Common Sense Review
Updated January 2013

Pre-Algebra Guide

Handy but not-so-interactive reference for math rules and definitions
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • Kids choose from a list of topics.
  • An entry on adding positives and negatives.
  • Kids can also search for help with a specific concept.
  • Explanation and examples for exponents.
  • The Pythagorean Theorem with an explanation, some basic graphics, and an example.
Pros
It's a well-organized and concise reference for middle or high school math students.
Cons
There's no real interactivity, no ability to increase the small font size, and at least one small typo.
Bottom Line
An overall good resource for students looking to get their homework done efficiently.
Leslie Crenna
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Engagement for this app consists of well-worded, concise explanations. It's not especially fun, but it's a fine, well-designed reference that doesn't necessarily need to be.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Explanations are excellent and provide depth for kids looking for answers, but some built-in interactivity would provide a powerful boost.

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

Menus and navigation are simple and organized.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers can encourage kids to keep Pre-Algebra Guide as a handy reference when they're working independently in class or doing homework. It's a basic app with no real interactivity, but students could work in pairs to quiz each other on math rules, using Pre-Algebra Guide to confirm answers.

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What's It Like?

Pre-Algebra Guide is a handy mathematics reference for middle and high school students. There are no games or other interactivity, but students who read the bite-sized explanations across the 50 swipeable pages will find thorough yet concise examples of everything from basic foundational number concepts to square roots to the Pythagorean Theorem.

Students choose from a list of concepts and carefully read text including explanations and examples. Most concepts fit on one page, but some span two. Navigation is simple with a home page symbol, back and forward buttons, and swipeable pages. Important terms or groups of numbers under discussion are highlighted by blue or red text. Titles, organizers, and questions are in purple text. Rare geometric figures are drawn with precision. Some pages require scrolling down by swiping.

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Is It Good For Learning?

It's a quick reference and not much more, which is OK. Kids can use Pre-Algebra Guide to learn mathematical concepts, but more likely they'll use it to double-check and solidify them. Many people forget math concepts every once in a while, such as how to divide fractions, or the definitions of mode or range. With this app, students won't have to search through their textbook -- in a matter of a few taps, they'll have the help they're looking for. Though text is small and there's no zoom feature, the spacing, text colors, bold formatting, and icons are used carefully to give a clear presentation.

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