Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2012
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Montessori Numberland

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Beautiful, clever art and animation gently guide kids learning numbers

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Kids get multiple ways to view, trace, count, and hear each number spoken.

Cons: The app offers little feedback for kids, although it's not all that necessary.

Bottom Line: Teachers who value combining Montessori principles with the convenience of technology will appreciate this app.

Montessori Numberland is an app experience that preschoolers can navigate on their own. When your preschoolers are ready to learn to recognize numbers up to nine, associate quantities to numerals, and practice tracing and writing numbers, this can be an excellent practice app to let them explore on their own, especially after working with hands-on manipulatives such as a real spindle box for counting and a sand tray for tracing letters. Consider suggesting this app to parents as an example of a quality early math app that they could use at home with their preschoolers.

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Montessori Numberland helps kids learn numbers up to nine through viewing, counting, and writing each of them in many different ways. Each number has a beautiful story page that shows a boy and a girl in a different scene. For example, number one's page includes one giant's foot in front of one castle and one dragon appears. The boy and girl characters on the page ask players to do certain things, such as "Touch the giant's foot." When kids do so, the dragon breathes fire. Then the girl asks, "How many giant's feet do you see?" From the main screen, kids can also go to pages where they can draw with colored pencils, trace the number in a sand tray, play with bouncing balls, or sort spindles into boxes until they have the correct number in each box. The app's settings include eight different language options.

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Kids can learn numbers and counting up to nine, and practice tracing and writing the numbers. The app also introduces the concept of zero as nothing and emphasizes the values behind numbers rather than the rote memorization. The activities on this app are based on the Montessori method, which is described in the "Note to Parents" on the main page. Most of the activities are discovery-based, so there is little direct feedback. For teachers who value combining Montessori principles with the convenience of technology and for their preschool students who are ready to learn numbers and practice writing them, Montessori Numberland is a beautiful introduction.

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Overall Rating

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

This app is filled with beautiful, clever animation, and voices that encourage interaction with each scene. The Montessori method gets kids to do the work themselves. The interface is intuitive and well-designed.

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

Kids can learn numbers and counting 0 to 9 with the Montessori method that emphasizes the values behind numbers rather than rote memorization.

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

There are a few verbal instructions, but most of the activities are discovery-based. The developers encourage parents to trust their kids' instincts as they discover and explore the numbers in the app.

Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Valerie H. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Wemrock Brook Elementary School
Manalapan, NJ
Preschoolers learn about numbers in a fun environment
The app teaches and/or reinforces basic number skills. Emphasis is placed on allowing users to move freely as it is a Montessori-designed app. I wondered if Maria Montessori would like this method of instruction. Having virtual sandboxes to draw in rather than actual boxes of sand might not be what she envisioned. According to the American Montessori Society early learners "learn through sensory-motor activities, working with materials that develop their cognitive powers through direct experience: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and movement." Some might say that using an iPad interferes with those sensory experiences. I'm not certain if apps geared toward the youngest of learners are really essential to their learning. I suppose it's an individual's opinion on the best means of teaching the youngest learners. I'd prefer preschoolers to be engaged in the real world rather than the online one. Having said that, this app does attempt to mimic real life as best it can. Ultimately, it's a decision the educator should make based on their students' needs. Read full review