Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2015
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Arloon Mental Math

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Lessons + drill-style games = mental math fluency

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-5
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Lessons and games provide kids with solid targeted practice on important math skills.

Cons: The games can become a bit redundant, and detailed feedback for incorrect answers isn't available.

Bottom Line: Although some embedded feedback within the games would help, this is a solid opportunity for targeted math practice.

Use Arloon Mental Math in the classroom for instructional support or for practice before an assessment. Many arithmetic units include lessons about problem-solving strategies. Incorporate the app lessons into the unit and have kids complete the lessons in pairs. Discuss the lesson and the strategies they learned about, and then have kids apply what they learned by playing one of the games. Keep a class achievement board. Have kids play the games with partners as practice before an assessment.

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Kids can choose from two main modes of play. In the Learn mode, kids learn the strategies needed to mentally add and subtract two numbers. There are four primary lessons, and each lesson provides step-by-step guidance for learning a particular strategy. Kids can move onto the next lesson once they complete a certain number of questions. In the Games mode, kids use the strategies they learned to play five different games, two of which can be played with a partner. Each game has a different theme, but all of them involve mental addition and/or subtraction, and they're all timed and scored. Kids can choose whatever strategy they wish to play the games, and they earn achievements for completing lessons and games.

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Arloon Mental Math helps kids build mental math skills for adding and subtracting two numbers. It's a fast-paced game, and kids can play solo or with partners. The strategies that kids learn can be carried over into many other tasks and disciplines. Easier problems include single-digit numbers, and more difficult problems include multiple two-digit numbers. Kids learn various estimation and mental strategies including comparing numbers, rounding up or down, and breaking numbers to make tens. Kids can practice what they learn by playing five different games that are timed and scored. Two of the games can be played with partners.

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Overall Rating

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

Kids will enjoy the various themes of the games and the challenge of earning the highest score in the fastest time. There's some redundancy within each game, which isn't always bad.

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

Lessons are nicely organized, and the games become increasingly difficult. Kids are empowered to use any mental math strategy they wish. More feedback could help.

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

The lessons provide instructional guidance and support. Extension activities and audio narration would add support.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jason G. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Nice App for Individual Practice and Development of Mental Math Skills

Overall, Arloon Mental Math is a solid app. A student might not want to stay in the learn mode for long. Students who don't like to read might get tired of reading the multiple instructions in the exercises, but there are enough options in the games mode to keep most students fairly engaged.

Also, from the developer's website, it appears that the company is based in Spain. That would explain some of the English typos in the app and some of the British spellings of some of the words. This won't cause too much confusion, but students in the US might point think there is something wrong with the app or might not understand a word or two.

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