Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2013
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Wild Kratts Creature Math

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Kids build habitats and practice math in engaging PBS game

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Grades
K-3 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: This educational app challenges kids to think critically and apply math facts.

Cons: Gameplay is long, requiring hours of play (though not all at once.)

Bottom Line: This is a fun way for kids to practice math and learn about animals and their habitats.

Teachers could use Wild Kratts Creature Math as a supplemental math activity for extra practice. Since playing the full game is meant to take some time, set clear guidelines with students for how long they may play at one time. Up to four in-progress games can be saved, so it's possible to use on shared devices. 

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Wild Kratts Creature Math puts kids' math skills to the test while teaching them about ecosystems as they care for animals and their habitat. Kids build habitats for animals in and around a lake while keeping the ecosystem balanced. But, before they can build a new habitat, they have to correctly answer an addition or subtraction problem. The Kratt brothers help kids through the environment and the math problems, using manipulatives to demonstrate the math. As kids add other animals and their habitats, they have to watch the smiley-face indicators over each animal to keep each well-fed and the ecosystem balanced. Kids earn creature power disks and banners throughout the game.

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Math practice in addition and subtraction is the main academic focus, and the manipulatives used align with the science of the game (adding and subtracting seeds or acorns for the animals, for example). When kids miss the answer the first time, a number line appears on the bottom of the screen to give another way to figure out the problem. The math difficulty adjusts based on performance, so kids stay appropriately challenged. Math problems range from addition and subtraction with sums up to 20. Kids can try as many times as necessary to get the correct answer, but no hints are offered beyond the manipulative pile and number line.

Kids also learn about ecosystems. Through narration by the Kratt brothers throughout the game play, kids will learn facts about each animal. Chris and Martin also pop in as needed to offer hints or suggestions for what to do next. It's tricky to get everything aligned just right to complete the game, so some kids may lose interest and give up before earning all of their creature power disks. Still, they will have had math practice and learned about animals and the ecosystem.

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Overall Rating
3

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

Kids -- especially those who enjoy the Wild Kratts show -- won't want to put it down. The information is interesting, and the objectives are fun.

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

The math practice gives kids multiple ways to solve problems -- using manipulatives and a number line. The science information is delivered in an entertaining manner.

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 Kratt brothers offer a tutorial walk-through at the beginning of each game and are available through the game to offer hints and ideas. Games can be saved and returned to.


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Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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