Bottom line: A common core aligned math practice app for grades one through five that allows practice on 20 problems a day with the opportunity to purchase the full version of individual grade levels or of all grade levels. The ability to only have one child's profile and the lack of narration are working against the app's good points, which include a large amount of content and good progress reports.
If you would like to download Splash Math — Grades 1 to 5 (iPad only, free for 20 problems a day, $9.99 for full version of one grade level, $29.99 for lifetime full version of all grade levels), please support Smart Apps for Kids by using our link:
The app includes clickable links to the developer's website and iTunes, but the sites open within the app. The in-app purchase is to buy full lifetime versions of the individual grade levels ($9.99/grade level) and full version of all grade levels ($29.99)
Visit the Splash Math website HERE.
Math has always been my favorite subject — to learn, to teach, and to experience. I always look forward to the opportunity to play math games, but I had no idea that reviewing this app would provide a real life math scenario of measuring the weight of the positives versus the negatives. A teeter-totter of star ratings emerged.
Splash Math — Grades 1 to 5 is one of many Splash Math apps by StudyPad, Inc. It is jam-packed full of 300+ activities for grades one through five that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This alignment is very important to many teachers, so I did a comparison of the activities covered on the app to the CCSS standards, and it does cover the majority of the standards. Word problems are lacking in the app, but are present in some practices with money. Many children struggle with word problems, so this would be an area that I would like to see the developer add throughout all grade levels.
The addition of word problems would be great, but it could cause more frustration for students that struggle with reading, because Splash Math — Grades 1 to 5 does not provide any narration. There is not a way to have problems or directions read to the user. Math is a more concrete subject, so some children excel in math, yet struggle in language arts. A child that cannot read may become frustrated with this app because the directions change often from question to question and are only in print at the top of the page. This app would work well in a one-on-one setting with these children, so the adult can read the directions aloud.
Once a child starts practicing, he or she can move between levels. If the user struggles in one area and excels in another, this app allows for him to practice at different grade levels. A child can also save and access his progress on different devices. This built-in differentiation and ability to move between devices were positives that started to balance my teeter-totter of ratings again.
Then, I saw the reports, and these are wonderful. There are not many apps that track individual users' progress for a teacher or parent to see. I love being able to see what users have been working on and how they are doing. I was very excited about this setting. It would be a wonderful tool for my classroom to track a student's practice. Unfortunately, my excitement was soon halted in place because this app only allows two user profiles, and I have a lot more than two students that would benefit from this app. Once the full versions are purchased, the app will only support one child. If more than one child wants to use the app, the in-app purchase has to be paid again.
As a teacher, I really appreciate the visuals that are attached to some of the questions, such as pictures and number lines. There is a workspace that can be opened and used on all questions also. I am constantly telling kids to show their work, and this app allows them to practice doing just that. The style of questions is also changed within a skill, which provides good practice for kids and keep them more engaged. My one concern with the visuals is that some problems come close to giving the answer away, instead of allowing the child to figure it out. For example, on the number line visuals for addition, the movement from one number to another is already shown above the number line. A child just has to look at where the hopping line ends and pick that answer.
There is a button to play as a parent, which is a helpful tool for planning out practices for a child. I like having the ability to view different skill areas and how they are practiced. This would allow any adult to assign certain skills to practice on and to extend the practice beyond the app in similar ways.
Parents will also find a "Parents Only" area that is password protected by typing the four number words that are written. Many children using this will be able to read the number words to complete the password easily, but the information behind it is limited, so it may not be an issue. The reports are found here, along with the settings. There are not many options for customization on this app. Background music and practice reminders can both be turned off and on. I would love to see more customization on this app, as is present on other Splash Math apps.
Younger children will be motivated by the game options on Splash Math — Grades 1 to 5. Users will earn coins as they practice skills. These coins can be used to get animals for either an aquarium scene or a jungle scene. A child can interact with these animals and scenes in a game style.
This app can be downloaded for free and used with two different users, but there is a maximum of 20 problems available each day. There is the option to purchase the full version of individual grade levels within the app or to buy the full version of all grade levels together. These full versions only support one child. StudyPad Inc. provides many good apps for different grade levels, and I think having an app that covers five grade levels is a wonderful idea, but having to pay almost $10 per child for individual grade levels is high.
This app was originally given three stars by Smart Apps for Kids when it was a $9.99 per month subscription. The monthly subscription was removed, which is a huge improvement for the app. The other change was taking the app from two users to one, which is a negative for me. The star rating was raised to three and a half stars due to the lower price, but it could not move all the way to four due to the removal of a user.
Overall, this app covers many skills that are aligned with common core and has a reporting feature that is not found frequently, but moving to only one user on the paid versions, lack of narration, and little customizing options leave this teeter-totter of positives versus negatives at a three and a half star rating.
Heather S. has been known to play math games for fun in her free time. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.