We use Math Drills, by Instant Interactive, regularly with our students and really like this app. It reminds us of the no-nonsense computer games that were used back in the day. As a teacher, you want content. Math Drills lives up to its name and delivers just what it says, drills. Memorization is the only way to learn and retain the basic math facts and repetition is necessary. The processing and amount of practice time needed is different for every child.
“Quite simply, a lack of fluency in basic math fact recall significantly hinders a child’s subsequent progress with problem-solving, algebra and higher-order math concepts. This can have a serious impact on a child’s overall self confidence and general academic performance.” Margaret Groves, The Benefits of Memorizing Math Facts
Rote learning has a bad reputation but Math Drills is living proof that learning by repetition doesn’t have to be boring or staid. This app has just the right formula for delivering content and fun simultaneously! The game begins with a very cool traffic light on Math Avenue, changing from red to yellow to green. Hit “Practice” and GO, you are being timed! This is just enough inspiration for even the reluctant child to race the clock to try to beat their own score. • “Speed – A measurement that makes drill-taking fun.” Don’t want to be timed? Not a problem, this app has options. Start with “Review.”
You may select from the four operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Or, you can select “Mixed” from the menu. The settings menu gives a plethora of options to mix things up and keep kids motivated. Problems answered incorrectly and/or slowly will appear more often. The settings are over the top with this app! You can choose Problem generation, Problem counts, Answers, Input, Themes, Arrangement (showing problems vertical or horizontal), Review assistants, Sounds and Colors. In the sounds menu alone, you have the option to have Keypad, Congratulations, Pit stop, Traffic light, Mistakes and Alerts turned on or off. You have to see it to believe it. The developer has thought of everything!
We hadn’t realized just how state of the art and how specific the settings could be honed until we started to write this review. We had no idea just how many variables that this app (the lite version, no less) had available. Now we’re working with the full version and really getting excited! You can set up to ten students with specific activities and you can fine-tune the drill problems for each student. For example, you can limit multiplication problems to 5-times facts, or limit addition problems so their sum never exceeds 10. One of the best features is that all data is conveniently collected and stored right on the iPad. It’s graphed both by accuracy and speed; data retrieval is simple! Teachers are being held more accountable than ever for producing scores and research shows that high performing schools use their data effectively. The Wall Street Journal
This is an app every child needs at some point in their school career to easily master basic math facts in the four operations. Math Drills allows students to practice and monitor their growth and continue to build a solid foundation. All that follows will depend upon the strength of that base.
For the average parent, this app offers PLENTY and has many options they may never consider, even in the lite version. For a teacher, it offers EVERYTHING one needs to teach basic math skills. There are two sets of scores: personal and hall of fame. Each student will have their own personal scores. The hall of fame contains the top scores amongst all students. Graphs are available to track growth over time, best times and number of correct answers. This program is LOADED!