Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2013
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Motion Math: Pizza!

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Serving up valuable economics lessons with an extra helping of fun

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • 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 (3 Reviews)

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Pros: The challenges and rewards of running a successful business will empower kids and keep them engaged.

Cons: Could use more instructions and hints for kids who need extra guidance.

Bottom Line: Fantastic math game gives kids a taste of what's needed to run a profitable business.

If you're teaching a consumer math unit, you could use Motion Math: Pizza! as an on-going project. Pair students up and have them work together to run their pizza shop. Keep a list of daily sales for each pair, and challenge students to reach certain daily and weekly sales goals. Engage kids in a class discussion of the challenges they encounter each day and how they learn to overcome those challenges. For younger kids, limit the cost of the pizzas to single digits, or have them use multiples of 5 or 10. This will make it easier for kids to calculate order totals and avoid the frustration of constantly losing customers.

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Motion Math: Pizza! is an innovative learning app that teaches kids about economics. Kids run their own pizza shops. With $50 to start the business, kids choose ingredients from the market, using division or estimation and mental math to pick the vendor with the lowest prices. Once they have their ingredients, kids can make up to three different pizzas. They must choose which toppings to use and how much of each topping they want per pizza. They name the pizza and set the price. When they're ready for business, kids open shop, and customers begin walking through the door and placing orders. Most orders involve addition or multiplication and get more challenging as the game progresses.

Motion Math: Pizza! is a unique way for younger kids to learn valuable lessons about economics. Using mental math, estimation, and rounding skills, kids calculate order totals and costs for pizza ingredients in this highly engaging simulation game. Kids can also learn how to use valuable reasoning skills when deciding how many ingredients to purchase each day, how much to spend making each pizza, and how much to charge per pizza. After completing a day of sales, kids can view pages to see how much profit they made, how many of each pizza type they sold, and other details about their customers. As they continue to play the game, kids will likely see sales patterns emerge. They can use these patterns to help them make solid business decisions leading to profits. 

Much of the game is intuitive, and some directions and hints are available. However, a more detailed overview of the game would be helpful for kids who need a bit of guidance. And a voice-to-text option would be a welcome feature.

Overall Rating

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

Motion Math: Pizza! engages kids with fun and interactive graphics and the challenges of running a business. 

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

Kids are challenged to quickly solve math problems in order to make a profit. Problems get harder as the game progresses, and kids can see how well they did after each day of sales. 

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

Instructions at the beginning of the game are helpful, and navigation is intuitive. More hints and feedback would improve the learning process for some kids.  

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Melissa K. , Media specialist/librarian
Media specialist/librarian
Benton Heights Elementary School
Monroe, NC
Exciting entrepreneurial game that teaches many concepts while allowing for differentiation; must be used with purpose!
This high-quality app makes for an ideal (and affordable!) teaching tool that increases student engagement and encourages math skills. My students thoroughly enjoyed this game - from the very beginning (choosing and purchasing materials, etc.) straight through into the more complex skill sets. I appreciated that this game allowed for students to practice multiple types of skills simultaneously - many enjoyed being "entrepreneurs" through this game without even realizing the tough skills they were mastering along the way - that's my type of activity! Economics, costs, basic mathematical skills, and profit margins were especially useful to my students who engage in a year long entrepreneurial project. The number of skills available in this game is phenomenal and is really what makes this game a home run for me. This was perfect for small group activities, as there are many functions that each student could be engaged in at once, and whole group demonstration to facilitate further discussion and activity. As with any teaching tool, careful teacher planning is necessary to ensure that students gain all that they can. This is not a game that I would let students play without clear instruction or targeted lessons, as the many concepts may be overwhelming or may be missed entirely if students are left on their own without prior explicit instruction. When used with intention, this game is absolutely wonderful, complex, and versatile. Additional instructions would prove helpful to struggling learners and some do find the fast need for calculations discouraging, especially when they're trying to target other concepts aside from basic calculation. I've found that working in groups to allow for differentiation and peer-teaching do help to alleviate some of these issues.
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