Once kids have a basic understanding of addition, use The Counting Kingdom for practice or enrichment. The game is best suited for individual use, so have kids try to complete as many levels as possible in a given amount of time -- about 20 minutes per session is ideal. Keep in mind that the app does not include a teacher dashboard, point system, or built-in program to track progress, so it's important to come together as a class and discuss students' experiences playing the game. Be sure to talk about the addition strategies kids used, as well as the problem-solving strategies that helped them complete the levels.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: The Counting Kingdom is no longer available.
The Counting Kingdom is a math game that helps kids hone addition skills. The game begins with a brief animated story about monsters invading the castle towers. To protect the castles, kids have to link numbered monsters together to produce sums, which are displayed on pages from a spell book. If they get the sums correct, magic spells are cast and the monsters are destroyed. However, with each passing try, any remaining monsters get closer to the castle tower. As the game progresses, the sums get more challenging, with more linked monsters needed in order to complete the levels. To make the game even more interesting, kids can use special potions, combine spells to make larger sums, and get new spells if they are unable to link monsters effectively.
The Counting Kingdom successfully combines learning with gameplay. With 30 levels of gameplay within five areas of the magical kingdom, kids have plenty of opportunities to build foundational addition skills. They can also boost problem-solving skills by figuring out the best way to create sums when given multiple possibilities. Kids get some basic feedback for incorrect monster links (like "The sum is too large”). Keep in mind that concepts are not directly taught, so the game is best for targeted practice.
One of the game’s areas for improvement is its hint and feedback system. Players can only access help once they've made multiple mistakes in a row. It would be great to see some accessible hints at an earlier stage.
Key Standards Supported
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2).
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
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