Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2014
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Quento

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Addictive puzzler drills addition, subtraction; lacks useful feedback

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
1-3
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Puzzles are addictively fun and challenging with two- and three-number equations.

Cons: Puzzles only include addition and subtraction; no feedback or progress reports are available.

Bottom Line: Elegant puzzler makes great option for daily math practice.

Quento aligns with CCSS for early-elementary grades, but the challenge will engage students (and adults) of all ages, making it an effective option for daily math practice -- either in class or as a homework assignment -- for elementary students, or as a fun brain challenge for older students.

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Starting with an answer and a grid containing five numbers and four operation signs, players swipe through two or three numbers, combined with operations, to find the solution. If players find the correct solution, the next puzzle opens up with a new answer and a new set of numbers and operations. If they're wrong, they hear a short beep and the puzzle doesn't change. No hints are provided after the initial instructional round. Once they've mastered a level of two-number equations, the three-number equations open up, eventually offering both options. (Four-number and five-number puzzles are also available for an in-app purchase.) Players can choose to solve for either answer, and many problems have more than one solution. Swiping left opens up the Free Play mode, where players still start with an answer but can swipe as many numbers as they need to find the solution.

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Quento walks students through how to play the first time the app is opened; beyond that, the interface is simple with no distractions. The approach gets students thinking critically, especially since each answer could have multiple workable solutions. The in-app purchase can continue the challenge to four- or five-number problems, but Free Play will extend the challenge as well. No scores are kept and no feedback is provided, which makes it impossible for teachers to monitor students' progress within the app, but it's also freeing for students to practice and play without pressure. (They can't move on to another puzzle until they find the correct solution, anyway.) There's also no time pressure to add stress. Students can take as much time as they need to, or move as quickly as they want to.

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Overall Rating

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

Math-puzzle fans will find swiping the equations addictively fun, but there's not much to engage or motivate those who struggle with math.

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

The simple format challenges players to think critically and algebraically. Players advance through the levels; each time they play, they pick up at the level where they left off.

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

No data or scores are kept, and there are no separate user accounts. After the first-time instructional round, no hints are offered and no feedback is provided, other than a beep for incorrect answers. 


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kim P. , Media specialist/librarian
Media specialist/librarian
North Fairview Elementary School
Topeka, KS
Challenging problem solving for students

There are limits to this in a classroom, as you can't reset the app so if you are using shared iPads, students would have to take the problems where the last person left off. I do feel it's a great enrichment activity to challenge thinking skills so I've recommended it for home use with students that have a device at home to use.

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