Originally Published on Developmental Play and Learning: Math Wizard by L'Escapadou https://playful-living.com/math-wizard-by-lescapadou/
Math Wizard by L’Escapadou is an exciting new app that explores the world of numbers and equations by providing a visual representation of beginning algebraic reasoning. Both young children and older kids can romp in the app's sandbox and see what happens when adding or subtracting numbers to and from an equation or create exercises for targeting specific number families and operations. L’Escapadou is legendary for its ability to engage kids, and not a day goes by that we are not running one of their apps. Math Wizard continues that legacy by making a math app that will grow with your child by putting life into the beads on a numbers board. Each bead on the number line has its own personality, and the range of emotion not only makes it fun to play but also keeps kids coming back for more.
Inside Math Wizard
On opening, the choice is yours – do you want to play in the number's Sandbox or test your knowledge with the crew from the numbers gang in Exercises? In the Sandbox, kids can play with their numbers and see what happens when numbers aren’t equal. Hint: If it’s not equal, the line tilts giving kids that visually reinforcing feedback needed in knowing that things don’t quite add up! The expressions on the beads are priceless and show a lot of sass. While the beaded animations are fun, but there is also a choice for numerical representation for transitioning to a more traditional equation.
In Exercises the goal is to reproduce the number displayed on the top, whether it’s the built-in exercises or exercises created by you. When correct, the beads do a happy dance, merge, and show off a firework show. It’s very reinforcing with just the right amount of silliness to keep it fun, but also to encourage kids to move forward. The standard number line below shows preselected numbers, and also includes the + and – sign as well as beginning play with the variable X. As X in an equation is somewhat abstract the ability to interact with it in open play make it more tangible and is genius for adding it to the game. Equations can be tailored depending on what is being taught in the Make Your Own Exercises. For example, if learning to skip count to 5, place the goal as 25, and then give the options for the number line at 5. The possibilities to make exercises are endless!
What has always made the apps from L’Escapadou so outstanding is the customization of gameplay tailored to a child’s need. The Users and Reports feature allows busy families and teaching staff to designate an infinite number of users. The app can then allow for viewing and exporting reports to mark improvements or the need to focus further in a particular area. (This screen also has an option for locking to keep data safe.) In General Settings, the amount and intensity of sensory input can be selected for kids that need more input to stay alert or need less input to be able to process the material presented. Language, sound, voice and animations can be adapted. I love the fact that there are 14 languages, and that play can influence the acquisition of number fluency when learning another language. Within either the Sandbox or Exercise mode of play, further tweaking of the display can be made for kids of all abilities. Some of the features to consider are what numbers are displayed, animation speed, and equation functions.
Math Wizard allows for learning basic math facts and preparing kids for algebraic functions. It is best used in an elementary school format, but the Sandbox is entertaining for kids a few years younger. It is enjoyable and will be an app used on return play again and again. This app is highly recommended.