Fiete Math - for 1st grade and preschool

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Fiete Math - for 1st grade and preschool App Poster Image
Manipulate numbers with fun and ease; best in small doses.

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Kids say

age 13+
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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn all about the basic underlying concepts behind numbers and quantity. Kids will practice matching quantity to number as they construct packages with the right quantity of blocks to match the target number on each level. They'll practice recognizing amounts without counting, combining small numbers to create larger ones (2 and 3 make 5, as do 1 and 4), and dividing numbers into smaller parts (3 can be 1, 1, and 1). This basic number construction naturally evolves into adding and subtracting, which kids practice on higher levels. Through an emphasis on creating groups of five and 10 blocks, kids will also get a basic understanding of the decimal system. Fiete Math gives kids lots of practice manipulating numbers through appealing artwork and charm.

Ease of Play

Quick introductory tutorial demonstrates how to tap, swipe, and drag blocks.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fiete Math explores the basic concepts of number and quantity with simple number blocks that kids combine and divide. Levels progress through increasingly more complex number concepts, starting with basic counting and combining and ending with addition and subtraction. There are over 1,000 levels for kids to work through, and the music and sound effects can be disabled through the settings menu. There's no obvious stopping point, so help kids find the right balance. Read the simple, straightforward privacy policy for details on the kinds of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Visit the FIETE MATH harbor where kids must load cargo ships with the correct number of blocks to send the ships off to sea. Combine or divide blocks to make them represent bigger or smaller numbers. Levels in six "harbors" in six countries focus on different number manipulations skills. Concepts include simple counting and combining, working with groups of five, and addition and subtraction. Pass each level to move on to the next, and unlock more content such as new levels or silly animal blocks.

Is it any good?

Silly animations and appealing graphics round out a creative approach to number manipulation. Blocks that combine and divide to make different numbers give kids a great way to tangibly conceptualize what number and quantity mean and how they all work together. Practically endless levels also mean that kids will not race through the entire app in only a few sessions. As kids play, the numbers on the blocks disappear and the difficulty increases, which helps kids estimate, consider more or less, and subitize (to recognize amounts without counting). However, though each level and each setting focuses on a slightly different number concept, the play experience is always the same. The game can quickly start to feel repetitive and tedious; kids may get the most out of the app if they play in short sessions to avoid fatigue. Each setting is supposed to be a different country -- represented by the country's flag -- but the concept is underdeveloped, which makes it more confusing than interesting. Overall, it's very appealing and offers a fun way to explore an important fundamental math concept.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about rules around screen use and using devices in balance with other activities.

  • Talk about numbers. Have kids count out loud as they combine and deconstruct numbers. Ask them if there are any other ways they can combine the blocks to make the same target number.

  • Break out the real blocks and let kids dig their hands into manipulating and moving them around. Challenge them to create groups of a certain number of blocks, combine and divide blocks in different ways, and practice moving things around to match number to quantity.

  • Talk about number and quantity throughout the day with everyday objects. For example, at snack time talk about the number of grapes kids eat. Practice counting them, combining them into groups, dividing them, and matching the right quantity of grapes to the number you or your kid requests.

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