Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2013
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Math Practice Boards

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Unexciting but serviceable math app lets kids draw answers

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Grades
2-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Kids can draw answers and use their own colorful doodles to help them think through problems.

Cons: Difficulty within levels varies, and kids don’t get a chance to try again on incorrect answers.

Bottom Line: Not the best math practice app, but it does offer a reasonably interactive way to practice basic math problems.

With Math Practice Boards, kids can solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems via their own doodled visual cues, and they can also write the correct digit before tapping on a multiple-choice answer to complete the math drills. 12 pen colors allow kids to customize their written answers and drawings on the screen, while the formal math problems are presented both vertically and horizontally in random order, and answer options are multiple-choice.

Choose the operations (addition and subtraction and/or multiplication and division), a level (1-10), and a pen color. Problems appear either vertically or horizontally. Kids can doodle visual cues or draw an answer, then they must tap a multiple-choice answer. A green check appears for correct answers. The app provides the correct answers immediately if kids choose a wrong answer.

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There's nothing especially notable about Math Practice Boards; it is as advertised -- virtual chalkboards upon which to practice math. However, for a free app, it does have some good qualities. Kids will like the ability to draw directly onto the screen, and choices are always good -- even simple ones like pen color.

It includes 10 levels of math problem sets, although some problems within each set seem to leapfrog over other levels, increasing the challenge at a rapid rate. Also on the downside, if kids answer a problem incorrectly, the app immediately provides the correct answer without giving them time to review their work and try again. Math Practice Boards is not a standout app, but it does provide decent, free math practice drills for kids who may want to draw images to help them count or who learn best from multiple-choice options.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Colorful pens empower kids to draw on-screen answers and other doodles that can act as visual problem-solving help, but that's the only visual highlight here.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

Level and problem settings are chosen by the user. Immediate responses to incorrect answers let kids know where they've gone wrong, but there's not much encouragement to improve.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
1

The number of problems kids answer correctly is provided in the upper-right corner of each screen. The bad news: very limited customization and data-saving options.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
David B. , School district administrator
School district administrator
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland, CA,
1
Math practice app is simple and limited

Math Practice Boards is a smart phone app that gives students arithmetic problems to solve: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students can use the touch screen to solve the problems. So it's like a digital white board, except the screen is black. There are 10 levels of difficulty that don't go much past 4th grade.

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