App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2012
MathBoard
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MathBoard

Drill math skills with basic, customizable chalkboard-style app

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 5 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–8 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Many customization options include choosing the type of problems, range of numbers, and multiple-choice vs. fill-in-the-blank answers.

Cons: Some kids may find the chalkboard-style interface boring, or the countdown timer frustrating.

Bottom Line: It's a solid practice tool for kids who don't need fancy visuals.

The variety of settings makes it possible to use this app for a handful of different levels and operations. Kids can get into groups and try to beat each others' scores, or you can award stickers after five minutes of quizzing. The saved scores make it easy to keep an eye on how kids are doing, and not everyone has to play at the same level.

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MathBoard is a basic math practice tool that includes many customization options. A portion of the screen is devoted to a scratchboard, where kids can write numbers or draw representations of objects to help them solve problems. If they're stuck, they can choose to get a step-by-step explanation of how to solve the problem. Some of the customizable options include number limits, equation types, and whether tests should have a time limit. You can establish the quiz parameters by setting the options according to a kid's current math level. Parameters include operator types (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square root); number of problems, problem style, and answer style; number range; equation types (from simple to single-step algebraic); digit limit; time; and more. The app then generates individualized quizzes. Kids also have access to quick reference tables for basic math functions. Results can be saved for each student and then emailed.

The encouraging "ding!" that alerts a student that he or she answered the question correctly is counterbalanced by a rather annoying and startling "buzz!" that accompanies incorrect answers. Luckily, these sound effects can be turned off. Individual quiz generation and a built-in adjustment to incorrect answers, coupled with the ability to save results for each student, make this a very smart math tool.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?
The chalkboard-style interface may not strike kids as flashy, but they may find the ability to write numbers or draw marks to represent counting with different chalk colors fun and helpful for completing the problems.
Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Through repeated practice, kids can get some depth, and the app is responsive, letting kids know when they've gotten an answer wrong or right.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?
Math tables on the app can be helpful to kids when completing homework. A solid user manual can be downloaded for free, but only on iTunes.

Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Michelle S. , Special education instructor
Special education instructor
Los Angeles County Office of Education
Downey, United States
Alternative for traditional paper and pencil rote math practice
I give this app an overall 3 stars. It is merely complicated alternative to traditional paper and pencil rote math practice. I agree students can never get enough practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, so I considered using this app to engage students. In addition, while my students needed additional practice, rather than direct instruction, they were all at different levels of ability. This app was an easy answer for creating levels of activity quickly. In app settings allow ...
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