Appp Media’s New Math app: Understanding Math – Times Tables

13 Nov

understanding mathappp media have just released a new Mathematics app for multiplication and division, and I was fortunate to be given a copy to review.  The full name of the app is Understanding Math – Times Tables: Learn to fluently multiply and divide within 100, but that is a bit of a mouthful so I’m sure you won’t mind if I abbreviate it to Understanding Math – Times Tables for this review.

I have literally hundreds of Mathematic apps, and most of the multiplication and division apps are drill and practice, which is great for developing speed and accuracy, but Understanding Math: Times Tables offers something new.  The drill and practice element is there, but it is the understanding part that is a new and welcome feature.   The activities in Understanding Math – Times Tables are based  on Jerome Bruner’s  Three Modes of Representation learning theory and they explore the concepts of division and multiplication using different visual representations.

Each activity has been linked to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

Activities

Hundreds Board activity

Hundreds Board activity

Hundreds Board

Solve the multiplication problem by dragging across the rows and columns.  3 x 5 can be displayed as three rows of five, or five rows of three.  When you answer correctly, the equation is highlighted.  If you answer incorrectly, the equation briefly highlights in red, then the correct answer is shown on the board in the equation.

Toolbox Hundreds Board - you get to set the equation.

Toolbox Hundreds Board – you get to set the equation.

Toolbox Hundreds Board

The Hundreds Board activity was the first one I tried, and I immediately wished for a “free play” mode.  Lo and behold, there was one in the app already with the Toolbox Hundreds Board.  Like the previous activity, you can drag across rows and columns to show a multiplication problem.  Under the multiplication equation, the equivalent division equation is written.  This is going to be very handy for homework in our house.

Multiplication

An equation appears and you have to solve it by tapping a combination of fingers the current number of times.  For 8 x 5 you would tap five fingers on the screen eight times.  When you answer correctly, balls appear on the screen that you can pop and a reward sound plays.

Tip:  before you use this activity, go to your iPad’s settings and turn off Multitasking Gestures.  I accidentally swiped myself out of the app and into others a few times before it twigged what was going on.

Division - sort (drag) these items equally into two boxes.

Division – sort (drag) these items equally into two boxes.

Division

Drag objects into boxes to solve the equation.  If the equation is 20 ÷ 2, you will see 20 objects and two boxes.  As the objects are dragged into the boxes, numbers on the box keep count of how many items are in each.  If you put too many in one of the boxes, the equation highlights in red and you see the correct answer.  A correct answer results in a reward sound with the correct answer highlighting in white.

Training

An equation appears at the top of the screen with a visual representation at the base of the screen. Solve the equation by writing the answer  in the centre of the screen. This is a drill and practice activity and uses hand writing recognition. I had a good run with it and tried both good and fairly shocking writing to see how it would go.  For the most part, the app recognised both the accurate and the slightly less-accurate writing, but occasionally I was prompted with a question mark to write again.  It might be a little frustrating for children who are not that great at writing numerals, but it could also encourage them to take a little more care.  (I have no screen shots of this and the next activity because I was just too slow with the screen shots!)

Duel

This is a version of the Training game where two players compete against each other.   Choose a difficulty level, tap the sun when you are ready to start, then try to solve your equation before your opponent.  The first to enter the correct answer earns a star, and the game finishes when one player has earned 5 stars.  The feature I really, really love about this activity is that you can choose a different difficulty level for each child.  This means that potentially your 7 y.o. can take on your 12 y.o. and win.

Supportive Features

  • Equations are written either in the style we use in the UK, USA, Australia (and others) or German style.
  • Separate profiles can be created for each user.
  • Results are tracked for each user
  • You can select which tables you wish to concentrate on (which will also be handy for homework, as my children’s classes seem to concentrate on a different table each week.)

 Wish List

It is great to see a Mathematics app that offers something different.  The activities in Understanding Mathematics – Times Tables have been carefully designed so that children can manipulate items in the activity to help them understand the concept of multiplication and division.  I highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to see what appp media offers us next.

Understanding Math – Times Tables: Learn to fluently multiply and divide within 100 is on sale at %50 off until the 16th November 2014.
Understanding Math - Times Tables: Learn to fluently multiply and divide within 100 - appp media
Publisher: appp media
Price:  $2.99 until 16th November
iPad and iPhone (requires iOS 4.3 or higher)

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