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Quick Math Jr.
Pros: Adorable graphics and engaging games make math a treat.
Cons: Lacks narration, and kids can't choose which games they want to play.
Bottom Line: A fun way for young kids to learn and build a conceptual understanding of fundamental math skills.
Quick Math Jr. could work well in a learning center. Teachers can set up an unlimited number of player profiles, so sharing devices is easy. Games are brief, so give kids about 5 minutes to play. Challenge them to earn as many monster rewards as possible and see who can create the silliest monster in the class.
Each of five games focuses on a different number-sense skill. In "Number Match Monsters," kids count monsters and tap to show how many there are using dot patterns, numerals, or number words. In "Spotlight on Subitizing," kids quickly estimate the number of monsters on the screen without counting them. In "Number Memory Mansion," they keep track of how many monsters enter and leave a house. In "Count and Add Bus," kids drag monsters into a bus to match a given number. And in "Number Line Train," they drag numbered monsters and place them in order.
Each game becomes more challenging as kids play, and they can earn and create new monsters with features like fun hats, silly eyes, and goofy mouths. Games are randomly selected, and it would be helpful if kids could choose games to focus on a particular skill. Tracked scores could help adults monitor kids' learning progress.
Games in Quick Math Jr. are excellent for teaching kids about number sense. They cover a range of skills, including counting, ordering numbers, addition, subtraction, mental arithmetic, skip counting, counting on, and decomposing and composing numbers. Games start with basic tasks and gradually build to more challenging problems. For example, in "Count and Add Bus," kids start by simply counting and dragging monsters onto a bus to match a given number. Then they progress to addition and subtraction problems involving numbers from 0 to 20.
An interesting feature is that kids practice writing numerals by finger drawing directly on the screen. Narration that includes the names of numbers would be a great addition.