If you have been following my reviews for educational iPad apps, you're probably already aware that I have a soft spot for Math apps. Today, I am reviewing another one to add to our collection of great Math apps for your juniors.
Bubbling Math is an iPad app designed for students in Grade 1-3 to practice their basic arithmetic skills, i.e. addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The app provides a fun environment for young learners by using beautifully illustrated backgrounds, soothing background music, lively sound effects and other gaming elements.
The app offers nine different graphical levels, which are grouped into three seasonal themes, to entice your juniors to continue practicing and unlocking new experiences. Starting with a Springtime theme in the Countryside, your juniors plays one level at a time.
Within each level, there are 27 math problems. In the first four levels, the problems are displayed in a multiple choice format involving three options. These options are placed in bubbles that animate themselves around the screen, waiting to be popped.
For each problem that is solved correctly, the app will fill the achievement cup by a small amount. The level will end if any one of the following conditions applies: all 27 problems are solved, three achievement cups (bronze, silver and gold) are filled, or your junior incorrectly answers three different problems.
Starting in the fifth level, each problem includes four options -- adding complexity for your juniors. In the ninth and final level, the problems includes up to five options.
What parents need to know
Bubbling Math offers a way for parents to customize the difficulty levels of the math problems. You can create problem sets to include any or all of the arithmetic operations and define the difficulty level -- easy, medium, hard or expert.
You can also access the parental reports where the app presents daily reports of how many sessions your juniors have played, how many problems they solved within each session, which levels they played, and which individual problems they got wrong. As a parent, I believe this report provides many useful insights and allows us to know the areas where our juniors need to learn more.
If you combine this ability to customize the problem sets with the ability to gain insights on your juniors' progress, you could design the best learning path for your juniors to learn basic arithmetic with this app.
What I like about Bubbling Math
I really like the design decision to not include a timer within the app. If your juniors are still in learning mode, speed is not as important as getting the correct answers consistently. However, this does not mean that Bubbling Math doesn't measure the time your juniors take to complete each problem.
I believe the app is designed cleverly to implement a time measurement system in the form of achievement cups. The faster your junior solves a problem, the greater the volume that is added to the achievement cups. If it takes too long, the achievement cups would still be filled, but with a smaller amount. Thus, it is possible to finish a level in less than 27 problems and gain a gold cup in the process. This approach allows you to measure how well your juniors really are in solving the problems.
Finally, I also like the way the developers used bubbles to represent the available options to a math problem. There all types of bubbles; from bouncing bubbles, fish-like bubbles with eyes and tails, bubbles with wings and crab-like bubbles to bubbles with springs. Each bubble moves differently, so you must concentrate to find the right answer.
Bubbling Math is a great Math app for your first, second and third graders to practice basic arithmetic skills in a fun environment. The fact that you can customize the difficulty levels and gain insightful parental reports should convince you to get the app now. I highly recommend it!
Bubbling Math is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad