Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2013
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Intro to Colors, by Montessorium

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Get kids excited about understanding and blending colors

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Grades
Pre-K-1 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Pretty colors organized in a systematic way create calm color lesson.

Cons: No option to turn sound off, and lots of little noise prompts.

Bottom Line: Brief lessons about primary colors blend well with exercises.

Teachers can use this app to introduce the primary colors to young students, guiding them through the first few basic color exercises and then allowing them to work through as many colors as their attention for the topic currently holds, Montessori style. If you have the tactile Montessori color tablets available, students familiar with the exercise may find this app a good first educational iPad app because it's easy to see how the real-world tool corresponds with the on-screen version. The mini-lessons here are a great way to introduce a classroom-wide lesson on color, prior to allowing kids to play with real paint and mixing primary colors. 

Intro to Colors could also be a springboard for lessons about a variety of topics that stretch beyond what you can find in the app, such as light, basic science (why plants and animals have the colors they do), patterns and math, creative writing and metaphor around mood, and more. And since the color words can be spoken and viewed in English, Spanish, German, French, or Chinese, Intro to Colors can also be used to teach simple color vocabulary in other languages, including vocabulary lessons for ELL students learning English.

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Intro to Colors, by Montessorium is a fun color education app for preschoolers to early elementary school students that takes color and breaks it down into simple elements. The main portions of this app are like digital versions of Montessori color tablets, traditionally tactile objects that help kids understand colors as a system as they learn color-related words. Primary colors begin a kid's color journey on this masterful app. Then onto secondary colors, shades (or "gradients"), where kids spin the rainbow color wheel and drag to reorder seven shades of one color from dark to light. There's a blank canvas for free play with primary colors, and a whimsical seek-and-find color game that asks kids to notice color in a room (five language options). Verbal and visual cues teach color names and tell kids what to do next. There's no option to turn off sounds and there are a lot of little action noises, which may be distracting to some younger users.

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Intro to Colors, by Montessorium is a fantastic way for kids to learn color fundamentals -- primary, secondary, and gradients. As the app presents each group of colors and kids are encouraged to name and match them, they're increasing their color vocabulary as well as learning about the basics of painting and art. This app helps kids conceptualize in concrete ways how primary colors work to make new colors when mixed together, and to understand shades. It engages kids with colors, first by observation and repetition, then with games and mixing primary colors themselves to free paint. Kids new to these concepts will likely be amazed and want to learn even more about color in real life after playing on this app. Keep the fingerpaints nearby!

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Highly engaging. The clean design of the lessons and exercises draws kids' eyes and attention to the colors and their names. The exercises are engaging, but quietly so. More active fun comes in the game and the free paint.

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

Inspired by the Montessori color tablets classroom materials, the app covers foundational concepts kids can build on, weaving them into the exercises and the game. Free paint empowers kids to explore their creativity.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Clear verbal and visual instructions. If adult helpers want more information, tapping the "i" provides details. Dots on the color wheel let kids know which shades they've already ordered and which ones remain.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Joel S. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Village East Community Elementary School
Aurora, CO
2
Okay for Pre-K Students

For $4.99 I was expecting a lot more than this app has to offer. There's not much to it, other than building vocabulary and identifying colors. For a pre-K classroom, and maybe some Kindergarten classes, I'm sure students would find this app fun. After that I can see this app getting old fast. There are better painting apps out there, for FREE (such as Paper by 53), and the vocabulary can be mastered pretty quickly. I wasn't impressed and was hoping for a lot more options and engagement for $4.99.

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