Common Sense Review
Updated January 2013

Mathable

Rack up points by building math equations on this board-game style app
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • Following the tutorial through gameplay basics is essential to enjoying this game.
  • As the game develops, the board looks increasingly impressive!
  • Watch points increase while building basic math equations.
  • Single- play against the computer or multi-play against up to three other people.
Pros
A Best Moves feature helps kids when stuck; players can save games and return to them later.
Cons
Most kids won't be able to play without first reading the tutorial or receiving some verbal explanation.
Bottom Line
Board game-like play against the app or real-life players makes practicing math fun.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

The well-designed game board-game style math practice on Mathable is engaging for kids who are confident in basic math equations. The game provides some hints, and kids can play against their own device or a real person.

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

Basic higher level math practice is built into Mathable. The Scrabble-like numbers game is adaptable, allowing kids to play alone or with others, and includes two levels of difficulty and three time settings.

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

Most kids should be able to understand gameplay well once they go through the tutorials. Kids can get "best moves" hints, and see their own score and their opponent's score grow during each turn.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Mathable can be an excellent time-controlled math practice game for the classroom because turns are timed and games can be saved from one play session to the next. Students who are particularly skilled in basic math operations, can play solo against the app, set the app to the "Hard" difficulty level, and take the challenge to their own math heights. Kids whose math skills are equally matched can select the multi-play option, which allows up to three kids to play against one another on one iPad. Be sure students read the tutorials before playing Mathable, and consider demonstrating a sample round or two for the class. Otherwise, Mathable's complex-looking board and rules may cause some students to put it down before finding out how much fun it is

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What's It Like?

Mathable is a Scrabble-like math game that can be played alone or against other players. To play, kids must first read the tutorials provided. They then select single- or multi-player format, difficulty level (normal or hard), and set the timer (for one, three, or five minutes per turn). Then the game board appears, along with a row of tokens (tiles, in Scrabble). Choose the tokens with numbers that make an equation on the board (following the rules) and tap Confirm Play to submit the equation that scores the most points on that turn. A Best Move option offers hints. Players take turns making equations on the board. Mathable is likely to be a winner with kids for whom math is a favorite subject; for those who struggle with math, it may be too complex to be fun.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Kids can practice using addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction while playing Mathable. Kids also learn how to apply their knowledge of basic math equations to make decisions that earn the most points. Kids or teachers can set the length of each player's turn for one minute to five minutes, depending on the kids' skill and patience levels. As a result, kids can opt to think quickly or to spend time thinking through a multitude of options. Although this app may be overwhelming to players who don't have a solid command of basic math facts, Mathable is an effective way to combine math skills with critical thinking in a fun game for math-adept kids.

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See how teachers are using Mathable