Project SplashMath for the whole class to practice end-of-the-week math skills and to review previous concepts. For addition, choose the Addition folder, the Addition with Models folder, and set the numbers that have been practiced (to 10, to 20). Have the students take turns answering the questions by coming up to the iPad and completing the questions. Set up practice sessions with individuals or pairs of students to work on review or practice of skills previously and currently addressed in the classroom. Give the students 10 to 20 questions to complete. Use the built-in record-keeping system to keep track of student achievement.

Continue readingSplashMath is designed to let kids practice Common Core State Standards-aligned first grade math skills in an entertaining way. Skills addressed include Place Value, Count and Compare, Add with Models, Addition Facts, Subtract with Models, Subtraction Facts, Advanced Addition, Advanced Subtraction, Time, Money, Measurements, Geometry, Data and Graphs, Mixed Operations, and Two Digit Operations. Teachers can set up accounts for each child in the class and, within those, choose difficulty level as well as skills that are to be practiced from the above categories.

Kids tackle problem sets of math skills for the first grade level, earning little origami fish for their "aquariums" as they go. As they earn fish, they can play within the aquarium setting, making the fish dance or chase each other, feeding the fish, or dropping anvils on crabs. The app gives on-screen notifications of progress in each area as kids work through the game; teachers can retrieve this information directly from the app in its Parent section, or they can opt to receive email notifications about each kid’s progress.

Graphics and sound are whimsical and colorful without being distracting, and on-screen instructions are clear and helpfully visual (for example, kids learn to click and drag via an animated instruction). The range of topics is great, too: This is much more than a drill-and-kill math review app. Instead, Splash Math dives deep into critical topics like number sense and explores them with depth. The origami-style fish are cute, and kids will enjoy solving math problems to earn fish for their aquariums. Parents can choose whether or not questions are read to kids (in a digitized voice), which could be helpful for kids who are pre-readers or who have reading difficulties.

The 13 chapters of math topics are well-structured and allow flexibility to target a single skill or tackle a range of topics. The biggest drawback is probably the feedback: The aquarium reward system is completely disconnected from the learning process. It would be even better if kids got more detailed feedback and more relevant milestones that helped them track their progress more meaningfully.