MathTango is a great way to get kids excited to practice their math facts. Students will beg for time to build their worlds, so this is a perfect incentive activity. Daily Quests are opportunities for kids to try their hand at word problems and could be included as part of the morning classroom routine. Kids can follow their individualized lesson plan to focus on skills.
The games are also engaging enough to play as a class. Play together or as teams to see who can complete the missions fastest or earn the most points. From the home screen, adults can check off lessons they want to be included and can even remove all but one lesson to help focus a daily lesson on specific facts. In this way, teachers can even use a mission as an independent homework assignment.Continue reading Show less
MathTango uses gaming and world building to engage K–5 kids in basic computation practice. If mastering addition and subtraction is the goal, players are whisked away to a tropical island for practice counting, adding, and subtracting. If players want more multiplication and division practice, they find themselves using their fact families to build and run a space station!
When players have successful missions -- including finding hidden treasures, interacting with characters, or purchasing items -- they are rewarded with new monster or robot friends. Math practice begins when players solve puzzles and earn points to spend on items to keep these new friends fed, happy, and dancing. The puzzles are more than rote memorization and keep students engaged with interesting ways to practice basic arithmetic facts. The skill progression is thoroughly planned out, and challenge levels increase as students do well. Lesson plans help differentiate, and lessons are also customizable to suit individual students' needs.
More than 200 math puzzle games cover basic skills, such as adding single-digit numbers, adding doubles, 10s, and more. The games are short and simple (but challenging), and the monsters are cute. As kids progress through the game, the math problems become more difficult. Higher levels of the game (and the free-play mode) require an in-app purchase.
The cute characters and addictive world-building of MathTango will be a great hook for what could normally be dull rote practice. Although some missions may take a few minutes, the app has struck a nice balance between play and practice. Puzzles offer multiple rounds to help solidify the math facts and the missions, and dance parties offer fun, but short, brain breaks. And it's great that kids can use it entirely offline, so the app's not dependent on a school's Wi-Fi.
Without lessons embedded in the program or a help feature to redirect players even after multiple incorrect answers, teachers should be certain to introduce MathTango after they've taught the necessary skills and to monitor progress to prevent frustration. Also, some levels can take quite a long time to move through, so some students may get frustrated or bored; in that case, encourage students to team up to complete that challenge. And the limited mechanics of moving the blocks might also frustrate some kids, so it would be great to have more freedom of placement.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100–900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100–900.
Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10–90 (e.g., 9 × 80, 5 × 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
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.
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