Multiply Pizza Pie	by FizzBrain Apps -Review

Multiply Pizza Pie by FizzBrain Apps -Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Develops number sense and understanding of what multiplication means. Multi-sensory, no time constraints, can work at their own pace, maths strategies, fun theme

What we’d love to see…

More ability to organize the restaurant accessories

Summary

Multiply Pizza Pie is a great introduction to multiplication as it helps develop the players number sense as they physically tap out the plates and toppings. It helps to turn the abstract concept of a multiplication equation into real life by relating them to food orders. A very useful app for students starting to learn multiplication and for students with special needs or who need extra help to really understanding multiplication

Our Rating

Multiply Pizza PieMultiplication is an important foundational mathematics skill, and one that many students struggle to master. Developing understanding of multiplication and strategies for multiplication within 100, is part of the Common Core standards for 3rd grade math in the U.S.A. Often students are encouraged to use flash cards to learn their multiplication facts by “drill and kill,”  but this doesn’t help them really understand the concepts. Multiply Pizza Pie by Fizz Brain apps is a new Edapp that uses a different approach to teaching multiplication, without rote memorization. Multiply Pizza Pie has a restaurant theme and players practice their multiplication skills whilst serving food to diners in their restaurant. The app allows multiple student profiles and lets the player choose whether to work on x2345, x6789 or on multiples of any individual number from 2-9. The app contains both an animated tutorial and a video tutorial that explain how to use the app. Before they start serving food to their diners, players can select to read the “multiplication strategies.” This gives students skills they can use to work out the more difficult multiples using ones they may already know e.g. using knowledge of  2x to work out questions involving 3x.

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Gameplay

The player is working in a restaurant and receives a food order e.g. the diner wants 5 pizzas each with 4 pepperoni on it. The player taps on the pizza 5 times to throw out the required number of pizzas, then taps on each pizza four times to get the right number of toppings. Once they have prepared the food they tap on “ready”. If they have made a mistake with the toppings the incorrect plate(s) are highlighted. Extra plates or toppings can be removed by swiping. Counting out the plates and tapping out the toppings add a tactile element to working out the equation that is similar to using manipulatives in the classroom.

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When the order is correct they move to to making the guest check – to do this they have to create a multiplication sentence. The diner is charged $1 per topping so to calculate the check they multiply the number of plates by the number of toppings on each plate. If they do this correctly a check is created and they earn the money they have charged the customer, if it is incorrect they can try again until it is right.

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 They then serve the completed order in the restaurant by throwing the food to the customer. My son found this hilarious as he discovered he could also bounce the meals off the walls until it arrived at the customer. As the food is served the narrator counts the numbers of toppings served, so if 4 pizzas each with 6 toppings are delivered they would count 6,12,18,24 – further reinforcing multiples of 6.

 

Rewards

The restaurant is initially unfurnished and players can use the money they earn from food sales to buy furniture, artwork, decorative features and accessories.

The players start only serving pizza in an Italian restaurant, but as they play they can unlock new toppings, new dishes and new restaurants .  When they unlock a new restaurant they automatically start serving in it, and don’t have the option to go back to the previous restaurant. The new restaurant is a blank slate with none of the furnishing from the previous establishment. The restaurants currently in the app are: Italian, Japanese, Mexican, American, Middle Eastern, Chinese, French, Indian, Ethiopian, Polish and Fusion.  Once they have unlocked all  ten of the restaurants this allows free play mode and they can then choose which restaurant to use.

Having the restaurants to furnish is a fun reward, but I did find a few issues with it. The restaurant scene is quite small so gets crowded with furniture quickly, and there appears to be no way to remove old furniture to replace it with new choices. Because you can earn money quite quickly when practicing higher order multiples, you can run out of things to spend it on as you have no room to display new purchases. However, the money does transfer so you can use it to decorate your new restaurant when you unlock it. I also found that sometimes moving a piece of furniture caused it to duplicate, so you could have 3 identical paintings and 4 identical tables which could be frustrating when you have only a small place to decorate.

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Reporting

The app records which group of multiples the student worked on for a particular date e.g [x2345], [x7], [x6789] and how many problems they did for each set. This can be viewed as a daily, weekly or monthly report, which can be emailed to a teacher or parent. Because the app uses errorless learning there is no indication of “right” or “wrong” answers (the student has to complete it correctly to be able to finish the problem). There is also no indication of whether they got the multiplication sentence correct on the first try or if they needed multiple attempts. The reports are useful to show what the student has been working on, but won’t give any indication or whether or not they have mastery of that multiple.

Summary

Multiply Pizza Pie is a great introduction to multiplication as it helps develop the players number sense as they physically tap out the plates and toppings. It helps to turn the abstract concept of a multiplication equation into real life by relating them to food orders. The app uses multiple senses as the student hears the order, feels the numbers as they tap out the toppings and sees the problem as a written sentence,  a maths equation and as physical objects. I like the fun cartoon-like illustrations and how all the gameplay ties into the restaurant theme as students see real-life applications for using maths skills. This app would be very useful for students just starting to learn multiplication and for students with special needs or others who need some extra help in really understanding multiplication. My daughter is almost at the end of 3rd grade and has been working on learning multiplication this school year, I wish the app had been available at the start of the school year as I think she would have picked up the concepts more quickly. At this point in time she knows most of her multiplication facts within 100 but just needs more practice to know them 100%. At the stage she is at the gameplay was a little slow for her, but what she found really useful was the strategies for using familiar multiples to work out more difficult ones. After playing the app I have seen her using these strategies to solve problems and even teaching them to her brother, and that alone is more than worth the cost of the app!

 

iTunes Link: Multiply Pizza Pie – FIZZBRAIN LLC

Multiply Pizza Pie Multiply Pizza Pie by FIZZBRAIN LLC

Price: $2.99 USD

Multiply Pizza Pie is a super fun math game that helps children master multiplication facts while building strong number sense! It is the OPPOSITE of "drill and kill"!

Children throw out pizzas.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Dragon Shapes – Lumio Geometry Challenge By Lighthouse Learning – Review

Dragon Shapes – Lumio Geometry Challenge By Lighthouse Learning – Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

bright, colorful high quality graphics, engaging gameplay, fully narrated, fun, challenging and educational

What we’d love to see…

Addition of multiple player profiles, even more levels!

Summary

Highly recommended- Dragon Shapes is the best kind of educational app: players will have so much fun solving all the tangram puzzles that they won’t realize they are learning important mathematical concepts at the same time.

Our Rating

Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge (Full Version)first reviewed Dragon Shapes back in October 2013 and loved it, and with a major update to version 2.0 it is even better now!  It has more puzzles, new settings, new rewards, an option to play against the clock, a new parents guide and best of all it is now fully narrated.

There is a free version with in-app purchase for a full unlock, and full paid version without IAP. All external links are in the locked parents section.

Dragon Shapes is a Tangram app with a difference, it teaches geometry using a series of 80 tangram puzzles and also incorporates a story about the legend of the first Shape Master. The story is told as a series of short animated movies between sections of puzzles.

Druzzle the Dragon lives in the village of Tan in ancient China. One night whilst watching smoke rising from the chimneys in the village, Druzzle sees smoke in the shape of the dragon; he follows it and gets lost. The village folk are distraught and want to find him, the only clue is some dragon scales of different shapes that he left behind – will re-arranging them give a clue? They arrange the scales to form a butterfly and one brave warrior follows it on a quest to get Druzzle back. To succeed in the quest he must solve many different puzzles and become the Shape Master! As the player works their way through the tangram puzzles, they too acquire the skills needed to become a Shape Master. For each puzzle they can earn up to 3 lightening bolts, and at the end of each section they can see how close they are coming to being a Shape Master, both in terms of number of puzzles completed and number of lightning bolts collected.

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There are 4 sections, each containing 20 puzzles. In the parents section there is an option to switch on or off puzzle locks, if the locks are on the player must complete the puzzles in order, if off they can do them in whatever order they wish. The locks can also be reset. This is useful if a new player is using the app. I’d love to also see multiple player profiles added- I have several kids who all like to play this app, so it can be hard to keep track of who is on what level.

Each section includes 20 tangram puzzles in a theme: butterfly shapes, water shapes, mountain shapes and starlight shapes. As the player completes the puzzles they also learn mathematical terminology, and learn about the properties of different geometric shapes. The puzzles start very simple, such as putting 2 triangles together to make a square, and increase in complexity as you move through the levels. If the player gets stuck tapping on the light bulb symbol will reveal hints one step at a time, the hints can be switched off in settings if you wish. If they make it through an entire level without using any hints they earn a dragon scroll. A new addition in this update is that the app is now fully narrated – this is a great improvement, as it now makes the app fully accessible to children who aren’t yet proficient readers.

The tangram puzzles use various sized triangles, a square and a parallelogram. The player is given the correct number of pieces, but may need to rotate them to solve the puzzle. The puzzles are simple in the early levels and gradually evolve to very complex ones in the higher levels. As they complete the puzzles players learn how different shapes relate to each other, and how you can create one geometric shape using others, for instance you can create a pentagon using five triangles. They also learn that there is more than one way to create a particular shape using combinations of shapes. For an additional challenge in the final section, starlight shapes, players learn to “copy shapes” by re-creating a shape without a template to fit the pieces in.

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The app is designed for 6-10 year-olds, but I believe it will appeal to a much wider range of ages than. With the addition of narration it will appeal to some younger students, and the tangrams are fun an challenging enough that many adults will enjoy solving them -I know I do ! This is an app my whole family enjoys playing, and that has stood the test of time, all of my children were excited to learn that there were 30 new puzzles to solve and couldn’t wait to try them out.

By playing the app students learn to look at shapes in a whole new way. They work on spatial awareness, visualization and rotation skills as well as learning terminology and attributes of different geometric shapes. Dragon Shapes is the best kind of educational app: it has bright, colorful high quality graphics and engaging gameplay; it is fun, challenging and educational. Highly recommended! Players will have so much fun solving all the tangram puzzles that they won’t realize they are learning important mathematical concepts at the same time. A great educational app made even better with the new update !

Full version: Dragon Shapes – Lumio Geometry Challenge (Full Version) – Lighthouse Learning

Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge (Full Version) Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge (Full Version) by Lighthouse Learning

Price: $2.99 USD

Solve geometric math puzzles and unlock the legend of the Dragon Shapes Geometry Challenge with this Lumio math app.

This version has no in-app purchase and will work with the Volume Purchase Program.


Dragon Shapes: Geometry Challenge – Lighthouse Learning

Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge by Lighthouse Learning

Price: $FREE

Solve math puzzles and unlock the legend of Dragon Shapes!

'Highly recommended... fun, challenging and teaches new skills' - theimum.com

'Drop dead gorgeous apps you don’t want your .

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must redeem the app code within 5 days to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Review of Math Shake by Top Story Apps – Thousands of Math Word Problems to Decode and Solve

Review of Math Shake by Top Story Apps – Thousands of Math Word Problems to Decode and Solve



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Works on a understanding turning word problems into numerical equations, covers a large range of ages and abilities, customizable. Ability to record videos of how you solved the problem.

What we’d love to see…

more detailed instructions on using the tools, ability to more easily see calculated answer from checking page, individual student profiles and data tracking

Summary

Math Shake for Schools is a very flexible math app that can be used for a large range of student ages and abilities. It covers Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division and works on the important skill of learning to convert word problems into numerical equations.

Our Rating

Math Shake for SchoolsMath Shake is a new educational app from Top Story Apps. It is available in two versions- a free version  with in-app purchases -“Math Shake” and a full version without IAP – “Math Shake for Schools”. The full version costs $4.99 and includes 6 levels designed for children from 6 years to 14 years old. The free version includes 1 level “confident” for 8-9 year olds, other levels can be purchased for $1.99 each or the full app unlocked for $4.99; buying any in-app purchase also unlocks the interactive whiteboard feature. The full app includes 1,000’s of questions over the 6 levels, plus the interactive whiteboard, this review is of the full version. More information about Math Shake and FAQ are available online with the links behind a parental gate.

The app is customizable to the student’s level – you first pick which of the 6 levels to work at and then you can choose to work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or any combination of these. There are no individual profiles, or tracking of questions answered or how many attempts the student needs to correctly answer.

The app works on one specific area of the math curriculum – taking mathematical word problems and converting them into numerical equations, then solving them. Seeing the numerical problem within a word problem is an area many students struggle with, and mastering it is also a useful skill for bringing mathematical skills into solving real-life maths problems.

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First the student is presented with a word problem, an example at the easiest level is: “Andrea has 2 beetroot and gets 4 more. How many does she have now?” Tapping on a number causes it to be encircled and the student can then move it to the correct place within a blank equation. Tapping on key words such as “many” or “more” will bring them to a screen where they choose whether this question should be represented by +, -, x, or ÷, they tap on the correct choice and move it to the equation. If they are unsure which words to tap the words will shake to give a hint. If the child gets the equation right they can move on to working out their answer, if incorrect they are told to double check and try again. If they need help in creating the equation, tapping on the lightbulb will give them hints, first giving a general idea on what to do, then step-by-step help if they need it. If the child can not read the question, they can tap the speech bubble and it will be narrated by a computer generated voice engine.

When they are ready to work out the answer they move to the interactive whiteboard. They can use a pen to work out the problem, and a variety of other tools are also available. The tools include: counters, tens frames, arrays, pie tool, number line; different colored and sized pens and erasers; plus the ability to type and add hollow or solid rectangular/ square or circular/ ovoid shapes. Tapping the lightbulb will give hints on how to use the whiteboard and tools. I would like to see more detailed help available on using these tools, they work well if the student is already comfortable with using them, but students who are unfamiliar with a tool or unsure on the best way to use it may struggle to get the most from the tools.

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Once the student is happy with their answer they move on to a new screen to check it. You can see the previous screen very faintly when checking the answer, but have to position the answer very carefully to be able to read it. In the higher levels where the answer can have many decimal places this can make it hard to accurately transcribe the answer. It would be nice to have a designated box at the side of the page where you write the answer and can see this box on the next page for easy reference when typing in the answer in the checker.

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Once the student has solved a problem correctly they can create a video showing the whiteboard with them narrating how they solved the problem. These videos can be saved to the camera roll or played back. I think this is great as the student can create a record of how they solved certain problems to share with their teacher or parent; it can also be used by a parent or teacher to record some “how to” videos for when the student is stuck on how to use a tool or tackle a problem.  I would love to see an option to save these in a video library within the app, so the “how to” videos could be easy to find if the student gets stuck.

Overall, Math Shake for Schools is a very flexible math app that can be used for a large range of student ages and abilities. It covers Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division and works on the important skill of learning to convert word problems into numerical equations.
Math Shake – Glen Storey

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Price: $

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Math Shake for Schools – Glen Storey


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Price: $

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication By Lighthouse Learning – Review

Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication By Lighthouse Learning – Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Bright, colorful, engaging graphics and animation, fully narrated, great for visual learners

What we’d love to see…

Multiple user profiles, more levels

Summary

A well-made, bright, colorful, engaging app with high quality graphics and animation, Llama Drama is useful both for children starting to learn multiplication and division, and for those struggling with it.

Our Rating

Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication Llama Drama : Lumio Multiplication is the latest educational app from UK- based developer Lighthouse Learning.  It is their second educational app to target multiplication skills,  the first was Lumio Farm Factor: Multiply and Divide basics , which we recently reviewed. Llama drama is fully narrated, so a student who is not yet a confident reader can fully access the content.

 

Llama Drama uses the concept of arrays – a classical tool for developing an understanding of multiplication and division. With arrays the student arranges a group of objects into equal rows which helps them to visualize and understand more complex math problems.  Llama Drama has 3 sections:  Animal Arrays, Multiplying Llamas and Divide and Capture. It is an free app with a single in-app purchase to unlock the full app (currently $2.99). The free app gives you access to 11/40 levels of animal arrays, 6/20 levels of Multiplying Llamas, and 4/20 levels of Divide and Capture; which is enough to give you a good feel of the app. It has no adverts and external links are locked from within a gated parents area.

 

With the app students can learn to build the Times Tables for themselves (to more fully understand them, before memorizing them). They can also discover factors by starting with a whole number and making as many different arrays as possible. They can also use known facts to learn unknown facts by splitting and joining arrays.

Animal Arrays

In this section the child learns about the concept of arrays, and practices creating arrays by putting animals in rows in different pens. They create arrays to match the numbers they are given – first by switching around pre-made rows and later by creating their own.  They learn how you can use an array to represent a multiplication problem e.g. 3×5, and learn how to split and add arrays. This teaches them that they can use known facts to learn unknown facts by splitting and adding arrays, e.g. if they know 3×1 and 3×2 they can work out 3×3 by adding arrays (3×1) + (3×2) = (3×3). There are 40 levels in this section with 6 short animations as rewards

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Multiplying Llamas

In this section they move on to building arrays to solve problems. First they have a complete problem such as 4×8=32 which they need to represent with an array, then 1 factor is missing e.g ? x3 =21, then 2 factors e.g. ? x ? = 54.

To create an array: 1) they move their finger across the grid to create a row and the app counts how many animals in the row; then 2) they move their finger down the grid and new rows are added, as they do so the app counts how many animals are within their  array. They can move their finger left or right to change the number of animals in a row, and up or down to change the number of rows. They must keep their finger on the screen until they have completed their array; once they lift it the array is filled in with animals. If they are happy with their answer pressing the check button will submit it, if not they can just start again creating a new array. There is a hint button if they need help. There are 20 levels in this section and two short animations.

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Divide and Capture

In this section the student learns that arrays can also demonstrate division problems, so a 2×5 grid can also show 10 ÷ 5 = 2. They then move on to using arrays to solve problems with 1, then 2 missing factors. They also learn that there can be more than one answer to a question with 2 missing factors and learn to create multiple arrays for e.g. 10÷?=?. This section reinforces the fact that division and multiplication are very closely related. The higher levels demonstrate that you can use the same array to represent both a multiplication and a division problem.  Many children who can multiply are scared of division, and the app shows them how closely the two are related. It shows them that if e.g. they know how to multiply 6×4 to get 24,  they can also solve 24÷6 and 24÷4. There are 20 levels in this section and one short animation, hints are available.

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Lighthouse Learning make high quality, engaging apps that work on tricky maths concepts, and Llama Drama is a useful addition to their lineup. Many children find multiplication and division intimidating, so I think it is important to show them different approaches to solving these problems, so they can see which works best for them. For visual learners arrays can be a great way to demonstrate how to solve these problems. This app is not designed to teach the Times Tables, and children will still need to learn them, but it is designed to help children more fully understand multiplication and division and thus improve their confidence when faced with these problems. I think the addition of narration is a great feature as it makes it fully accessible to children who aren’t yet confident readers. In future updates I’d love to see multiple player profiles and more levels added. A well-made, bright, colorful, engaging app with high quality graphics and animation, Llama Drama is useful both for children starting to learn multiplication and division, and for those struggling with it.

Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication – Lighthouse Learning

Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication by Lighthouse Learning

Price: $FREE

The llamas are running wild! Can you untangle this farm fiasco?

Help kids understand the tricky topic of multiplication by solving visual problems.

Kids build number fluency, develop strategies.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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