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
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
Multiplication 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow AS is a fun and colorful way to learn about numbers, how they work and how to use them. WeWantToKnow AS are also the developers behind award-winning apps DragonBox Algebra 5+, DragonBox Algebra 12+ and DragonBox Elements. Children can play with cute characters called Nooms by stacking them, combining them, sorting them, slicing them or by just playing with them.
The app is divided into three games: Sandbox, Puzzles and Ladder.
What we love…
The cute Nooms which help you understand Math concepts.
What we’d love to see…
Ability to follow the players’ learning progress and achievements across devices.
A fun and colorful app with engaging games that help kids build strong number sense.
The ‘Sandbox’ game lets children build up to certain numbers by adding up Nooms together. When you add a Noom to another Noom they change colour. Each number from 1 to 10 has a different Noom. When adding, slicing and placing the Nooms, a narrator explains the additions or subtractions and lets the child know what number they are at. Great for parents and teachers to explain basic maths.
The ‘Puzzles’ game lets children solve easy puzzles with Nooms. Once a puzzle is solved, coins are provided as a reward. After accumulating a number of coins, you can swap them for different shapes (numbers, animals, vehicles, microbes, food, etc .) which in turn can be solved by slicing and placing Nooms in designated shapes to obtain more reward coins.
The ‘Ladder’ game is slightly more complex than the other two games in that children need to build larger numbers with careful thought by adding, slicing and playing around with the Nooms provided until the number is reached.
This app has no ads, no in-app purchases and has a parents area protected by a simple number solving query. The parents area covers what your child will learn from the app, how to play with it and choice of language (English, Danish, French, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish). There is also an option to check your child’s progress and change player in the main menu. Be sure to create a DragonBox account to receive a story book about the Nooms and a DragonBox Numbers manual.
Even if the app is made for ages 6 to 8, my three-year-old loves playing with this app as it is fun, easy to use, colorful and she gets to learn about numbers without thinking about it. We love this fun and colorful app which makes mathematics a fun discipline. It is a great resource for parents and teachers to introduce maths to children and I definitely recommend it.
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Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.
The combination of concrete and virtual learning experiences in an attractive app.
What we’d love to see…
A versatile tool for building finger counting skills, number sense, number recognition and finger dexterity.
10 fingers + is an app that helps your child learn to count up to 10 with their fingers (using the iPad’s multi-touch functionality) and to learn these numbers in 9 languages.
There are 3 activities in this app which your child can freely choose to play. The first activity shows 1-1 correspondence in counting, the second activity introduces the numerals and the third introduces simple addition. For all these activities, there are two modes of play – Free mode and Challenge mode.
In the Free mode, your child initiates the play by placing a certain number of fingers on the iPad screen and a corresponding number of objects, numeral or sum (depending on the activity) appears on the screen. He also gets to hear the number verbally. Kids can learn about the number order, counting up or down by placing or removing their fingers one by one.
In the Challenge mode, the app poses a challenge – a certain number of objects, a numeral or a simple addition problem (depending on the activity) and kids have to place the correct number of fingers on the iPad. The app allows kids all the time they need to get it right, it will not respond until then. I especially like that correct answers are immediately reinforced so that kids can learn from each of their exploratory play.
The app itself doesn’t teach but rather it lets your child build a number and then learn its name and shape through play. Depending on what you want your child to learn, you can use this app differently and when you play along with your child, you may discover more ways of using this app. For me, I found it useful to help my youngest truly understand the meaning of the equal (=) sign and the (non)-impact of adding zero (0).
10 fingers + is also designed to work with a special set of wooden numbers. Instead of using fingers to convey a certain number, your child uses these wooden numbers to interact with the app. If you purchase this set of wooden numbers, you can unlock the full version of 10 fingers from the lite version. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to try them out myself. I think young children will love its novelty!
This is a very useful digital tool that would complement any learning program involving concrete manipulatives. The advantage of using such an app is that it can give immediate feedback to the child thus encouraging self-discovery and independent learning. It may have been designed for younger children just beginning to learn about numbers, but older kids who need a hands-on digital tool to revisit the basic math concepts will definitely benefit from playing with this app.
Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
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