Saturday, October 30, 2010

Math App Saturday (#14 Motion Math-Fractions)

Based on the recommendation at Mathwire, I BOUGHT a fraction game math app, Motion Math. First time I've EVER paid for an app. Shelling out 99 cents about killed me. ;)

Here's how it works:
To play, you tilt your device (iPad, iTouch, or iPhone) so that a fraction ball falls onto the correct place on a variety of number lines. It starts fairly slow. Three levels to choose from. If you need help, you get prompts.

What I like:
It's fun. I gave it to my 8yo son to try. He's had very minimal formal exposure to fractions. When he didn't know a fraction, the game slowly gave him hints, filling in parts of the number line, giving an arrow to indicate the direction he should try, etc. When I asked how much he enjoyed it, he replied, "Good." Granted, it's a new game, but he's been playing it now for more than 20 minutes without wanting to stop.

The game uses a variety of number lines (including negative numbers), mixed fractions, decimals, both number and pictorial versions of fractions. It provided good fraction practice.

Issues I experienced:
I didn't have any problems with the initial games. After you've mastered several levels, however, you're given an exercise where the ball must fall into a less than, equal to, or greater than, slot. My iTouch did not react in a timely manner. It was VERY difficult for me to get the ball into the correct category, even when I immediately knew the answer. As the levels got harder, this particular exercise produced falling numbers faster than I was able to see them...and since my machine was already reacting slowly at the easy levels, the harder levels were impossible.

I enjoyed the regular bouncing ball exercises and could mostly control where they fell. I was sometimes frustrated in my ability to get the machine to tilt so that the ball fell where I wanted it to; I thought that might be due to my own inexperience with app games. So I gave it to THE. APP. MASTER. My 14yo son. He agreed that it reacted slow...jerky. But the falling ball parts were pretty was mostly the less than/equal to/greater than parts that my machine struggled to accommodate.

I don't think I'll be able to master the game due to the difficulty of getting the app to respond. But I made it to the second to the top level on my first try. Not bad. And I had fun doing it.

In summary:
The app was worth 99 cents. I've found free apps that I like almost as well; IF the app had responded better to my movement, I would have felt different.

Have you tried it? What do you think?

Update 1/2011: We've had this game now for several months and my 8yo son has been able to pass my level of play. In talking about fractions the other day, I was shocked at how much my son was able to articulate. He said it was because of this game and "because we talked about how Mary and Laura shared 2 cookies with their sister, Carrie." (Little House books) Go figure. ;)


  1. Very cool app I don't have the darn i phone though :(

  2. >>Very cool app I don't have the darn i phone though :(

    I don't either. I just have the iTouch. I wouldn't have that if it hadn't come free with my computer!!! :) You can probably find a similar game on-line though.

  3. Hello love2teach2day,

    It's really exciting to hear about your son articulating ideas about fractions from playing the game! We just released v1.0.3 which has performance improvements that address the "slow reaction time" of your iPod touch. Feel free to contact me with more suggestions.

    Gabriel -
    Co-founder, Motion Math

  4. I'm glad to hear they have already fixed some of the problems with the game. Do you know if it is available for iPad?

  5. Hi Vicki,

    I don't know. You could look on iTunes or contact Gabriel using his contact info above. Thanks for posting, all!


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