Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012
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Park Math

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Brilliant math activities are as fun as a trip to the park

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Pre-K-1 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Solid math practice reinforced in many different ways in seven games, each with three levels of difficulty.

Cons: An accidental tap on the Blue Bear can move kids out of game they're playing.

Bottom Line: Park Math is a remarkable early math practice activity app that's fun and effective.

Teachers can use Park Math to reinforce math lessons and practice skills they've recently introduced. There's no way to track students' progress, so it's not ideal for assessing how well kids are mastering each skill. Still, kids can adapt the app according to their own readiness by tapping on level one, two, or three. And they can play any game for however long they want, moving back and forth between games, if desired. It's perfect for an iPad station or one-on-one use of an iPad.

Park Math is an excellent math practice app for teachers to recommend to parents for their kids to play at home because it requires no setup and, with seven games and three levels, it's quite sticky. Parents will likely find their kids playing many sessions on this one app.

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In Park Math, kids can navigate around a park to play seven fun math activities. An adorable Blue Bear acts as the child's guide and cheerleader. The seven interactive games include counting numbers up to 100, addition, subtraction, greater than/less than, small-to-large, and patterns and sequences. Kids can choose from three levels of play.

Kids will count the times a rabbit swings, subtract ducks as they go down a slide, make two amounts even by adding or removing mice from a seesaw, and more. The activities allow students to interact with the objects on the screen. For example, kids swipe their finger to jump adorable dogs (wearing numbered sweaters) one over the other on a park bench until they are in numerical order.

The skills practiced in Park Math incorporate animal characters and park themes that are colorful and appealing. There's a lot of interactivity, including fun elements that kids can tap just to see what happens, such as a little gopher that pops out of different holes in the park ground.

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Park Math is a great way for kids to practice math. By letting kids manipulate the items on-screen, the app really helps drive home the concepts of addition and subtraction; it lets kids see with their own eyes what it means to, say, take two away from four. The characters and settings are colorful and appealing. The activities can be played in three levels of difficulty. And there are loads of hidden animations for kids to find and activate, making the experience all the more exciting for young ones.

One slight downside of all the different tapping and swiping options is if a kid accidentally swipes the Blue Bear (who acts as a navigation tool/cheerleader and appears on each screen), he moves them out of the activity and onto another screen with a different activity, and it takes a few steps to get back to the original game. A plus about the Blue Bear is that this bear is always encouraging no matter how well a kid is performing on an activity. Additional feedback to further the learning would have been a great addition.

While one of the counting activities contains some repetition -- the swinging animation of the bunny remains the same all the way to 100 swings -- most of the activities are highly engaging. The seesaw actitivity is a perfect way to explain how to make two amounts even as kids add and remove adorable little mice.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Seven engaging activities are colorful, fun, and interactive. Instrumental music weaves into the background common nursery rhymes many kids will recognize.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Kids learn by playing park-related math activities -- helping ducks to climb a slide, moving dogs in order from smallest to largest on a park bench -- and by choosing which activities to do when, and for how long.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Clear instructions and three different levels help make the games suitable for kids just entering preschool to those in first grade. There could be more feedback built in.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Jennifer K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
4
Great Beginning Math Skill Reinforcement!

I like that this app has seven different mini games that students can work through and then each of the min games has three levels of difficulties. The mini games work on skills like counting and adding and subtracting to 5. I wish that the app could track a student's progress. The drawback to this app is it's audience. Once a student has number sense they will quickly get bored with this app. I think that its a great app for PreK-K and struggling students or students with special needs.

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