Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2013
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Montessori Counting Board

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Preschool counting practice by sight, sound, and touch

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Pre-K-K This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Visual numeric tiles, counting squares, and verbal reinforcement.

Cons: Mode in which numbers can appear out of order may confuse preschoolers.

Bottom Line: Decent early counting practice, but can be confusing too.

If you are using manipulatives in class to teach counting, use Montessori Counting Board to reinforce the lesson by showing kids digitally colored squares that appear in groups in conjunction with the corresponding numeral tiles. Kids learning to count up or down can use this app to practice that skill as often as they'd like with no levels or limits; all adjustments are made by teachers in the settings. Add your own "success sounds" for more meaningful praise.

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Montessori Counting Board is a learn-to-count app that uses visual number tiles, colored squares, and verbal reinforcement to help kids learn numbers up to 20. There are five play modes: Learn to Count, Learn to Count Up, Learn to Count Down, Drag to Count Up, or Drag to Count Down. In the basic Learn to Count mode, kids tap any number tile they see and the number will appear. As a result, sometimes numbers are placed out of order on the screen. For example, the board may show tiles in order of 1, 2, 5, 4, 3. In the other modes, kids hear an error sound if they choose numbers out of numeric order. Teachers can change settings including game sounds, success messages, and number range. You can also record your own voice or a student's voice for a personalized experience. Montessori Counting Board provides very basic numbers practice for young kids.

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For Montessori Counting Board to be effective, it's important that teachers set the app to the appropriate number range and mode for their students' age and current understanding of numbers and counting. The mode in which numbers can appear out of order (depending upon where the player taps) may confuse preschoolers. The colored tiles representing each numeral correspond with the correct number of individual squares. This is clearly a Montessori-inspired feature, but the constant and non-specific praise seems out of step with typical Montessori style (although that can be removed in settings). If you're looking for a digital version of Montessori numbers-style practice, other similar apps may be a better choice.

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Overall Rating
3

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

All five modes use the same plain, colored, square tiles to represent objects that correspond with each digit. Settings, including a record-your-own-voice option, may help boost engagement. Constant praise may grow annoying.

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

Kids learn by tapping or dragging the tiles to reveal numbers and then seeing and hearing the numbers 1 to 20. Kids can practice counting up or down or by tapping cards in random order (numbers may appear out of order in that mode).

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Tap on the "i" tab on the main page, and a Need Help? page appears. At the time of this review, the only instructions that appear are for the app Counting Bear, which is a similar app by the same developer.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Lisa S. , Other
Other
4
Excellent for students new to counting or struggling with one to one correspondence/counting on/counting back etc.

As long as a teacher or parent is willing to make sure the settings are correct so that the child is working at the appropriate level, this app could be very valuable. It could be improved by allowing for multiple users where the teacher/parent could add settings ahead of time and the child would just choose their name or icon to get to their settings. As is, it does take some teacher involvement each time the program is started. I also hope that the developer might consider adding to the optional settings a different number than 1 as the starting number, so that teachers could use this to review "counting on from ___" concepts as well.

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