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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

App Review: Learning Numbers by Little Sorter

Learning Numbers Game by Little Sorter is a must have back-to-school app for us!  It is from one of our favorite developers, Grasshopper Apps, who have many other great apps such as Little Reader, Little Speller, I Like Books, and Sentence Maker.  It is currently listed for $0.99 and it is an app that we recommend to everyone who has an early elementary student working on number recognition.

What We Like:

  1. The basics of the game. With an easy to use interface and simple concept, this app gets right to the point of number recognition with out a lot of fluff.  It is a type of matching game-the student finds and drags a number in color to the same number in black and white.  Not a lot of bells and whistles but that doesn't seem to disappoint our students at all.  It also gives students great practice at the drag concept on the iPads/iPods, working on hand-eye coordination.
  2. Customization.  With early elementary students their number recognition skills are all over the map. I have kinderkiddos who come in knowing all their numbers 1-1,000 and some who are just beginning to recognize numbers 1-10.  When you go into the settings page (shown below) you can see the variety of options you have to help or challenge a student.  I prefer to keep the audio hints on so that it says the name of the number when the student touches it----always a plus to reinforce concepts!
    You can also choose how many numbers they are sorting through on the screen, from 1-6. I do like how it will vary within that range. For example, if you pick 6 objects maximum the student may see 3 numbers one time, then 6 the next, then 2 the next and so on. It seems to keep it from getting too stale for them. And finally you can customize the list of numbers that the student is working on. As you can see from the picture it is in groups of ten, however you can have multiple groups selected at one time (so for 1-20 just turn on 1-10 and 11-20) and within each group you can further select numbers (if you need only 1-5 just go into the 1-10 group and check the ones you want).  
  3. The range of numbers offered.  Many number recognition apps stop at 20. I really appreciate that this app continues on through 1,000. This makes Learning Numbers usable for the entire year and by all of my students.  No one else knows what number grouping you are on, so someone who is still working on 1-10 at the end of the year doesn't need to feel self-conscious sitting next to someone who is working on 100-1000, as they are both playing the same app that looks the same no matter what number set they are doing.  

What we would change:

Nothing really.  This app delivers on its promise: an easy to use interactive game that works on number recognition.  It would be nice if they took the basic concept from Learning Numbers and applied it to other math recognition activities for older students like fractions and decimals (just a note--they already have alphabet and shapes Little Sorter apps too!).

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