Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012
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Motion Math: Zoom

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Ingenious way to visualize and explore the number line

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 (8 Reviews)

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Pros: Fantastic design encourages exploration; visuals make relationships between numbers more concrete.

Cons: Extension suggestions would be helpful, as could more explanation of the scoring system and various icons.

Bottom Line: Kids have fun while exploring how numbers relate to each other on a number line.

This is a great way to make math come alive and get kids excited about numbers. Motion Math: Zoom fits right in with any unit on numbers, including decimals, place value, negative numbers, and more. Teachers can make multiple accounts to allow for multiple players. Each player has a unique progression through the levels, which teachers can look at to assess learning and progress. A general scorecard also gives some information about which kids are getting high scores. Kids can demonstrate what they've learned in related classroom activities.

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Motion Math: Zoom teaches kids how numbers relate to each other on a number line. A number appears in a bubble, and kids must drag, zoom in, or zoom out to find the space on the number line where the number belongs. Then, they pop the bubble and watch the number float to its place. Animals represent the relative size of numbers (dinosaurs for thousands down to amoebas for thousandths). Play begins with an introduction and continues through ever more complicated levels that include numbers up to 1,000, decimals (down to the thousandths), negatives, and mixtures of them all. Kids can play at a leisurely pace, or on a timer (a needle threatens to pop the number bubble before they find the number's correct spot). Kids get one star for completing a level, two for completing it quickly, and three for completing it with the "needle." Higher levels unlock when kids earn at least two stars.

Motion Math: Zoom is a really fun, unique way for kids to explore numbers and how they relate to each other. What exactly does 0.15 mean? Kids figure it out by zooming in between 0.1 and 0.2 and seeing that 0.15 belongs right in the middle. Animals help kids visualize the relative difference between an amoeba-sized 0.001, a frog-sized 1, and a dinosaur-sized 1,000. Leveling is calibrated to kids' comprehension through a system of timed challenges; kids can unlock higher levels only after reaching certain performance standards on lower levels. This, though, is the main area for improvement: scoring and evaluation. It would be helpful to know more about what goes into a score (speed? accuracy?) so that kids and grownups can focus on where kids might be having trouble. How much do kids really understand about numbers when they pass a level? Otherwise, a top-notch learning experience.

Overall Rating

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

Dragging and zooming along the number line and popping number bubbles can be endless fun. Kids will also enjoy the great graphical representations.

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

Kids get a hands-on, in-depth look at the number line. They can learn about how numbers relate to each other and what decimals and negatives really mean. Leveling gives an increasingly detailed look at the number line.

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

Great hints help kids who are having trouble, and a points and leveling system gives kids feedback on their progress. The simple set-up makes the game accessible to a wide range of kids. It could use some hints for learning extensions.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Courtney S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Central City Elementary School
Huntington, WV
Great For Practicing Number Lines
I think this game is a great way to reinforce number line skills. Students are engaged and work as a team to fill in the missing numbers. I think they concept is wonderful. Students that struggle with counting and comparing numbers will greatly benefit from this app. They will have to think of where the number goes and how many spaces away it will go. They also have to consider the numbers around it and the concept of one forward and one backwards. It also helps students when they are learning to add and subtract. They learn to better understand numbers.
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