Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2015
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Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication

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Deep conceptual understanding takes the drama out of multiplication

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
1-4
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Careful scaffolding ensures that students really master what it means to multiply and divide.

Cons: Gameplay may not help kids with the speed part of fluency since the focus is on understanding.

Bottom Line: An excellent app that uses arrays as tools to teach multiplication and division.

Llama Drama works best if you start with Animal Arrays and then move in the order directed. As students begin building arrays, the first direction is to find the animals. Kids may need some verbal guidance to know that this means they should drag the animals into the pens. As they get started, let the students struggle a little. Instead of telling them what to do, ask questions like, “Are all the goats in one pen?” or “How could you rearrange this to make it work?” When kids are first making arrays, two different students might create two different-shaped arrays to get the same answer. Give kids time to pause and compare so that they can see the commutative property at work. Hints, locks, and sounds can be turned off or on in settings. Anyone can get into the settings by clicking on the button that says "grown-ups" and reading the directions.   

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In Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication, kids organize objects into equal rows in order to visualize what it means to multiply and divide.  Using these arrays, they build their own multiplication tables and discover tricks to learn facts faster. Kids also break apart and put together arrays, building early factoring ideas important in later math. 

Initial tasks help kids learn how to use the app through simple gameplay: By dragging and dropping different animals, users begin by sorting similar animals into the right pens, automatically making their first arrays. Kids get silly feedback like Grumpy Goats when they get it right. If they get stuck, there are hints to coach them along.

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Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication emphasizes conceptual learning instead of just memorizing multiplication and division facts. Kids build their own understanding by adding rows and columns to the array and figuring out their multiplication tables for themselves. The fun visual images help kids see that 2x5 is the same as 5x2, cutting back the number of facts they have to "memorize" or learn. If kids have already memorized their math facts, the app still forces them to build the array, ensuring that students can create multiple representations of different math facts.

Kids might initially get a little confused because the array that helps them visualize 2x5=10 is the same array for 10÷5=2. Hopefully this will help kids start to think about fact families and learning multiplication and division together. Overall, this app is a masterpiece of scaffolded learning: Kids piece together multiplication and division bit by bit and have fun along the way.

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Overall Rating

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

Students are immediately drawn to the silly name and characters. Bright graphics and quick activities will keep their attention.

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

Building the arrays meets the Common Core expectation that kids will represent 3x5 as the total number of objects in 3 groups of 5 objects each. It helps kids recognize that multiplication is more than memorizing facts.  

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

Students get immediate feedback and tips as they work through the various tasks. This info is available in audio and text form.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Shane C. , Student
Student
Engaging and fun for young students to improve their multiplication and division

I liked how the game invites learners in as a game. This game is great for any learner attempting to fine tune their multiplication and division skills. I am overall very satisfied with this game and would recommend it for educators.

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