Adding Apples is the first in a series of three Tasty Math Apps by Operatio, the others being Subtracting Sardines and Multiplying Acorns. Versions are available for both iPhone and iPad (see links below). I intend to post reviews of all three Apps in the series, but I’m starting with what I think is the best in the series.
Adding Apples presents as a large calculator with a friendly grub inviting children to select a number from 1 to 9. When a number is tapped, the corresponding number of 3D apples (all red, green or yellow) tumble on to the top of the screen. At this point, the child can move the apples around the screen. When a second number is selected, more apples of a different colour appear. The sum 8+ 4 might be represented by 8 green apples and 4 red apples. The child can now count each apple. As they tap the apples, each apple changes colour and is marked with a check, which helps the children to discriminate between those that have been counted and those yet to be counted. Again, children can move the apples around the screen. Alternatively, children can tap the = button to move to the answer. The answer is then selected from a choice of three numbers. A correct answer results in coins Bouncing on to the screen, one of which falls into the slot. Children can check on their tally of coins by tapping the piggy bank symbol. Trophies are awarded for 25, 50 and 100 correct answers.
- I like the way that the numbers are represented with different coloured apples (red, green or yellow.)
- The apples roll, tumble and bump each other on the screen in a very realistic way that is quite interesting to watch and play with.
- Children can drag apples around the screen as they count.
- Being able to mark each apple as it is counted can help with one-to-one correspondence. (See the links at the end of this post for more information and resources.)
- Three individual profiles are available, and this should be enough for most families.
- Being able to restrict the numbers can be helpful for children just beginning to add.
- The rewards are simple but motivating.
While many Math apps involve no more than throwing up sums and asking children to type or tap the correct answer, Adding Apples gives them some tools to help solve the problems. Adding Apples Will be a great app for children learning to add single digit numbers. It is supportive of children who have not yet developed conservation of number or one-to-one correspondence. Children will find it fun to use and I can see it being used as a helpful homework tool or a reward activity. It is suitable for young children but might also be useful for older children with special needs.
One-to-One Correspondence: 0.5 – Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – (http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/teachingresources/maths/mathscontinuum/number/N05001P.htm)
Counting Principles for Preschoolers – on Gryphon House blog – (http://blog.gryphonhouse.com/2012/04/26/counting-principles-for-preschoolers/)