Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2012
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KidgitZ - It adds up to fun!

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Helps kids master addition block by block

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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1-3 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Kids can choose their own target numbers and block-dropping speed.

Cons: Bigger blocks mean the screen fills faster.

Bottom Line: A fun and customizable game that helps kids quickly recall and retain basic addition facts.

KidgitZ can add blockloads of fun to rote addition practice. As kids see their scores improve, they are motivated to keep playing, which means they keep practicing. KidgitZ may be a good companion app to the DigitZ app in the classroom as an almost identical option for students who need to limit the target sums used in the DigitZ game, or who desire to a slower pace. For added fun, consider offering this app as a two-person game for students who are at similar skill level and would challenge each other to think even faster in a healthy competition.

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KidgitZ is an easier version of the more advanced Tetris-like addition facts game DigitZ. In this version, kids get to choose a target number between four and 12 for each round. Then they have to tap the falling number block tiles that add to that target number. For example, if the target number is 10, kids would tap 4 and 6, or tap two blocks with 5, or 2 and 8, and so on. Kids earn more points the more times they add up to the target number. Blocks disappear after they've matched, opening up more room on the screen. When the screen is filled with blocks, the game ends. KidgitZ offers multiple settings, including choosing higer levels to cause the block tiles to fall faster, turning the sounds off, using different block tiles, and adjusting the speed of gameplay.

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Since kids have to calculate the same problems over and over again to reach the target sum, this game can help kids transfer addition facts to long-term memory. KidgitZ has larger blocks with bigger numbers, and a limited number range compared to  DigitZ, making it better suited for students who are still developing basic addition skills. Unfortunately, the bigger blocks may unintentionally add some frustration because they fill the screen more quickly. Still, with the proper use of the settings, KidgitZ can be a nice alternative to the fun, faster paced, and more broad number range in DigitZ.

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Overall Rating
3

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

Fun and exciting arcade-style game includes quick-thinking math pratice and some nice customizable features. Changing the falling block tiles can help increase engagement as kids play with different styles.

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

Kids get to choose their target number for each round, which gives them a chance to calculate the same problems over and over again, promoting memorization of math facts. The game automatically starts on the slowest, easiest level.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Brief written instructions. The pause button allows kids to take a break and game mode lets users pick the level on which they want to start. There's also a slider bar to increase or decrease speed.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

2
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Featured review by
Tamara L. , Other
Other
Hanover County Public Schools
Ashland, VA
2
Fun way to enhance critical thinking for basic math facts!

As a teaching tool, I think the greatest frustration is that I couldn't find it in the Apple App Store for iPads (only available for iPhone despite the website disclaimer that it was a multi-device app.) The disadvantages of this app include set sums (4-12); it would be nice to be able to add in your own sum to provide a great range for differentiation. I also had to discover on my own that once you select a digit for an addend, you couldn't unselect that number. The only way you could start again was to go over the desired sum which would allow you to tap a different digit.

That being said, I think it has potential for use in a BYOD classroom using iPhones, but it's limited in that you can only practice addition. While a fun and engaging app, my score reflects the limited appeal for elementary/secondary students overall.

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