Common Sense Review
Updated September 2013

Montessori Counting Board

Preschool counting practice by sight, sound, and touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Colored square tiles along the bottom of the screen correspond with the numeral.
  • If kids tap randomly, numerals may confusingly appear out of order.
  • Choose from numerous custom settings and five ways to count.
  • Limit numbers displayed for very young counters.
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.
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

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.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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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Is It Good For Learning?

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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See how teachers are using Montessori Counting Board

Lesson Plans