play it again. Not all 5 year olds have an attention span like his though.

The details:

Each Pyramath deck includes 54 game cards that are clearly labeled not just with traditional numerals, but also in four languages--English, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic and French and Roman numeral translations. You can order a deck here for only $6.95! Also be sure to check out their other games--Fractazmic and Prime Bomb!



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1 comment:

Lorus! said...

Great review! I did not do this one and have been waiting for the reviews. Sounds like a fun game overall.

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