App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2013
Mathable
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Mathable

Rack up points by building math equations on this board-game style app

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Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
3–6
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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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.

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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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.

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.

Overall Rating

Engagement

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

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

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.


Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Rafranz D. , School district administrator
School district administrator
Lufkin ISD
Lufkin, United States
Mathable challenges the brain like scrabble but with numbers and operations.
I don't think that mathable is a teaching tool per se. It really is more of a digital practice tool. Students will need to have foundational knowledge of operating using all operations in order to successfully complete puzzle.
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