Math Game 2 Players by Red Hong and powered by Kids 17 Fun is a new approach to practicing basic math facts and skills. By having the element of competition, kids will happily engage because of the fun and camaraderie built into the gameplay. The game is built for kids in second to fifth grades and uses traditional game manipulatives (dice) in addition to the iPad. The app consists of 8 mini-games covering an expanse of goals and objectives in early math curricula. Let’s take a look under the hood, and see what’s happening.
- The Array or Area Game. In this game, opponents roll the dice to make a graphic rectangular representation from the dimensions of an area. Once a player is out of space for placing a rectangle in their area, its curtains and the game is over! Kids learn to not only draw the dimensions of a rectangle but also learn to strategize its placement.
- In the Coordinate Plane, plotting coordinates on a graph create a graphic. It is easy to get confused, so remember to first plot the X coordinate, then the Y coordinate. Once you are done, a super cute graphic pops up as your reward.
- Is it a Prime Number?... is next on the list. And this is pretty creative. As
players must select answers using a 2-point touch, there are many ways to achieve this…1 finger on each hand, thumb, and forefinger on one hand, or 2 fingers on one hand to promote hand separation skills. A Nice touch here as many teachers and therapists can take advantage of different ways to elicit an answer. After finding one answer, the second point in touching a response can be delayed. They do not need to be simultaneous which is a giant plus as fine motor skills can be developed over time
- Multiplication is sparring off to solve as many problems as you can. Again using 2-point touch, try and see if you or your partner has the multiplication chops they need to finish and win.
- Place Value is a very strategic game. Rolling of the dice needs to be fewer
than ten. Here, a creative teacher may also place numbers in a hat or container so that they do not need to explain why a roll of dice over 9 is irrelevant. Once a number is obtained, plan its placement within the tens of thousands. One slippery move of placing a number at a lower value marker could mean losing the game. Once all five place values have been given an attribute, the highest number wins!
- Addition Bomb Game is a gas, and will have you thinking on your toes! Be the first to add up selected numbers from a grid to 15. It sounds easy but if you’ve chosen 9, and six has been played... you
need to rethink your strategy and see if 4 and two are available before your partner swoops it up.
- The addition is a fast paced game meant to tap into automatic reactions, proving
the assimilation of the material. Using the 2-point touch and formatting already presented in the earlier games makes it a snap to start in right away with play.
- Multiples of a Given Number is also a 2 finger touch game. Choose the multiples of a number. Both sides have different challenges to ensure that each side is working on his/her personalized challenge. It also provides the opportunity for others to help when a player is stuck.
I love how gameplay is interactive and has kids not only using a device for social exchanges but that it also helps coordinate the sensory systems while engaging in a cognitive task. Why is that so important? By having kids use sight, sound, and movement – shifting their gaze from one point to another, physically moving by throwing the dice and/or using their hands in a novel manner (i.e. 2 points touch on the iPad), and listening and/or collaborating with each other to stay on point; the game not only works on helping kids commit the material to memory by opening up multiple pathways for retrieval, it also facilitates the generalization of the material because each play is fresh and novel. Playing with arbitrary distractors is key here. When playing with a partner, it opens up opportunities to try new strategies and dealing with an unknown variable. Now that variable may be your best friend, and 9 times out of ten, you know how they will react…but it’s that 10%, that keeps the game interesting and fresh.
My suggestions for future updates would be to try and make the directions more cohesive. Some of the grammar was a little choppy, but I could understand the point for explaining the gameplay to kids. I do think however, it would greatly improve the app to have all the info on the directions proofread or redone, as even in the universal language of math, you want to have an appropriate model. With its focus on fun and teamwork, I would recommend this game for families and classrooms. It would be fun to see this game on an iPad Pro for larger groups – 4 or more kids for families or class team playoffs.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of Sepa, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.