Les Trois Elles Interactives newest addition, Montessori Math City, helps beginning learners go beyond basic counting and stretch their minds from how much something is to the fathomless boundaries of numbers on the open road. Here, kids learn the concepts of grouping tens, hundreds, and even thousands by introducing the decimal system in a fun and engaging way that only The 3 Elles can accomplish. The app is divided into 3 sections, beginning with learning the foundation of the decimal system with the well-known Montessori manipulatives - The Golden Beads. Once you’ve learned the basic units of one to nine, it is very easy to cognitively shift to 10, given the virtual manipulatives. These groupings of units of 10 help teach place values in a beautifully orchestrated and seamless way.
The next challenge is similar to the golden beads but places increased demands for expanding constructs of numerical value and placement. Although you have the manipulatives for placing objects on the screen in a given sequence, you are simultaneously comparing values – adding and subtracting on an intuitive level. Here you place houses and buildings as representations of numbers. It’s kind of like playing Monopoly and handling all that money and building bigger and better houses and hotels. Looking at the construction of the towers, it is not hard to experiment by placing units to see if they equal or “measure up”. It is delightful to see how The 3 Elles present carrying over units to increase placement, keeping with units of “ten” and the decimal system. This visual representation is really phenomenal, and I love how clean and uncluttered the app presents the material. Having a black background also increases visual focus, and keeps attention anchored to the task. Each task is short in duration, and rewards are plentiful. Learning starts out in an errorless fashion, and progresses with allowing for over and under estimation, but also gives you time without penalty to self-correct in order to proceed, encouraging open exploration and play with numbers. The material is presented in a variety of formats to not only increase the challenges but also to help kids view the material from different perspectives. A kid that can generalize lessons learned makes a kid that incorporates what she has learned into her daily routines and increases her ease in navigating her world.
Rewards? Did I say rewards? Well, this app has a fun one that is tied into the level of productivity and accomplishments. Math City is the key…and you do little work, and your buildings and cars are little. You do more complex work, and the buildings get bigger! Repeat play produces more rewards…and believe me, right away, you want all the options, big and small. You can add and change your evolving city at will. That little firecracker in the top right-hand corner will help you edit your city. So far, I’ve earned a little suburban house, a cityscape and have an ice cream truck driving through. To buy an ice cream you will need at least 150 Golden Beads! Stop in…Popsicles are on me!
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.