Mental Math Free
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mental Math Free is a simple mental math practice and trick-teaching app to help middle- and high-school students solve math problems more quickly. Younger kids can practice their multiplication tables, while older kids can use the techniques list to learn nine mental math tricks. Training questions and the app's game, Flash Calc, help kids practice their new skills. Ads run along the bottom of this app; the developer states that tapping an ad will make them disappear for 24 hours.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- academic development
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
Engagement, Approach, Support
The multiplication tables are repetitive practice, and the mental math techniques are simple written instructions plus practice. "Flash Calc" is the most engaging part, with quick gameplay and encouraging feedback.
Explanation, memorization, drills, practice, and gameplay promote reasonably deep learning. There's nothing particularly innovative about the approach, but positive feedback helps kids stick with it.
There are many settings, so kids can customize the multiplication tables, training, and gameplay. Kids are supported with encouraging, insightful quotes during the game, and basic feedback is provided.
What's it about?
First, tap an option: Times Tables, Techniques, Training, or Flash Calc. For Times Tables, set the practice range (for example, to practice the 2 times tables through 15, set the left number at 2, then set the range 1 ~ 15 with the next two numbers). Then tap Start to begin solving problems by entering the answers in a number keypad. Tap Techniques to see a list of mental math tricks; tap on one to view its instructions. Training is practice of the techniques. Flash Calc is a quick calculation game where players see 3, 5, 10, or 15 numbers (positive or negative) in a row and must enter the correct total at the end.
Is it any good?
For a free app, Mental Math Free is a simple, useful tool for math practice. The practice is solid, and the tricks, while not explained in the clearest manner, do work if kids are strong in their computation skills and put some effort in. The Calc game is customizable enough to offer a challenge to a range of skill levels, and the encouraging quotes on incorrect answers is a nice touch (though it would be nice to get similar encouragement for a successful streak too). It's not fancy, but it's a good way to practice speedy calculation.
Families can talk about...
Talk about why repetition of multiplication tables and other memorized math facts is important to academic development, and how handy apps like Mental Math Free can help squeeze in that repetitive practice.
Keep in mind that kids just learning their times tables won't find the math tricks useful -- those are best for older kids.