Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kindergarten Kids Math

Kindergarten Kids Math was created by Infinut and includes 6 different math activities for kindergarten students. This is my first review on this blog of an app that is in the Google Play market only. While android markets have certainly expanded greatly recently, it still lags behind the iTunes market when it comes to educational apps for young children at least in terms of quantity. Let's see how this android math app stacks up quality-wise. Price: $0.99 (there's a free version as well).

Device Requirements: Requires Android 2.1 and up.

Developmental Appropriateness: The six activities are Counting, Maze (where you follow a specific number to complete a maze), Sequence (fill in the missing number), Tens and Ones (use coins to make a specific amount), Add and Subtract. These activities are appropriate for kindergarteners, but what it's missing or where it could be improved is in the details. My biggest complaint is for Counting. See the picture to the right. Kids are asked to put a target number of balls in the container, going from 1-20 in order. A little boring, but ok, we're teaching quantity, one-to-one correspondence etc. But you can see in the picture that the balls line up in rows of 6. Yes, kids should be able to count by 6's, but it would make more sense, especially for beginning learners if it were by rows of 5's or 10's. These are more common quantities to count by especially as the numbers get bigger. Since it goes up to twenty, having rows of five would make it all even where you can have 4 rows of 5. It's just an easier number to group by (grouping being a good strategy!) Other little details that carry over to the other activities are that it doesn't count when you place each ball in the container nor when you tap on them to count them or once you've submitted the answer. These little details can go a long way to reinforce the material.  Rating: 3/5 (aim for around 5 years)

Balance: There are verbal instructions for each task. Maybe a quick demo would be better. For the Tens and Ones task, I actually did not really know what to do! It says, "Move 10 and 1 coins into the jars to make 5" Does that mean put 5 coins in the jars? When you press the "how to play" setting, it says, "Move 5 balls into the box using your finger." I think this needs some updating. Aside from that, it should really be saying, something with the words "cents" or "amount" to indicate that it wants you to add up some coins to make the target number. The instructions for Sequence sound a little weird to, but it's clear what to do. Rating: 3.5/5

Sustainability: For each task, it shows how much you've gotten through and there are hundreds of items, so it'll take awhile to complete everything. However, overall, I find these activities to be nothing more than drill. There's no goal or premise, the voice is not very engaging - so basically unless you're a kid who just naturally likes to do make activities, this won't be very motivating. Rating: 3/5

Parental Involvement: Nothing much here either. No settings to limit the range of numbers, reports - the only thing you can do is turn off the instructions. Rating: 3/5

Total: 12.5 out of 20 - 3 stars

Disclosure: I received this app for free for review purposes.

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