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Practice Math Facts Using Your Voice!

Tired of flash cards? Use this math game to practice your math facts either by clicking the buttons to answer problems, or using your voice! Each math fact you answer adds to a supply of color that will be blasted all over the background, allowing you to create an amazing work of art you can share at the end of the game.

If you're using Google Chrome and your computer has a microphone, the game on this page will use HTML5 Web Speech API functionality to let you speak the answers to each math fact. At present this functionality is only supported in the desktop version of Chrome, but as other browsers support this functionality you'll be able to buff up your math skills with them as well.

You only have so much time to answer each math fact. The top color container will fill when each math fact appears, and you can see the piping on the machinery is leaking quite a bit. Answer the math fact before the top chamber gets too low and it'll add to your total store for the level. Worse, the lower chamber leaks as well, so if you don't keep up the pace, your artwork will suffer too. Answer the facts quickly and you'll accumulate enough color to draw something spectacular!

Each level will progress until you've either answered 50 problems or you fill up the lower chamber. Answer the problems quickly to advance through the levels, or if you're still a little slow with some of the facts, you'll stay on the level until you've practiced them and have them memorized.

But be accurate! You have two tries at each math fact before it's counted as wrong. If you miss too many math facts in a row, the game will end. You'll still get something amazing to share, but the more facts you answer correctly the more colorful your creation will be!

There are different versions of the game for each of the four basic math operations, and you can try them all by clicking the Math Flash link in the menu above. You'll go through multiple levels, answering facts as they are shown. When a new math fact is shown, you'll see you only have so much time to give the correct answer to each math fact, and

A Cool Way to Practice Math Facts

The game progresses through levels, each of which focuses on a specific set of math facts. For each operation, the game starts with the easiest facts. Subsequent levels focus on progressively more difficult facts. For example, if you use Math Flash to practice your multiplication facts, the first level starts with the facts for one times any other number, the second level introduces any number times zero, the third level introduces some of the two times facts, and so on.

Each level tests you on the new facts it introduces, but it also throws in some extra math facts from prior levels to keep improving retention of those facts. Also, if you miss any problems, those facts will tend to get repeated more often.

The End of the Game

Whether you make it through all of the math fact levels, or if you end early, you'll have created some pretty impressive artwork. You can share the image you create on Facebook or Pinterest using the buttons in the game. It will remove the machinery and you'll see only your fabulous creation.

Please note that often the Pinterest pin function will display a broken link, but when it actually pins to one of your boards the image will be there.

You can also share the game on Google+, but at this time Google+ doesn't support directly sharing a specific image.

Regardless, please share the game with your friends! I really appreciate the extra social media exposure and your supporting the site means a great deal to me!

There is also a button that will take you to a printable practice math worksheet that corresponds specifically to the level you reached. This is a great way to get ready for another round with the game!

There is also a button that will take you to a printable practice math worksheet that corresponds specifically to the level you reached. This is a great way to get ready for another round with the game!

Troubleshooting Speech Recognition

In order to use the speech recognition capability, you'll need to run a browser that supports the draft Web Speech API. At present, the only browser supporting this is the desktop version of Chrome, but support in both Edge and FireFox is planned.

If you're not running Google Chrome, I'd encourage you to download it here and give it a try. As of 2017, Chrome has more than 60% of the desktop browser market share... That's math you can't argue with! You'll find most sites (including this one) tend to be better tested and perform better with Chrome than any other browser.

If you're using a browser that supports the Web Speech API, the game will prompt you to allow access to the microphone when the page loads. Click the 'Allow' button to let the Math Flash game access the microphone and listen for speech. The browser tab will show an indicator that reflects that the microphone is being used, similar to the indicator that show audio being played on some sites.

Only one browser tab can access the microphone at the same time. Make sure you're not opening multiple copies of the Math Flash card game in multiple tabs. A good way to make sure you don't have another web page trying to access the microphone is to quit your browser entirely and re-launch it, then navigate back just to this page.

Your computer needs to have your microphone enabled and the sensitivity adjusted. If you have to talk very loudly to get the Math Flash card game to hear your answer, you may need to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. If you haven't done this before, here are a couple of videos that walk you through the steps.

For Windows, try this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wDysntnaI0

For Mac OS, try this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvrbGvGZ87s

To improve accuracy, make sure to speak only the number answer to the math fact. If you say, "10 I think" or something similar, the game won't recognize that as the correct answer. If you're in a setting where there are lots of people around, using a headset microphone may help avoid ambient answers to other math facts from floating into your game session.

You need a continuous internet connection to use speech recognition... If your network connection goes down while you are answering problems, just use the buttons to answer any math facts until it returns.

A Quick Note on Privacy

The Web Speech API works by sending your microphone input over the internet to a service that recognizes the speech and (hopefully) returns the correct number you spoke to the game. This is similar to the sort of speech services that power things like Siri or Alexa or Cortana.

I would personally be a little concerned about leaving an open microphone sending data off to Google non-stop all day long, and so should you. And as I've spent the last month or so with this thing basically open on my computer in front of me, I've been thinking about it quite a bit. So let me tell you what the game does to prevent this.

When the game is showing a math problem, it starts listening for speech. Then, when the problem has been answered (correctly or incorrectly), it pauses the speech recognition until the next problem is shown. This helps the game not receive spurious bits of recognized text and keeps it running faster, but also it means that microphone is only actively sending data to Google when we're actually trying to answer a problem. And if you stop answering the math facts, the game will end itself pretty quickly.

So Why This Cool Math Game?

There are lots of ways to learn your math facts. If you're like me, you spent your after-school hours sitting on the couch while your mom drilled you with flash cards to get ready for the timed worksheet drills at school the next day.

My own girls got their practice in with lots of pencil and paper work, and a mountain of worksheets printed right from this site. But worksheets and flash cards only go so far, and I've wanted for some time to do something different, something better. I knew if I could develop a way to practice math facts, a cool math game that did something unique, it'd be a big step toward throwing those flash cards into the junk drawer.

I started out several years ago building an iOS app that was meant to be a replacement for flash card practice, but the speech recognition back then was erratic, especially for little voices. Given the number of other flash card math games out there, I just didn't think it was worth the effort unless I could put a cool twist on things. When the web speech API surfaced, I thought I'd give it a try and in my initial tests with the girls here, it seems to work great for kids! And, extra points, it works online!

Please try this math flash card game out and share it with your friends. It's been a lot of work and I hope it helps your little ones master their math facts!

Math Flash Game Updates

DateDescription
03/04/2017Initial version of the Math Flash, a game providing online flash card practice for math facts.
05/04/2017Added pause/resume, fixed SVG baseline alignment issues in FireFox, corrected the many many levels of orange in the multiplication fact practice.
05/05/2017Consolidated levels for each of the four math operations to make it a bit faster to get through the whole sequence.
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