Zap Zap Math is a free gamified way to teach math skills that’s tied to many national and international standards (like Common Core). Its format is colorful and engaging, music lively, and layout intuitive. The over 150 games are fast-paced and interactive, and cover over 180 math topics. Students direct their learning with a unique space-themed avatar (called a ‘mathling’) that identifies their work and keeps them engaged.
My favorite characteristics of Zap Zap Math include:
- Math topics are delivered in a module-oriented manner. Topics include:
– Pre-school Math
- Each math topic is divided into four skills: Training, Accuracy, Speed and Mission, with appropriate games to support each goal.
- Games advance as the child progresses.
- Games are more than rote drills, intended to train critical thinking, problem-solving, and promote logic in decisions.
- Games can be played offline, in multiple languages (with more planned before the end of the year).
- Teachers can add quizzes that assess student math knowledge by selecting the grade, the topic, one of the suggested Zap Zap Math games, and the duration.
- Teachers (or homeschooling parents) can track the progress of up to thirty students organized into a class where they are able to gauge learning outcomes via a web-based Learning Analytics Dashboard. Each child’s progress can be viewed remotely as they play Zap Zap Math.
- The Education account includes a student report card so all stakeholders can track student progress.
- Zap Zap Math can be played as an app or on a PC via a download.
About a year ago, I reviewed Zap Zap Math, but a lot has changed! These folks constantly respond to customer inquiries and the evolving math education environment. Here are four of their most recent updates:
- It now has a new & improved user interface with the trendy colors and splashy design that today’s students find appealing. This immediately pulls students in and makes them want to play in this cutting-edge gamified environment.
- Multiplayer quizzes can be created for any quiz, pitting students against each other in a friendly math challenge. Once the quiz is created, simply share the code and students play on their app. This also includes Leaderboard ranking.
- Simplified Chinese language is now available for iOS devices as well as Malaysian and Spanish Hindi and four more languages are planned before the end of the year.
- Grade K math app will be launched in June 2017. This is a stand-alone app for just kindergarten students.
10 Ways to use it in your classroom
- Let children play unattended, anytime, anywhere, as a supplement to class, homework, or independent math study. Each game starts with quick instructions so kids can figure things out without adult instruction.
- Let students pace their own learning as you track them on the teacher dashboard.
- Use this is a tool to assess overall math health and provide a deep dive into areas where students need help.
- Students love playing games where they can level up to richer, more challenging skills. When students replay Zap Zap Math games, the app recognizes they have played it before and ramps up the difficulty so each play is as challenging as the previous.
- Collaborate with teachers throughout your school who are partners in the students’ math success. This could include the grade-level teacher, computer lab specialist, library media specialist, and more.
- Evaluate student progress on the Learning Analytics Dashboard and use this data to tweak future lesson plans.
- Use the download version of Zap Zap Math when the Internet/WiFi is down.
- For students without easy access to the Internet at home, have students download the PC-based Zap Zap Math.
- Assess student progress or topical knowledge prior to teaching by engaging students in a live math competition with rankings displayed on the leaderboard.
- Have students use Zap Zap Math games to keep their math skills sharp over long breaks–like the US’s upcoming summer break. Students can work at their grade level and see how far they get before summer ends. You can assign occasional quizzes that allow students to compete against each other voluntarily from the comfort of their vacation home. You can track everything on the teacher dashboard.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days.