Fiete Math Climber

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Fiete Math Climber App Poster Image
Mental math drills with targeted practice, clear progress.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Fun, animated way for kids to improve ability to solve math facts that gives parents data on performance and options to customize learning experience. No instructive feedback.

Ease of Play

Once parents or teachers customize settings, it's easy for kids to see the equation and tap a number for their answer. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Kids earn coins for correct answers and cash them in for new characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fiete Math Climber provides math facts practice to improve skill and speed at solving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, using mental math. Parents can customize kids' individual profile based on their skill or grade level, as well as the types of math equations provided. Through targeted practice, the app also provides information on kids' strengths and weaknesses. When kids get a correct answer, they hear a motivating sound and collect virtual coins. Kids can redeem coins in the store, where they cash them in for different characters to use in the app. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

The FIETE MATH CLIMBER app offers kids a way to improve their confidence and skills in mental math completing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Equations are in a horizontal format (4+5= ?). Correct answers offer points, which are redeemed in the "store" to buy new characters to use in the app. Characters include people with different professions and skin tones, as well as animals, monsters, a toilet bowl, and a trash can. But the most expensive character available is a poop emoji valued at 80,000 coins. The sound of a correct answer is similar to that of a slot machine, as coins enter the bank.  Incorrect answers create a diagonal line through the number, and the correct answer displays. By answering correctly, kids can also earn "bombs," which give them the opportunity to pass on a difficult problem or get the candy, which gives more than 1 point. If kids answer too many problems incorrectly, they're prompted to change tasks to be harder, okay, or easier. Parents can monitor lots of data, including number of tasks solved, error rate, correctly solved tasks, incorrectly solved tasks, total play time, time per task, coins collected, and enabled figures. For a comprehensive view, parents can see skills mastered and issues detected, which is helpful to use when designing an individual plan for each kid.

Is it any good?

The clear design, progress, and customization options are great, but having motivation and instruction woven in seamlessly would be even better. Fiete Math Climber offers kids exposure to a bright, exciting game-like format, which may entice and motivate kids to want to play initially. Using points to "level up" and choose a different character can be motivating and may serve as an incentive to keep playing. However, it would be great to have the incentives baked right into the learning. Also note that there are many harder equations that aren't as easy to complete using mental math, and equations are only shown in a horizontal format, so definitely keep pencil and paper nearby for kids who need to write out the process in detail or in a different format in order to find the correct answer. Kids need to learn automaticity with their math facts, but be mindful of the timer feature and disable it for kids who need extra time to get the answer right. In terms of feedback, since this is meant for practice, don't expect much, but it would be helpful for kids to get more information about incorrect answers. There's a tremendous amount of data on kids' performance, as well as many customizable features that parents can access when they open the app, which can help tailor the experience. Since many kids won't understand the data or may be overwhelmed by it, it's probably better for adults to help kids understand what they're seeing. In the beginning, consider starting with the child's present grade level, maybe even the grade prior, in order to build success and confidence. This app has great features to customize and measure progress, but since all the problems are in one format and there's no instructive feedback, it's best used as one approach to mental math fluency.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Fiete Math Climber can help improve confidence when solving math facts through practice and repetition in a fun way. 

  • Does completing timed math facts cause your kid frustration? Timers may cause some children a lot of anxiety. Check out the individual settings for each player and consider customizing the experience by removing the time component altogether. 

  • Some of the multiplication and division problems can be complicated to do without pencil and paper. Does using pencil and paper to write down or solve the equation help? 

  • Talk about earning coins and cashing them in. Is it motivating? Does it take you out of the learning experience?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, arithmetic, division, equations, multiplication, numbers, subtraction
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Price: $0.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: August 24, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 289.40 MB
  • Publisher: Ahoiii Entertainment
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
  • Last updated: October 15, 2019

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