Common Sense Review
Updated May 2013

The Allowance Game Interactive Software

Cash counting is key in digital board game, but the fun might not last
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
Pros
The focus on managing an allowance means students practice transferrable math skills.
Cons
Things can get repetitive quickly.
Bottom Line
There's valuable money counting and management practice to be had for target grade students, but the lack of variation will limit the game's lifespan.
Alicia Carter
Common Sense Reviewer
Home-School Instructor
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Visual and audio design keeps things peppy, and students will enjoy the game the first few times. But with little game variation, boredom can set in. Younger students will enjoy more than older ones. 

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

There's good money management practice, but it lacks depth. Math is integral and skills are definitely transferrable given the focus on allowance. It's not very adaptive though; the experience is similar each time.

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

There's some basic help -- instructions and visual tracking of player progress on the board -- but there aren't opportunities to get help with math concepts during play.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

There's one second-grade math standard covered, but The Allowance Game Interactive Software would serve as good practice for any student needing to learn the basics of money. It's flexible enough to be used by students individually or as an entire class. By running the software on an interactive whiteboard, a teacher could take a full class through it, allowing individual students or small groups to rotate and make decisions and advance play. Advanced younger students and struggling older students could use the game for additional practice. To extend learning, a class that has finished the game could engage in a week-long role-playing scenario running alongside regular class. Teachers could set up a variety of responsibilities for students associated with income and a set of possible expenses, including things to buy and events that occur and require money. Students would need to keep track of their money and use it wisely to buy things they want as well as get them out of financial jams.

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What's It Like?

The Allowance Game Interactive Software is a video game version of the board game, and provides a similar experience. Students will get practice counting money and spending it responsibly as they work alone or in teams to move around the board. Depending on where they land, players will receive income or incur expenses and must count out the correct amount of bills and coins. It's fun, featuring a mix of realistic situations and colorful design and detail, but there's only one board configuration. After a few rounds, players may feel the game has become repetitive.

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Is It Good For Learning?

It's a great way to get younger students familiar with the different values of bills and coins and how to count and manage money. Since they'll also need to make change, students will gain exposure to basic math, including part and whole relationships. While it's listed as suitable for grades K-4, it's really more suitable for a narrower focus. Students in second grade are the sweet spot for money learning. Advanced younger students may find the game interesting, and some second-graders or struggling older students could benefit from the skills practice. Older students, however, will become quickly uninterested in the game.

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See how teachers are using The Allowance Game Interactive Software