Mathomatix Number Sense HD iPad app review

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The creators of PunFlay’s Mathomatix Number Sense for the iPad, outdid themselves from a technical and educational standpoint.  As a child works her way through the 5 different games included in the application, she is having fun while gaining number skills and concepts that build on each other in a natural and pedagogically appropriate way.  I wonder how many other apps have been checked against the National and California Standards for teaching mathematics to kindergarteners.  Very impressive!

Booster Balls focuses on counting from 1 to 30.  The child collects 10 balls at a time and then feeds them to a cute little monster.  A child’s voice gives clear and easy to follow instructions and provides a model for the child to count along with.  The game is simple and fun.  My six year old granddaughter, Kayla, liked catching the balls and feeding them to the monster even though the game was clearly no challenge.  Five year old Joey and 3 year old Leah really enjoyed counting along, and with each repetition of the game became more confident.

Do the Dotty is a “connect the dots” game with sets of 10 numbers up to 30.  Now we are upping the ante.  Not only do you have to be able to count, you have to recognize what the number looks like and follow the instructions, connecting the numbers in sequence to create a picture.  Kayla, of course, breezed through, repeating the game many times, changing the colors of the completed pictures.  Joey declared the game really fun, but required some assistance as the numbers increased.  After a few tries, he began to recognize the numbers on his own.  I could tell that playing the game over a period of time would improve his skills.  Leah loved creating the pictures, but needed a lot of help following the directions and recognizing the numbers.

Recognizing  the numbers in sequence is one thing, but finding them in random groups is another challenge.  Numberella provides this challenge.  The players are asked to pick out a specific number floating in a cloud to create a rain shower.  Easy for Kayla, not so easy for Joey and Leah, but entertaining enough not to discourage repetition which leads to learning.

Now we come to the really conceptual challenge,  using an understanding of what the numbers stand for to manipulate objects.  Fishoonka and Toot Toot Train accomplish that brilliantly.  Fishoonka emphasizes the concepts of ‘more and less’ by having kids move fish back and forth to create the requested pattern.  Toot Toot Train takes it to the next level by requiring the addition or subtraction of cars to create the desired train length.  Joey needed guidance to achieve this but began to get the hang of it.  Even Leah began to get the idea and was very pleased with herself.

All in all, I give this app 5 stars.  As an educator, I appreciate the careful crafting of the games from the concrete to the conceptual.  This is a real learning tool as well as an attractive and entertaining game, a bargain at $1.99.  Bravo, PunFlay!

Number Sense HD: $1.99*

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*Price at time of this writing

Disclosure: We received a free copy of this app for review purposes

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