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App review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
Doodle Math: Numbers

Doodle Math: Numbers

Hone expertise in numbers 1 to 10, from basic to complex

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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Grades
Pre-K–1
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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6 images

Pros: Games approach number concepts from a variety of angles.

Cons: Some games lack the scaffolding necessary to help more complex number concepts click for young kids.

Bottom Line: With a little extra support, a good pick to help kids work toward fluency with numbers 10 and under.

Doodle Math: Numbers can be a fun way to reinforce number concepts. Though kids do collect puzzle pieces for completing 10 tasks in a row, the games don't follow any real progression, so this app can be easily handed over from one kid to the next. Let kids explore freely, but keep an eye on them when they try to do more complex tasks like partitioning, ordering, and adding and subtracting. Kids shouldn't have much trouble figuring out the task, but they, especially younger ones, will likely need some help making the number concept crystal clear. Bring the same concepts off the screen with blocks or other classroom items. Arrange them from biggest to smallest, arrange groups from most items to least items, divide groups of blocks into smaller groups, and add and take away blocks to see what happens. Or, get kids moving around by giving each a card with a numeral and have them arrange themselves in numerical order.

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Doodle Math: Numbers has six games in which kids identify, trace, count, partition, arrange, and add and subtract numbers 1 through 10. When kids finish 10 tasks in a single game during a single session, they get a puzzle piece. Keep playing to collect enough pieces to complete pictures of the little creatures that appear throughout the games. Games can be played in any order, though there's a vague sense of increasing sophistication if kids start at the beginning and proceed in order.

Cute mini-games are nicely presented and, if played in a certain order, build in complexity. For example, start with a basic introduction to number names and quantity. Then, practice writing numerals. Next, match numerals with the correct quantity, and arrange items (both numbers and objects) in order from biggest to smallest. The final two games explore partitioning numbers (e.g., 5 can be broken down into 2 and 3) and adding and subtracting one item from a certain quantity. Some games may not provide enough scaffolding for the target age range; for example, it can be hard for young kids to start counting up from 3 (rather than starting at 1), and there's no explicit guidance for the partitioning and simple arithmetic games. Kids may get the game, but the number concept can easily fly over their heads. There are also just a few design issues and quirks that some may find charming, while others may find them annoying. The narrator's sweet encouragement can quickly turn grating, and some word choices are a bit odd; for example, what makes the creatures "naughty"? All in all, Doodle Math: Numbers provides good numbers practice in an appealing package.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Cute little creatures accompany kids as they explore numbers in a variety of engaging activities, though there's lots of repetition.

Pedagogy

Kids explore numbers 0 to 10 in six activities that cover basics like tracing numerals and counting, as well as more complicated concepts like addition and subtraction.

Support

Number activities are just right for early learners, though the lack of explanations may mean kids miss the learning message.


Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

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