4.6

# Intro to Math, by Montessorium App Review

Price: \$4.99

### Overview

Intro to Math, by Montessorium takes advantage of the iPad’s capabilities to digitalize a hands-on experience with numbers for early learners.  Young students can see numerals, hear their names, and trace them. They can compare sizes and count objects in this multi-sensory number playground.

Features include:

• Concrete experiences in number recognition and tracing
• Concrete experiences in quantity and sequencing
• Concrete experiences in understanding even and odd
• Active participation in each of six levels
• Available in thirteen different languages

### Quality

Intro to Math, by Montessorium is a high quality app that will help young children build foundational understandings about our number system.  Children can tap, drag and swipe their way through interactive experiences reinforced by a narrator and supportive sound effects.  The app is intuitive to use and very responsive.  Developers also included a parents’ section that explains some of the philosophy and meaning behind the Montessori-like experiences they provide.

### Education

This app is a great example of how to translate some of the experiential nature of Montessori learning to the iPad.  If students play the six games in order, they will build a really solid foundation for understanding numbers, quantity and relative size, as well as sequencing, number recognition and even how to write the numerals.  The first level uses number rods to encourage children to arrange them in order of length.  The second game adds the unit distinctions and begins the process of teaching children how to count.  The third level introduces the numerals and gives children the opportunity to trace them, and the fourth level works with the rote counting sequence. The fifth activity set in the sequence reinforces rote counting and adds concepts of quantity, and then even introduces the concept of odd/even.  The final exercise allows users to choose and trace numbers, then remove the guiding path to see the results of their efforts.  The parents’ section includes a digitalized space to record observations about the child’s progress, as well as a short explanation of the general philosophy of the program and why it is effective.

Like other Montessori materials, this app provides as much of a hands-on experience with numbers as is possible with a digital tool.  Children are encouraged to touch, to shake, to drag, and to play with the items on the screen.  The narration offers clear suggestions about what to try next, and gentle reinforcement of success.  Incorrect responses simply do not work, so every child will feel successful.

### Entertainment

While this app is not really intended to be entertaining, children are likely to really enjoy using it.  It would be a good idea for beginners to go through the exercises in order, but once students are familiar with the concepts, review of any will help them deepen their understanding of the ideas. The developers did a good job of incorporating the various capabilities of the device, making the exercises varied and fun to use.

### Value

Intro to Math, by Montessorium is a good value for young children who are just beginning to understand that math is a whole lot more than memorizing numbers.  It’s designed to show number patterns and so much more!  The app really covers the bases and is a good tool to get children thinking about numbers, quantities, sequencing and many other vital early math skills.

### Child Friendliness

In spite of having a very young target audience, this app has some disappointing flaws that may worry parents.  The Parents’ Section is not protected at all, and contains links to social media, email, ratings, and other links.  Developers seem to be relying on the fact that the section is “hidden” in the horizontal lines that usually symbolize menus on many modern apps.  The links to the App Store in this section that lead to purchases are protected by a parent gate that requires following written directions for swiping, but other links are not protected at all.  Inquisitive youngsters can easily stumble into email, social media or the internet, so parents should turn off internet access in the Settings section of their device before allowing little hands to play with this otherwise outstanding app.

• NO in-app purchases
• YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)
• YES “rate app” link in parents section (unprotected)
• YES links to social media in parents section (unprotected)
• YES links to email in parents section (unprotected)
Intro to Math, by Montessorium
Intro to Math, by Montessorium
Intro to Math, by Montessorium offers an important comprehensive look at foundational number concepts, including comparison, sequencing, units and wholes, even and odd, and symbols. It makes a great introduction to beginning math skills for young children.
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
4.6