Montessori 1st Operations

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Montessori 1st Operations App Poster Image
Math concept work with clear instruction and fun rewards.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn addition, subtraction (1-99), and the beginning concepts of multiplication and division on Montessori 1st Operations. Through clear definitions and instructions, kids learn the whys and hows behind the numbers. Kids are also introduced to odds and evens, doubles, and halves -- the beginning blocks of multiplication and division. Kids also get to have some fun with creativity building monsters as rewards. Montessori 1st Operations helps kids learn concepts by blending Montessori principles with points, rewards, and fun monsters.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play, but with a bit of help and a learning curve for the monster-making component. Kids will need some help setting up their user profile and choosing appropriate settings to customize the activities to their current math level, but after that it's easy to navigate options. The main screen includes the three main subject choices, along with the Play Box (which lists them again individually), monster lab (where they can buy monster parts with earned points to build monsters), and addition and subtraction tables. The monster-making game takes a bit of time and trial-and-error to learn how to navigate, but once kids get it, it's easy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

"A 3 Elles News" tab found on the app's main screen leads to a promo page for the developers other apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Montessori 1st Operations is a well-designed math activities app based on Montessori principles and tools. Kids can practice basic addition and subtraction (1-99) in a concrete, visual way, and become familiar with the building blocks to division and multiplication. The games include recognizable Montessori characteristics -- kid-friendly explanations of math definitions and concepts -- and Montessori materials, such as red and blue number rods and counters. There are no in-app purchases or ads, but there is a tab on the main page that takes kids to promos for the developer's other apps.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Create a user profile. Then kids tap an activity: addition, subtraction, doubles, or halves. Hear a brief explanation of the concept. Tap the arrow to move to the activity. In the addition activity, the Montessori number rods appear and the narrator says: "Can you solve this addition? Two plus three equals..." Corresponding number rods are shown. Kids slide the 5 number rod into place to solve. Tap Monster Lab to view points earned, purchase from the monster shop, and build a monster.

Is it any good?

MONTESSORI 1ST OPERATIONS approaches math concepts from different ways, while providing clear instructions about the concepts: "To add up means to put together." Visuals -- such as number rods and counters, and monster parts of all shapes and sizes -- and audio explanations take center stage here, while number symbols are secondary, especially useful for kids who don't take to numerical digits. The games adapt to each user's performance. Unlike some Montessori-based activities, however, kids earn points based on the amount they complete; they use these points to buy parts of monsters to build. The noises that the monsters make are far more frenzied and goofy than one will find on other Montessori-based apps or real-life learning activities, but users can turn off the sounds on the start page.

An excellent Note to Parents section, 11 languages, and detailed settings make Montessori 1st Operations kid- and parent-friendly. While not as clearly aligned with traditional Montessori style as some other recent Montessori-based apps, Montessori 1st Operations is still a good choice to help kids understand the concepts behind math and play with those concepts in new ways.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Create a username for each kid and make use of the many settings to customize play to each kid's current math level.

  • As kids build their reward monsters, discuss how many points each part costs, why they may cost that much, and ask kids how they decided which parts to spend their points on.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Subjects: Math: addition, counting, division, multiplication, numbers, subtraction
    Language & Reading: following directions, vocabulary
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
    Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, problem solving
  • Price: $3.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: May 9, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 51.30 MB
  • Publisher: Edoki
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math

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