App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012
Cash Cow
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Cash Cow

Money-counting game adds up to truckloads of fun on the farm

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–3 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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Pros: This game is a highly engaging way to practice addition.

Cons: Game lacks customization options and detailed feedback.

Bottom Line: Cash Cow offers entertaining addition practice that keeps kids engaged with building their farm.

This app can be a really fun way to engage kids in money-based addition practice, especially in 1-to-1 classrooms. The only customization options are to turn sound effects or music on or off, and only three different user accounts can be created. Cash Cow may be an especially good app to recommend to parents for use in at-home math practice, because kids are likely to want to play for extended periods of time (perhaps too much time to fit into the school day on a regular basis).

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Cash Cow is an adding game app that's based entirely around the mathematics of money. In order to clear coins from the board, you need to connect smaller denominations and merge them into larger denominations. For example, connecting five nickels makes a quarter -- but so does connecting a dime, two nickels, and five pennies. The strategy is all in the numbers. Kids can see what the new goal is on each level, and they view the amount of money they've collected at the top of each screen. After successfully completing a level, students can use their "earnings" to buy stuff for the farm -- for example, apple trees, chickens, butterflies, a weather vane. As kids move through the levels, more buying options appear and mini-games add to the fun.

Cash Cow is a fun way to mix adding practice and money-counting skills. Students use strategy and problem solving to quickly determine which coin combinations are possible. Kids practice adding with coin denominations by adding pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, which can add up to many dollars, depending upon how long kids play (which will most likely be as long as you want, because this app is highly engaging). The beautiful farm scenes that kids make with their earnings are soothing and calm, which add to the app's appeal. The tutorials at the beginning of each new level help kids understand how to be successful. On the downside, struggling players don't get much constructive feedback, and the app lacks customization options.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Don't think about the math -- just play the game! You'll quickly see how fun and appealing it is. And between rounds, players get to use "money" they've collected to decorate and customize their farm scenes.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids learn through multiple attempts, developing problem-solving and strategic thinking skills as they play.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Struggling players don't get much informative feedback, but the tutorials at the beginning of each new level help kids understand how to be successful.


Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Wendy B. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Using addition concepts, students add loose change to assist in saving a farm from the bank.
This app requires literacy skills as students must read in order to advance to the various levels. While this app claims to assist with counting coins and addition, it falls short. Students are asked to add loose change from a screen filled with nickles, dimes, pennies and quarters, in order to arrive at a pre-determined total which would allow the animal to save his farm. However, while it sounds good, students do not have to actually do any addition. The students can simply click on the coins and ...
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