Marble Math Jr. (grades K– 2) engages students in math concepts as they navigate their marble through math maze. It offers math concepts that are aligned with grade level standards and can be customized to focus on specific skills, if needed. For Marble Math Jr., there are 3 levels that focus on math concepts from Kindergarten to 2nd grade. The app focuses on addition of numbers and money, equivalent and sequencing numbers using various formats (tallies, dice, numbers), sequencing using ordinal numbers, shape recognition, telling time, and subtraction. This app provides universal graphics that make it “look” age appropriate with lower elementary content. One of my favorite features of Marble Math is the ability to touch the directions and have them read to the user. This provides a great accessibility feature for individuals who may not be as strong in reading skills. For the parents who have been looking for an app that focuses on elementary skills, but doesn’t look like it is for elementary students, Marble Math Jr. provides you with that option. With the ability to individualize the content and the read-to-me directions, students could work independently on adding numbers to 10 while peers are doing multiplication. With Marble Math Jr. and Marble Math containing extremely similar graphics, both apps could be used as a way to differentiate between skills without the students using a completely different looking app.
As with Marble Math, Marble Math Jr. can be customized beyond just the content. In the “options” section, you can choose the marble mode: drag or roll. I primarily used Marble Math Jr. with a student, age 8, and my daughter, age 6. For these users, I used the drag option, which allowed them to trace the path, and the marble will follow. The roll option was more difficult and the users found it more frustrating during the first several times of playing the app. I anticipate that as they feel more comfortable with the app, they would also become more used to the roll option. However, at this point, my focus was the concept and content of the app versus the visual/motor skills involved. Other options include music/ sound sfx and obstacles/bonuses can be turned on/off. While I explored Marble Math Jr., I used both the drag and roll options. I found that I used the roll option more with this app, as I felt more comfortable with the content. I also used the app with my son (age 4) who struggled with some of the content; however, I found it a great way for me to demonstrate the math skills and work with him one-on-one while he controlled the marble.
Again, as with Marble Math, the customization settings of this app will be usefully within the classroom setting. The ability to switch levels and skills is very simple. Several of my students have very specific math goals/objectives on their IEP. Marble Math Jr. allows me to focus on one skill or provide them with multiple skills at once. I also like this app because in addition to the math concepts, the maze format helps develop fine motor and visual motor skills that my students often need develop as well.
In a perfect “app world”, apps like Marble Math Jr and Marble Math would also have a data collection component as well as multiple “users”. It does contain a “High Score” section which users can input initials to be displayed for high scores. If I was going to use this app for enrichment or assessment, I would like to see the actual right/wrong answers. When I used the app with students, I sat with them and helped the engage in the app so that I could observe how well they were completing the app and kept my own data.
Marble Math Jr. combines math, mazes, and many hours of engaging activities that can be easily used independently. I also found that Marble Math Jr. was a great way to engage younger students in guided math practice. This app (as well as other Artigig Apps) would be a great addition to your app collections to support your child or student’s math skills.
**Disclaimer** I was part of the beta testing team for this app. I have to say that the development team was amazing. My review for Marble Math Jr., like Marble Math) is quite positive, but that is due to the work of the development team and their willingness to take into account my suggestions with each update of the app before release into the app store. (I realized I hit a new level of “geek-dom” when I was so excited to see my suggestions would show up in the final version!) Thanks to Artgig Apps for taking the suggestions of the mid-west, special education teacher as you created these two engaging and educational math apps.