This would work really well as a warm-up activity before a quiz on one of the skills it addresses, or as a fun reward after a successful day in class. The timed challenges could create some healthy competition among students, but overall, the warmth and encouraging nature of this app works for struggling students as well as kids who've mastered the material.Continue reading Show less
Math Magic is a simple arithmetic program that quizzes kids in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. From the main play space, users can select individual operators or countable objects, or, from the preferences page, select negative numbers, any combination of operators for timed challenges, or a maximum number -- 5, 10, or 20 -- to use in expressions (addends, subtrahends, products, or quotients). Timed challenge mode allows kids to see how many correct answers they can get in a minute, though no data is kept.
The play space consists of a mathematic expression, four answer choices (fill-in-the-blank option for iOS only), and a running tally of correct and incorrect answers. Kids tap the correct answer or choose to advance to the next expression by shaking or clicking the arrow button. Cheerful and enthusiastic kids' voices celebrate correct answers with phrases and green checks, while incorrect answers result in a small red cross and a short device vibration (plus optional gentle encouragement urging kids to try again until they get it right). Kids earn ribbons, cupcakes, stars, and flowers for correct answers.
The app's appeal lies in its flexibility and scalability: Kids have lots of choices, and there's lots of room for different skill levels to practice here. It's also very encouraging, which should keep kids coming back and feeling confident. It's a pretty straightforward quiz app, so there's not a ton of learning depth, but kids'll enjoy its cute perks (Cupcakes for right answers? Yes, please!), and with repeated practice, lessons should stick.
The Android version has no levels, so gameplay can feel endless. The only other downsides are that the counting objects icon is cryptic (magic wand), the gameplay menu is too small (Android only), and data doesn't save even when preferences are changed. It's not super exciting, but graphics are colorful, the interface is intuitive, and encouragement is extensive.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Fluently add and subtract within 5.
The Number System
Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.