When you were in school, the focus of math education was almost entirely on calculation. Today, students ages 6-8 need to understand number sense, complementary numbers, fact families, and patterning, in addition to calculation. PlayMath Addition Subtraction teaches them how to create sets, recognize patterns, and estimate quantities using a series of clever number games. It’s a math app aligned with Common Core State Standards that is based on the exploration model of learning.
PlayMath Addition Subtraction, by Jeon Jinho is available for the iPad. It includes 5 different games, each one focusing on a different skill. A free version with limited content is available to download; it shows the format of the games and a sampling of the skills it covers. The complete version is available through an in-app purchase (IAP), which can be accessed through the protected parent portal.
Have a look:
The games are easy to play; short video clips are included that demonstrate how they work.
- Block Number- Pick the two numbers that add up to the answer before you hit the block wall. This is a rapid pace, single player game. Higher levels use harder facts and subtraction problems.
- 10 & 100- Put together number blocks that add up to 10, then put the 10s together to make 100. This is a game that two can play.
- Bridge- Make a bridge by choosing the two numbers that add up to the answer so the squirrels can run across it. This is a moderately paced game for one player.
- Dice- Figure out alternative combinations that give the same answer (3+4+5= 12; 10+1+1=12) while trying to use as many different numbers as possible. This is a moderately paced game for two players.
- Estimating- Estimate the number of chips in a box. The closer you get to the actual number and the quicker your response, the higher your score. This is a single player game.
- Practice- This is a page of randomly generated practice problems, using a "magic pad" calculator. For those parents who aren't familiar with magic pad, the child is able to write the answer in the answer box using his finger as a stylus.
In the complete version, games include problems that increase in difficulty as the child advances.
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From a technical standpoint, PlayMath Addition Subtraction meets expectations. It has a simple, intuitive user interface that can be accessed easily by a child ages 6-8. Another big plus is the multi-player capability of some of the games, adding an element of friendly competition that many children find motivating.
Overall, PlayMath Addition Subtraction gives your child lots of practice creating, comparing, and rearranging sets of shapes. These skills are listed in the Common Core Standards for Math in grades 1 & 2:
1.OA.C.6: Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten [8+6= 8+2+4= 10+4]; decomposing a number leading to ten [13-4 = 13-3-1=9]; using the relationship between addition and subtraction [8+4 =12 12-4=8]; and creating equivalent but easier sums [6+7 = 6+6+1 = 13]
What I found missing is any way to track performance or show progress. Another concern I have is that children with fine motor difficulties or visual processing deficits may have difficulty manipulating the blocks fast enough. Still, for a large number of children in this age range, PlayMath Addition Subtraction is a solid app that helps develop competence and confidence in math.
PlayMath Addition Subtraction is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad
RRP - Free to try with IAP t unlcok full version
At the time of this review, PlayMath Addition Subtraction contains no ads and no links to social media. In-app purchases are available from a protected parent portal. Parents can be confident their children's privacy is protected when using this app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.