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Sunday, July 28, 2013

App Review: Everyday Mathematics Monster Squeeze

If your school utilizes Everyday Math curriculum from McGraw-Hill I would highly recommend purchasing this app! Monster Squeeze has always been one of my students' favorite games to play from our math curriculum, so when I found this app I knew it would be a hit! As of today it is listed as $1.99 in iTunes, however I was able to get the app for free on one of McGraw-Hill's app promotion days.

The premise of the app is that 2 students play against each other in trying to determine a computer chosen number on a number line, with a range from 1-10, 5-15, 10-20, 15-25, or 20-30.  When it is your turn you press your guess, if you are right you win the round; if you are wrong one of the monster's arms will cover to your number.  If your number is greater than the monster's number it will cover all the larger numbers, if your number is smaller than the monster's number it will cover all the numbers smaller than your guess.  It will in essence squeeze the number line until the last number shown is the monster's chosen number.  It sounds confusing but it's a fairly simple concept.

What we really like:

  1. How easy it is to play.  This app is perfect for my kinderkiddos-simple to navigate and easy to follow.  There isn't a lot of other 'stuff' happening within the app so they stay focused on the game itself.  
  2. The tie-in to our curriculum.  As a teacher this is a HUGE plus for me.  It keeps the accountability high and demonstrates how seamlessly technology and curriculum can blend together.  For my families it is a nice recommendation that they know is directly correlated to what we are learning about at school. Love anything that can reinforce school learning at home!
What we wished was a little different:

  1. The number range selection.  It would be better to have higher number choices for your students who are ready for/need practice with larger numbers.  This makes this game really only appropriate for preschool-first grade, or as use for students who need extra practice with numbers 0-30.
  2. Have a single player mode.  When only 1 player wishes to play they have to play as both player 1 and 2.  While this isn't a huge deal, it would be a nice option to have for students.
  3. The lag between switching players in between rounds.  Some of my students would be frustrated as they would accidentally take the other players turn.  Its a little tricky to see whose turn it is as the player's color coded label is outlined in yellow.  Finding another way to show who gets to go would eliminate some of the arguments I heard from my students.

Overall, if you have Everyday Math curriculum this is a nice app for the students to practice number sense with.  If you do not use the curriculum, you might be better spending your $2 on another more comprehensive math app-or just add it to your wishlist and see if it goes free anytime soon!

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