Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal app for iOS that focuses on #commoncore math skills. The free app with gated in-app purchases (IAP) includes content for children from kindergarten through sixth grade to learn, master and be quizzed on math materials using games. The app itself contains over 150 games and over 180 math subtopics and is common core aligned to the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics. For purposes of the review, I was given a full user ID and tested using second grade material since that is the grade my older son is in. The premium subscription is $9.99 USD and is charged on an annual basis. For those that purchase the full subscription there is also a web-based dashboard so you can check on your child’s progress.
Skills practiced within the app include: Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Ratios, Multiplication, Geometry, Coordinates, Measurements, Angles, Time. Each “year” within the app is a full school year’s worth of content which is fantastic for home practice during homework time, for homeschooling families or simply to prevent the “summer slide”.
Within the app, there are four different skill areas to use: training, accuracy, speed, mission. There is no spoken language contained within the app, but there are written directions as well as video tutorials to show you what to do for each of the mini games. After completing problems correctly, the words “good job” or stars are flashed on the screen. After taking the quiz, you are shown the results of your work as well as given a time bonus (if completed faster than allowed) to give you a total score.
Training – this is the area where your child learns the skill and gets a tutorial about how to do it.
Accuracy – your child uses the skill to answer questions faster and more accurately
Speed Building – the skill itself is learned and now the focus is on completing the task in a faster manner
Mission – this brings all the pieces together when you rocket into outer space with a fun mini game
One of the things we liked was that there was a tutorial for each type of game. This made sure we understood how to play it because it included step by step directions and a sample problem for you to complete. My son in particular enjoyed the hive game as he had to connect different equations together to complete the problem. At the end of each mission, you see your accuracy and score as well as a number of “Z” coins which are in app currency to purchase items. We also liked the wide variety of games and frankly the huge amount of free content available to users without purchasing a subscription. This app really allowed you to “try before you buy”.
In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if there were a way to “test” out of content. My son was familiar in some cases with the content and kept telling me how “boring” it was to have to relearn a skill that he already knew. I also would like to be able to turn off the background sound within the app, my son found the ticking and various noises distracting so we ended up muting our device, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to do it. I’d also like a collaboration space, my son’s math curriculum is very visually based and several times he actually wanted to use the number line or draw out the math problem. You can see the number line in the training mode, but you can’t manipulate it which was something he requested. I would also like to see a parent gated area that contains the rating as well as a way to see the dashboard from my device in a future release.
Zap Zap Math
Above is a screenshot of a sample dashboard that shows what skills each student is practicing along with accuracy, amount of time played, number of attempts. You can also click through to get a more detailed report.
I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills. This is a great app to try and see if it works for your family, the $9.99 in app purchase/annually seems affordable for the amount of content contained within the app. There are external links, however, they are parental gated.