playMath addition subtraction

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Highly Recommended

  • Quality
    Editor: 90%
  • Education
    Editor: 100%
  • Entertainment
    Editor: 100%
  • Value
    Editor: 100%
  • Child Friendly
    Editor: 90%

Review Summary:

Parents and teachers alike will appreciate playMath addition subtraction and young children will learn a lot while having a great experience.

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 3.5*
*At the time this review was published the AppStore User Rating was not reflecting the correct number of stars. Refer to the AppStore for current ratings.

Download on the App Store

Overview

Turn your young child loose with these addition and subtraction activities designed in the spirit of Montessori education. The games are as close to hands-on experiences as a digital activity can come, and will really help your learner develop an all-important intuitive understanding of the number system.

Features include:

  • Six activities offer a mix of individual and competitive play
  • Covers addition, subtraction, counting, complements and estimation
  • Designed to follow Montessori philosophy
  • Encourages abstract thinking
  • Builds a thorough understanding of basic skills

Quality

This app is well thought-out, with engaging games and activities. Be sure to read the “help” sections provided with each exercise, though, as the mechanics are not always self-evident or intuitive. A few are somewhat difficult to use, particularly the “practice” section which allows students to draw numbers in the answer boxes or type them. The typing portion seems to work more reliably than the drawing. On several occasions, I drew the correct number, but the system misinterpreted it and turned my “2” into a “6” or similar error.

One concern is that the parent explanation is full of grammar gaffs. It seems likely that the author/developer has translated the information from a different language, but may want to consider some editing from a native speaker to clarify some ideas and to improve the professionalism. It would be a shame if a parent or teacher missed this app because the documentation didn’t seem well-written.

Education

PlayMath Addition Subtraction is a very comprehensive system to help children in early elementary school gain a solid foundation in basic math skills. The app offers a nice mix of individual and competitive games, with over a hundred levels of increasing complexity on some of the activities. Each activity is well designed to sharpen the focus skill. For example, the “Block” game presents a target number and players must tap the addends that will create that total. This is a great way to sharpen addition and subtraction skills. The 10 & 100 game is designed for two players, and sharpens players’ abilities to combine larger numbers into multiples of ten and up to 100. The Bridge game gets individual players involved in building a bridge for a group of intrepid squirrels by finding the correct addends to total the target number. Dice challenges two players to total pips on the dice, then find new addends that add up to the same number, with a goal of using all the numbers from 1-12 on their board. The Estimate game shows a cabinet full of tokens, then asks for an estimate of what has been shown, scoring points for accuracy. And the Practice section presents fact family pairs, such as 2 + 6 = 8 and 8- 6 = 2 with missing numbers so that students can begin to see the connections between the operations.

All of the exercises in this app will do wonders to build students’ understanding of vital basic skills. Children will have hours of fun and will hardly notice they are learning math concepts.

Entertainment

This app is a lot of fun, and most children will play with it again and again. The games get more challenging as levels are completed, making it a perfect grow-with-you system. It’s also interesting that the 10&100 game and the Dice game are designed for two players. Both can be played either by two players sharing an iPad or online with more distant opponents.

Value

The basic app is free to download, and allows players to use the first couple of levels for free. This is plenty to try things out and get a feel for what the system can do and to find out if your student is ready for the concepts presented. Once you see what the app has to offer, you will probably want to make the in-app purchase to open up all of the levels and games. It’s inexpensive, and will really help most young elementary students to gain skills. The app is also suitable for older students who need to review or hone their skills at this level.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly. The in-app purchase of the full program and the Parent Guide are both protected by an effective gate that will prevent young children from accessing these restricted areas. Users must enter the answer to a multiplication problem to access these areas. The in-app purchase leads to the App Store, and the Parent Guide contains links to rate the app and also to email developers. There are no outside advertisements.

I do wish there was more explanation about the on-line feature of the two multi-player games. As is, players have a choice of playing an opponent using the same iPad or choosing the “on-line” option. It’s not immediately clear if children would be accessing other players in the same area or classroom or if they could connect with totally random users elsewhere. I tried this option, but apparently could not play online due to not having an opponent. It would be good to have an explanation of exactly how this part of the app works.

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