Review by Adirondack AccessAbility Inc. , Common Sense Education | Updated April 2014
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2nd Grade Splash Math Education Learning Workbook

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Explore wide-ranging math curriculum, earn fish for your aquarium

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
2
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Topics cover all second-grade math topics in a fun, engaging format that kids will love.

Cons: Limited accessibility features. The voice that reads the directions is a low-quality computer-generated voice.

Bottom Line: One of the best math skills experiences on the market for second-graders to practice independently, in small groups, or as whole-class reinforcement.

2nd Grade Splash Math Education Learning Workbook could be a great choice for the whole class to practice end-of-the-week math skills and to review previous concepts. If the class has been learning money skills, each student can have plastic (or real) coins to identify or count along with the question on the screen, ensuring the whole class is participating. Extend the geometry "chapter" by asking kids to replicate drawing "a shape with 5 (or other number) vertices" and having them identify it, or determine what shape would be made of 3 (or more) lines.

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2nd Grade Splash Math Education Learning Workbook is designed to be an entertaining way to let kids practice Common Core State Standards-aligned second-grade math skills. Skills addressed include Place Value, Counting and Number Patterns, One Digit Addition, Two Digit Addition, Three Digit Addition, One Digit Subtraction, Two Digit Subtraction, Three Digit Subtraction, Time, Measurements, Money, Geometry, and Graphs. 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. The robust controls enable teachers to customize the learning experience for students who may have learning disabilities or may be struggling with math.

Kids work with problem sets of math skills for the second-grade level, earning little origami fish "friends" 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 includes on-screen notifications of progress in each area as kids work through the game; teachers can retrieve this information directly from the app in the Parent section, or can opt to receive email notifications of a child’s progress. 

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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.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids will love the graphics, music, and the visual models they can use to solve math problems. The aquarium play is fun and rewarding, but most kids will want to get right back to the math.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The app targets the CCSS-aligned math concepts and lets kids see and track their progress. The aquarium rewards likely will keep kids going, but the math concepts aren't tied to those activities.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids can see how far they are into the experience as they play. Directions for kids are in text, spoken aloud, or animated.


Common Sense Reviewer
Adirondack AccessAbility Inc. Assistive Technology Consultants & Trainers

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jeff D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Millard Elementary School
Fremont, CA
Engaging app for 2nd Grade students to practice Common Core Math standards.

I like the fact that my students are highly engaged when using the program and that they can independently log in and get going without needing a lot of teacher support. This allows me to run centers and meet in small groups for interventions while students are independently working on the iPads. Student engagement does wane over time. I found that toward the end of 2nd grade, the graphics no longer interest most of my students and I moved on to other supplement apps like Khan Academy and TenMarks.

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