Math Bakery 1 - Start Counting
A well-crafted series of mini-games is included in this app. Together they provide support and practise for children to learn early skills in addition and subtraction that are well matched with the curriculum and how children learn.
Math Bakery 1 is very well-designed for its target users. Verbal explanations are given in English accented voices that are both friendly and clear. These instructions include both the app’s use and the maths questions and feedback. Graphically the animations are smooth and child-friendly providing a fun environment in which to practice maths.
The app concentrates on early addition and subtraction skills. Each has six games that increase in difficulty and unlock the next game. These mirror some of the key skills shown in the curriculum, such as adding and subtracting numbers up to 10, up to 20 and finding missing numbers.
The app is test-based in as much as children work through questions, but these questions are backed up with useful graphical aids that give it a strong teaching role. Cookies appear in blocks that represent the numbers to be worked with. Either with a supportive adult providing prompts or just by independent thinking, children will be able to use these graphical clues to understand the process that they need to follow to get to the answer.
This app gets it just right in providing a meaningful challenge but without being demotivating, which can be a difficult balance to get right. There is a clever use of a time limit. The time allowance only decreases during the player’s thinking time. They can enter as many answers as they like but after an incorrect answer there are a few seconds where they are prevented from entering another. This allows for rethinking a question after a genuine mistake but not for random button presses as the lockouts will soon use up the time.
When a child first encounters one of the games, they can spend some time thinking about each question and learning how to get to the answer without feeling unduly pressured. As they become more fluent in it, they can start to go for the scores that show that they have learned and understood. A little extra help can be had by tapping on the friendly chef in the corner of the screen.
These scores are saved in the app for children to take pride in and for parents and teachers to see how they are doing. Teachers, especially, will be pleased to see that the app allows for up to three users, so they don’t have to limit it to only one student at a time per device. This should also encourage some friendly but useful competition to improve on scores.
There is a clearly thought out process to this app. Each game is not particularly dissimilar from the others, but that is what allows it to build children’s maths skills. The way that they worked out answers in the previous game forms the basis for the next. They’ll never feel that they are taking a huge leap, but after playing all six games in each part of the app they will have made good progress in their understanding.
With no in-app purchases, games that can be fitted into almost any time frame, and such elegant design, this app should find a place both at home and in the classroom.
From the Developer
Math Bakery 1 – Start counting
A new fun way to learn math for children aged 4 to 8. It’s just like having your own private teacher helping, encouraging and correcting. Even toddlers learn quickly to add and subtract, helping daddy ‘baker’ produce cookies in time for Christmas.
The app has been developed in co-operation with mathematicians, children and leading researchers. It has been carefully tested in Swedish schools and preschools. The children have rapidly shown significant improvement.
Lotta Nilsson, primary school teacher in Lilla Alby School, Sundbyberg, Sweden:
"My teaching is made considerably easier, since the game is simple to individualize. I have 27 students in the class, with differing competence. Now I have the possibility to target the correct level for each child."
Susanna Lindström on Facebook:
"An incredible app! I’ve taught my 4 year-old to subtract!"
Per-Olof Bentley, senior lecturer in mathematical didactics at Gothenburg University:
"While I find that much mathematics teaching material, especially for lower age groups, has considerable flaws, I think that Math Bakery significantly improves a child’s numeracy and understanding of the how and why of the ‘position system’ of reckoning."
YOUR CHILD WILL LEARN:
-to gradually improve self-confidence in addition and subtraction
-to understand numbers, distinguishing between digits and groups of ten
-to ‘see’ what happens when numbers are added or subtracted
-to reckon using “ten friends” and “dubbles”
-6 addition games and 6 subtraction games
-help routines that, without specific direction, give your child the possibility to investigate and understand numbers
-attractive original graphics
-interactive and easy to follow
-play with friends!
-result screen shows totals and high score for each game
-no in-app purchases
Math Bakery 1 – Start counting is the first app in the Math Bakery series
Math Bakery 2 – Continue counting, for 7 to 10 year-olds, provides training in addition and subtraction with larger numbers. Your child learns how to set out a calculation problem and solve it using ten-carrying.