Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2012
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BugMath

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Cute cartoon bugs makes focus on numbers 11 to 20 fun

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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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K-1 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Five visual games are an engaging way for young kids to practice early math skills.

Cons: The app crashes frequently -- sometimes before kids get a chance to choose their reward stickers -- making extended play nearly impossible.

Bottom Line: Early math practice is fun and engaging with BugMath's research-based curriculum.

Though the game mechanics are friendly even for young kids, instructions are written and include few graphics, so teachers may need to help kids understand the objective of each game.

When players get an incorrect answer, alien Ug-ug says "Ow!" and kids get another chance to answer correctly. They're rewarded with stickers for completing a game, but, sadly, the app usually crashes before they can choose the stickers. There's no scorekeeping or data tracking.

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In BugMath, alien Ug-ug has crashed his spaceship onto a planet full of bugs. Preschoolers count, zap, and match bugs, order them by size, and practice addition and subtraction. The game is based on the Singapore Math method, which relies on pictures to teach math at early levels. The bugs let kids see the numbers, and they disappear when counted. Kids are rewarded with stickers after completing each section.

In "Bug Attack," kids must zap bugs before they reach the ground; as they zap, bugs are counted in order, up to 100. In the "Counting Game," kids count bugs -- numbered from 11 to 20 -- seeing both the numeral and the written word. In "Big & Small," kids drag bugs into number order. "Minus Bugs" lets kids practice addition and subtraction, and "Matching" is, of course, a fun bug-matching game.

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The focus on numbers 11 to 20 is excellent since most preschoolers will have mastered 1 to 10, and having them attempt 1 to 100 challenges them gently and reasonably. The five games present counting and math skills in a variety of pictorial methods that will engage kids and help them grasp numbers.

The "Bug Attack" game may be a bit challenging for kids' fine motor skills, and even impossible for a younger kid to complete. Also, "Minus Bugs" crashes frequently. Still, despite these issues, the colorful bugs will appeal to kids, and the math concepts are sound.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

The colorful bugs in these arcade-style math games engage preschoolers as they learn about numbers.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Modeled on the Singapore Math method, this game's pedagogy is sound and research-based. Kids see math come to life with the bugs and get rewards for finishing games.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

BugMath crashes frequently. Play is pretty intuitive, but instructions are written, and there's no additional help.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

5
(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Lindsay F. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Parkview Elementary School
Fort Worth, TX
4
Great for ELL and young learners - they'll love it!

My students really enjoyed this app. They liked the interactivity and my ELL students were counting along. Even a student who speaks NO English was able to make it work! Easy for center work or for independent learning opportunities.

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