Skip Counting has arrived in the iTunes store! Seems like you all were excited to get it, as we had lots of sales even before it was announced. Thanks for your support.
Wanted to let everyone know that our newest app “Skip Counting” has been submitted to Apple and should be out within a week!
We have been thrilled to communicate with one of our customers in Holland. She is enjoying all the things we intentionally built into the Stamp Game and Place Value app and we have loved her comments. She is using the apps in her Montessori classroom as another version of the actual material after students are given lessons with the Montessori physical materials. Instead of taking the box off the shelf now, the children use it on her iPad.
Irma specifically commented on how:
- the MontessoriTech apps work just like the materials, only use the technology to enhance the original experience
- the experience is enhanced within the Montessori context, without any extras to distract the children from the learning
- for some children, the real wooden stamps are too fidgety, our iPad version lets these children still benefit from the intent of the material without the fiddly stamps
- having a green check mark to indicate when they have completed the problem correctly is perfect. Students do not need celebration for them. The satisfaction of having done the work well is the reward.
She is also using the Place Value with older children who, in Holland, are learning English as a second language. While they know the math portion of the lesson, the valuable part for them is in practicing their numbers in English. They love it and see it as a game. It is very confirming to hear her experience our exact intention when creating the apps. Children engaged in the work, don’t need the extra flashiness.
We would like to thank Irma for contacting us, it was a pleasure to have an opportunity to talk extensively with one of our customers.
We have been interested in the feedback from customers who love our apps on the iPad and want them for the iPod touch and iPhone. It is an idea we are looking into for upcoming MontessoriTech apps.
Our apps “Stamp Game” and “Place Value” need the larger working area of the iPad, and we feel the usefulness would be significantly compromised on the smaller screen.
Experiencing the full layout of the original Montessori materials is an important part of the learning process. The tablet screen size is a perfect match to the original material.
Share your thoughts.
With a help of a customer we found that the carrying notations in Stamp Game were not displaying on the screen. The upgrade is being processed right now. Please check your App upgrades in the next 2 weeks to download the updated application. Thank you, and we value our customers’ input.
Many traditional Montessorians may feel that the flashiness and technological nature of the iPad does not fit with Montessori principles. We understand that perspective, have given it a great deal of thought, and have come out on the other side. . .
We want to meet the children of today where they are now -
While the children of the slums of Rome 100 years ago were thrilled and intrigued by the colorful wooden, metal, and bead materials Montessori provided, today’s child is in a different environment. Many are exposed to the fast paced flash of television, movies, cartoons, video games, and iPads at a younger age than we would like or advise. While some of these children do welcome the calming nature of the traditional Montessori materials, many are not as captivated by them as children of the past. By putting a material like the Stamp Game on the iPad, we are meeting children where they are now and giving them the advantage of the visual, manipulatable, semi-concrete material to further a real understanding of math operations in a fun, modern, and familiar platform.
We are providing yet another material for gaining understanding and increased abstraction –
Traditional Montessori materials provide many options for learning the same concept. For basic math operations in the Montessori classroom we have the golden beads, bead chains, the stamp game, the bead frame, dot paper, etc. The Stamp Game on the iPad is yet another of such tools. One material may speak to one child, one to another. We would recommend a child who has access to physical traditional Montessori materials, use those first, and use the iPad version as another means to further their understanding, increase their interest, decrease the fiddliness of the stamps – generally enjoy it more again so they get more practice and further understanding. At MontessoriTech, we specifically chose the Stamp Game, as it is a material that children use as they are moving towards abstraction of the math operations. The iPad version of the Stamp Game still provides concrete visualization and requires virtual movement of operands. It is a transitional step from the physical concrete material towards abstraction.
This technology can be considered an improvement to the traditional material -
The Stamp Game on the iPad, can bring Montessori material, albeit in a new form, to children who do not have access to a wooden stamp game at school or at home. It can take the visualization and manipulation that can be so instrumental to a deep understanding of the operations to children that would not otherwise have such opportunity. Additionally, there are some “improvements” within the application that provide features completely in line with Montessori principles. By moving the stamps on the pad, children are refining their fine motor skills in a way necessary for today’s touch screen environments. The number and exchange features, in addition to the answer screen, provide a natural control of error, that allows for more child independence and less teacher involvement than traditional use of the stamp game.
Thus, we feel this application is completely in line with Montessori philosophy. If only Dr. Montessori were here so we could show it to her! Please check it out and see what you think!
We have had a useful suggestion to add options to do 2 and 3 digit numbers and to allow for user input of problems. We plan on incorporating those features in a future update.
Please share any other comments or suggestions so we can incorporate your ideas into this and future applications!
It has been interesting to show Stamp Game to children and adults who have been in a Montessori environment, and to those who haven’t. For those who know the physical “Stamp Game” the app is completely intuitive and essentially requires no explanation to operate. For those who don’t know the material, we will provide help and links to explanations, but still hope that it will be clear. The material is so beautiful and wonderfully bridges the concrete to the abstract for addition and subtraction. Our hope is that it will bring a greater understanding of math operations to non-Montessori populations also!
We’ve decided to delay our launch to check the Stamp Game app against the iPad 4.2 operating system, which should be coming to all iPads in the next month or two. If everything checks out we’ll be ready to go on all iPads when the upgrades hit the field. See you soon!