Math Done Write App Review
Price: Free In-App Purchases
Math Done Write is a practice system for basic math facts (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division) designed to help students build speed and accuracy on those crucial skills. The app displays horizontal math problems and users draw their answers on the screen, cementing motor memory for each combination.
- Problems gradually increase in difficulty
- Practice and Quiz modes
- Customizable difficulty levels
- Performance data that can be shared
- Handwritten responses
Math Done Write is a high-quality app that works like a dream. There are short and simple tutorials offered to new players that make use very clear and understandable. Parents and teachers can see how often students use the app, their overall scores for each session, and their rate of problem completion. These data can be saved to the device’s files section or uploaded to various file-sharing services. It’s easy to add new users and to check records of existing users, as well as to adjust several aspects of the difficulty level.
This app is quite useful for students in grades 1-5 to help them build fluency and accuracy with basic math facts in all four operations. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are available in the free version. The app is unique in its ability to recognize handwritten answers to the facts while timing students and assessing their accuracy. This feature will help kids improve their scores on the infamous timed drills that are so common in elementary classrooms, as opposed to simply recognizing the correct answer in a multiple choice question or choosing the correct response from the keyboard.
There are a few concerns, however. One large one is that there seems to be no way to erase or correct a response once it’s been written. Developers should consider adding a “clear” or “undo” option, at least in the practice mode. Students who tested this app for me became quite frustrated with this apparently missing feature. The app is somewhat forgiving of malformation of numbers, but there are apparently limits on what will be counted as correct. Numbers that started out to be different numbers and got corrected midstream seem to be the most challenging for the app to recognize, setting up a situation where a child began to make, say, a 4 and changed it to a 7 at the last minute. Even if 7 was the correct response, depending on how the number is malformed, the app may not recognize it as being correct. This leads to students who believe their work has been wrongfully penalized.
Another concern is that once an operation or level is completed, there seems to be no way to continue to use that section for additional review and practice. Teachers and parents would likely appreciate this option because frequently students master the material long enough to take the test and then their skills deteriorate. It is possible to reset the entire student record by deleting that student and then re-adding them to the system, but that deletes all of their records.
Another feature that would be very helpful, especially to educators, is if the app could keep track of error patterns at each level and display them in the records section. This would help teachers see problems that cause consistent difficulty and take steps to remediate the situation.
This app isn’t really intended to be entertaining, but developers do make an attempt to engage student interest by adding a completion certificate that appears when all levels of an operation have been mastered. Students have the option of reviewing the most recent problem set to see which answers were correct, and then the app moves on to the next problem set. Young children might need a bit more motivation than that to want to play on their own. Perhaps an acknowledgment of hard work after each section would be good, either a verbal or visual reward. Many children are also quite motivated by mini-games that can be unlocked by specific thresholds of performance. That would be a great addition to this app.
This free app is an awesome value if your child needs to practice addition and subtraction facts, and a very good value if multiplication and division are needed down the road. The app’s feature of using hand-written answers makes it a fabulous practice tool and better than most for building speeds on the written drills in school.
This app has no outside advertisement or social media connections, but there are no protected areas, either. Functions such as sharing scores to file sharing services like Dropbox, modifying the difficulty levels of the tasks, and seeing other students’ records are not protected. There are unprotected links to the App Store and to the developers’ website on the open internet. The in-app purchase is not behind a parental gate of any sort. Children can make an unauthorized purchase if they have access to their parents’ iTunes password, and they can access the internet without supervision.
- NO 3rd party ads
- NO social media links
- YES in-app purchase (protected but visible)
- YES links to internet (unprotected)
- YES external links to ratings, App Store, and email (unprotected)