Common Sense Review
Updated September 2016

Sushi Monster

Clever addition and multiplication drills for practice, not instruction
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Seven levels of addition and five levels of multiplication challenge kids.
  • Students drag numbered pieces of sushi into the monster's mouth to get the answer he's wearing.
  • After completing a level, kids see their scores and times with a comparison of the best time.
  • Some planning is needed, as kids can use up the numbers on the sushi bar and be left without the right numbers to solve later problems.
  • Students can access helpful tips from the paused menu
Problems are challenging and force students to think quickly
Each level moves so fast that students have no time to reflect on incorrect answers
Bottom Line
Scholastic's free Sushi Monster offers solid math practice and a clever concept.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Sushi Monster draws kids in with a silly, fun premise, and the fast-paced math keeps kids engaged.

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

Though kids can pause play and get help on problems, there's no instruction or explanation of incorrect answers. It's all about drills and speed.

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

The inability to save progress for multiple players or to view results from each level limits the opportunity for reflective learning.

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

Use Sushi Monster in-class to improve kids' math fluency and speed in addition and multiplication or as homework assignments for daily practice. Each level (seven for addition, five for multiplication) includes 14 problems. Kids can dedicate 10 minutes a day to improving math fluency and have some silly fun in the process. You won't be able to monitor incorrect answers with the free version, though, so other forms of practice and assessment will need to supplement Sushi Monster. Scholastic offers a full, paid program, of which Sushi Monster is one of six practice games, and it does include student accounts and a teacher dashboard. Sushi Monster does go beyond basic memorization and practice by encouraging students to use critical thinking to create strategies that use numbers most effectively.

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What's It Like?

Sushi Monster is a fun and effective way to practice addition and multiplication. Students work in reverse to solve problems. Each round begins with a set of target numbers. The chef puts numbered plates of sushi on the counter, and kids must choose the correct combination of plates to meet the target, thereby feeding the sushi monster. If correct, the monster gobbles up the sushi. If incorrect, the hungry monster is not happy! Kids unlock the next level by hitting at least 12 of the 14 target numbers. Players get all new numbers when replaying a level. There are, of course, multiple ways to reach the target, but if you don't think ahead (all target numbers for the level appear at the top of the screen), you won't have the right numbers to make the later targets.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Colorful, cartoony monsters and great sound effects add to the playful vibe. Outbursts from the monsters are more thrilling than scary and increase the engagement factor.

When kids miss a problem, the app doesn't show what they could have done differently to reach a correct answer. Sushi Monster offers a helpful strategy tip for each level to assist frustrated players, but it's easy to miss this option since kids have to pause the game to find it. Players might well get frustrated because the difficulty ramps up quite a bit between levels -- sometimes into five-digit numbers. Even as a free app and not part of Scholastic's full, paid program, Sushi Monster is a fun way for kids to build math speed and fluency, as well as some logic and basic problem solving skills.

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See how teachers are using Sushi Monster

Lesson Plans