Pre-Algebra Guide

Common Sense Media says

Handy math reference gives bite-sized explanations.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Single menu, flexible and intuitive navigation, small but pleasing presentation.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pre-Algebra Guide is a handy mathematics reference for middle- and high-school students. Yes, the text is small, but spacing, text colors, bold formatting, and icons are used carefully to give a clear presentation. The main menu is your basic laundry list of mathematical concepts. Pages provide thorough yet concise examples and explanations, as well as precise terminology.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • ratio
  • sequences
  • algebra
  • arithmetic
  • equations
  • fractions
  • geometry
  • numbers

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • asking questions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Engagement for this app consists of well-worded, concise explanations. It's not especially fun, but it's a fine, well-designed reference that doesn't necessarily need to be.

Learning Approach

Explanations are excellent and provide depth for kids looking for answers, but some built-in interactivity would provide a powerful boost.

Support

Menus and navigation are simple and organized.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • ratio
  • sequences
  • algebra
  • arithmetic
  • equations
  • fractions
  • geometry
  • numbers

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • asking questions

Kids can learn and solidify middle- and high-school level math concepts like the distributive property, square roots, and the Pythagorean Theorem. Kids can also learn basic search skills like key words or making inferences about key words to find what they're looking for. The presence of a few typos is disappointing. For instance, one item says "one-third the number n is 1/3 or n/3"; the "n" is missing from 1/3 in the app. Overall, Pre-Algebra Guide is a useful math reference for students in middle school and beyond.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

Pre-Algebra Guide presents a simple menu of mathematical concepts on 50 pages (some run to two pages). One Step Equations tells kids to "get the variable by itself on one side of the equation (equals sign)" then gives examples for each of the four operations. That's it. Short and sweet. Explanations are clear and use precise terminology. Navigation is simple with a home page symbol, back and forward buttons, and swipeable pages.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Pre-Algebra Guide is a well-organized and simple reference for middle- and high-school math students. While it doesn't provide any games or other interactivity, kids who actually read the bite-sized explanations will really be doing themselves a favor. The few typos in the app are minor, but parents should be aware that they exist. For example, the fourth item in number 47 says "one-third the number n is 1/3 or n/3"; the "n" is missing from 1/3 in the app. 

Kids can use Pre-Algebra Guide to learn mathematical concepts, but more likely they will use it to double check and solidify them. Many people forget math concepts every once in a while, like how to divide fractions, or the definitions of mode or range. With this app, your tweens and teens won't have to search through their textbook -- in a matter of a few taps, the Subtracting Polynomials section will do the trick.

Families can talk about...

  • Take turns challenging and quizzing each other on math rules.

  • Point out mathematical situations in real life: proportion of people to cars, for example.

  • Let kids know that while overall this is a good reference, there are a few typos, and if something is unclear in the app they may need to double check.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$1.29-$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:May 31, 2011
Category:Education
Size:3.80 MB
Publisher:phoneflips
Version:varies
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later; Android 1.5 and up

This review of Pre-Algebra Guide was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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