Zap Zap Math - K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive has been steadily building a growing platform of minigames and with every update they continue to provide a wealth of resources for children in grades K-6, giving this app a never ending shelf life for kids in the primary grades.
We would like to explain that Zap Zap Math is a work in progress and Teachers With Apps has spoken with their team with constructive criticism regarding their scope and sequence as well as the need for verbal prompts for the younger child that is not reading yet. The app begins with giving kids a choice of an avatar and a screen name. Each subject is separated into four skill areas: training, accuracy, speed and the mission with a strong emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The training is part of the free version and you will need to purchase the premium package for access to the accuracy, speed, and the mission games. The activities and gameplay greatly differ which keeps kids engaged and in a learning mode. Every player advances through a series of games with increasing challenges in logic and problem-solving skills.
A tutorial is given as an option when play commences which is one way to help kids get started, as a teacher it is always a good sign when an app can easily demonstrate gameplay for the child and is easy to navigate. What the app needs in addition to the tutorials is a set of mini-lessons to reteach or review concepts as well as give feedback when an answer is wrong explaining why and what the correct answer is. Zap Zap Math is a growing app jammed with essential content to help students comprehend math concepts and gain fluency while immersed in stellar gameplay!
The built-in reward system is a great motivator for kids and it encourages them to play on and continue to build their own rocket ship. The space theme is a wonderful attraction to kids and the slick graphics come across as gender-free. Learning is automatically recorded and the app advances the learner as well as doing record keeping for either the parent or the teacher. For the classroom, it is like a gamified assistant which helps to maximize downtime in the classroom and is a comprehensive learning experience as well as a treat for students as it is more of an exploratory app by nature.
This math ecosystem has hundreds of hours of playtime that make the learning experience a joy and builds confidence in a child's math skills. The program is aligned to the state standards and the app includes these standards for easy viewing. Zap Zap Math is focusing on the "HOTS" model of higher order thinking skills, all children will need these higher-order skills to be prepared for the job market and lives they will be leading in the future. With that said, some of the gameplay is off the grid for the student not accustomed to thinking outside of the box. Several games were a struggle for us to figure out and a fresh mindset is needed to comprehend some of the questions.
We would like to explain that Zap Zap Math is a work in progress and Teachers With Apps has spoken with them with constructive criticism regarding their scope and sequence as well as the need for verbal prompts for the younger child that may not be reading yet. While our Wishlist includes the recommendations that the app automatically provides oral directions and feedback for the lower levels, we also suggested having an option for the problems to be read for the upper grades students as well. We were informed that the new update coming in June does indeed provide for these essential features.
Addition & Subtraction
Multiplication & Division
Look for a June update of Zap Zap Math coming soon, this app has the promise to be an exemplary teaching tool, stretching the brain and building critical thinking skills!
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.