Oh No Fractions!

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Oh No Fractions! App Poster Image
Basic app focuses on visual models of fractions.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions. Kids also can compare fractions, judging which one is greater and which is less. They learn to visually represent fractions using a divided bar to help them make sense of fractions, even when they have different denominators. Oh No Fractions! offers a simple way for kids to think about and practice operations on fractions.

Ease of Play

This app is easy to play. Kids drag the words "greater" or "lesser" onto the center of the screen to complete the equation. They then create a bar graph representing each fraction compared side by side so they can see whether they were correct.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oh No Fractions! is designed to help kids visualize how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and compare fractions. A "stats" feature shows kids' activity and the number of problems they got correct and incorrect. The app is a good practice tool and explains fractions in a straightforward graphical manner without any bells or whistles.

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What's it about?

In OH NO FRACTIONS! kids are given two fractions, one on each side of the screen. Kids must perform the chosen operation (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing) or complete a comparison. When kids perform an operation, they use bar models to select the numerator and denominator for the answer. This helps kids find common denominators when needed. When they're finished, kids can choose "I'm sure" to find out if the answer is correct or "Show me" to see the answer. When kids do comparisons, they must decide if the fraction on the left is greater or less than the fraction on the right. Players select an answer and choose "I'm sure" to check it. They'll see whether their answer was "correct" or "wrong" and then be able to "Prove it!" The "Prove it" screen shows each fraction on a bar divided into equal spaces based on the denominator. Kids drag over the boxes to fill in the numerator for each and then see the fractions compared side by side on the graph. They also can tap to reveal the solution. A Stats page shows kids their activity and progress and can easily be reset. The sound effects are minimal -- a "bleep" for correct answers and a "bonk" for wrong answers --- but the audio can be turned off. Kids can set the max denominator up to 99 and can access a simple cheat sheet that lists basic steps for performing operations on fractions.

Is it any good?

Oh No Fractions! has an elegant design, and the visual demonstration helps kids make sense of fractions. When kids compare fractions, they're told whether their answer was "correct" or "wrong" and then given an opportunity to see why by using the feature called "Prove it." The "Prove it" feature puts kids in charge of creating each fraction on a visual bar graph, so they can compare the two fractions. These visual representations are powerful ways to help kids understand fractions. Kids can see a record of total correct and incorrect answers, but the app offers no data about which particular fractions may have caused difficulties. However, the point is to provide kids with a digital tool to help them understand. Though lacking flash and standard kid-friendly appeal, this is a solid math tool for kids who need help visualizing fractions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Point out fractions to kids as you encounter them in everyday life: "One-quarter of our family ordered chicken for dinner" or "one-third of your homework is finished."

  • Show kids different ways to compare fractions using everyday objects: "Our pizza has eight slices. We each had two slices or two-eighths of the pizza. That's the same as one-quarter."

  • Have kids write and solve real-word problems involving operations on fractions.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, division, fractions, multiplication, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, problem solving
  • Price: $0.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free (A free version is available with a limited number of operations per day.)
  • Release date: March 9, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: High School
  • Size: 3.10 MB
  • Publisher: Curious Hat
  • Version: 2.41
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later

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