The app uses three different techniques to help children visualise the problem they are attempting to solve: a bead frame (like an abacus), a slate/blackboard to write on, and a stamp game.
The bead frame and stamp game work on the principle of breaking large numbers down into units, tens, hundreds and so on, which can then be manipulated on the screen.
There is also a clever extra feature to help keep kids motivated: each time they successfully complete a task they earn points which can be spent in the ‘monster lab’ – they can exchange their points to create a monster by ‘purchasing’ different body parts.
This helps them to put into practice the techniques they are learning – how many more points do I need for that nose? How many will I have left after I buy those eyes?
The latest release by Les Trois Elles, the team behind previous apps including Montessori Geometry and Easy Studio, this is a well-designed app with lots of helpful features. You can set up user profiles for each child – which is great for siblings. Other settings allow you to select which of the three methods you would like your child to have access to, what the minimum and maximum numbers should be and so on, so you can really tailor it to your child’s ability.
Les Trois Elles also plans to release a Multiplication and Division app in autumn this year – so watch this space.
Montessori Math: Add and Subtract Large Numbers is for iPad and iPhone, and is available on the App Store currently priced at £1.49 ($1.99).