MathTappers: Find Sums is designed to help learners to master basic addition and subtraction facts with understanding and then to encourage them to continue playing to develop efficient strategies and eventually improve their recall speed (fluency). This app doesn’t rely on the ‘magic’ of flash cards but rather presents useful models to support learners as they make sense of addition and subtraction. Although the game appears to be focused only on addition – subtraction is an inherent part of their activity and learning. Learners using this app are developing a sense of the relationship between two addends and a sum - providing them with opportunities to master both addition and subtraction facts concurrently. You cannot really understand that 7+3=10 or 3+7=10 without also understanding the rest of the fact family – i.e., that 10-7=3 and 10-3=7. It is expected that working with groups of fact families that share a common sum (e.g., sum to 10) will help learners to make connections between these families and synergistically enhance their mastery process.
There are two modes provided to support your child as they play the game. The first mode is designed for younger learners and uses a picture of a grid in which apples are placed and both apples and blank spaces can easily be counted. The goal is to choose a pair of numbers that cause all of the un-shaded spaces to be filled with apples. The second mode uses a symbolic part-part-whole model designed to help older learners to efficiently and accurately recognize addition and subtraction facts. In this mode the goal is to pick two numbers that when placed in the top spaces add together to equal the value in the bottom space. The focus should always be on sense-making and accuracy before speed. Ask your child to explain how they know what the other number should be and what strategies they are using.
Mastering the concepts of addition and subtraction and building fluency in recalling the basic associations presented in this game are essential to success in later mathematics. Fluency is an individual attribute – challenge yourself with the game to get a sense of what levels of fluency you might expect your child to achieve.