If you want to mix math play with a Star Wars vibe, check out Pyxwise Software Inc’s Simplex Math Galactic Blaster: A Fun Arithmetic Game for School Kids. Learning basic math facts and committing them to memory so that they are automatic and at our fingertips cuts through a tremendous amount of stress when dealing with issues in everyday life – whether it be reading a recipe to bake cookies, planting a garden, or building the Millennium Falcon from LEGOs. There are times when you just need to know what 3x4 is so that you can get on with the project at hand. This app is a keeper and will have a broad appeal to kids, teachers, and families alike. Let’s take a look under the hood and see what powers up this app. Set up is easy. Teachers or parents can set up an individual profile, and choose the parameters according to a child’s level using multiple operations: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division or a combination of any of the above. Visual layout and country specific operational symbols are also options. This allows for the “just right challenge” that keeps kids coming back for more. There is also a feature to set the default settings for a group or a particular skill of kids. Included is a stellar data collection tool that is really a work of art. Data can be collected on up to 40 students, and it’s perfect for itinerant teachers on the go. Displayed are correct and incorrect answers so that educators or parents can refine focus or practice for students. A bonus is that data can be exported for sending reports home or having a chronological timeline of someone’s progress. One of the features that put this app over the top is that kids are allowed to set the tone for sensory features including coloring, sound, and how the game board is set. This little detail gives kids ownership of how they are going to learn, and that has a huge impact on their journey in becoming lifelong learners. The art and sound effects are out of this world. Gameplay is pretty straightforward. After completing a round of ten questions, kids are able to earn points for building their own starship with features that help with a short game that fosters the integration of material. There is enough variation in the details of building a personalized starship that can keep one going for hours of play. “Dreamship” is the descriptor that comes to mind. Piloting the ship to hit target solutions integrates the left and right sides of the body in order to target the correct answer. It does take a little getting used to for adults, but kids already seem to have an intuitive feel for it. This app is most of all fun and will have you humming along in minutes. Its beautiful interface is clear and without extraneous clutter, and it delivers on teaching what it proposes. Pyxwise Software Inc. really has a hit on their hands with Simplex Math Galactic Blaster: A Fun Arithmetic Game for School Kids. It will be one you’ll want to beam up onto your iPad. This is a TWA Top Pick and one to certainly check out! Highly Recommended. 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.
Written by Jo Booth
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.
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