An Introduction to Addition for your iPhone...

Addition is the most basic arithmetic operation. Learning to add is a skill that a child must master in order to succeed as a student in mathematics. Educators consider addition to be fundamental to all other areas of math.

Practicing the recall of addition facts helps to build confidence in mathematical abilities and increases the speed at which a child can solve problems. The ability to quickly recall addition facts helps to prepare young children for the task of learning mathematics, one of life’s most important skills.

Each child passes through developmental stages at his or her own pace. Adults who work with children can help to make learning basic addition skills a fun activity. An understanding of the concept of addition is a developmental stage that can be acquired through observation and listening skills. As a child progresses toward mastery of addition skills speed of recall will increase, but it is important for a child to also understand the meaning of each arithmetic operation.

How do children acquire addition skills? First, it is important for the child to understand that in addition number of items in two groups or sets are combined into one. The operation of addition is typically denoted with the use of the plus sign. In order to recognize that two sets are to be combined, children must learn to appropriately associate an abstract symbol, the shape of a written number, with the number of items in each of two groups and then assign another abstract symbol to describe the total quantity in both groups.

Addition is a binary operation in that two numbers are combined. Even when adding a large set of numbers, the sum is found by methodically combining two numbers at a time. Number recognition and counting skills are precursors to acquiring the skill of addition. By working with a child to introduce the concept of addition through counting the number of objects found in one group and then continuing to count the objects in the second group, parents and teachers can help a child develop confidence in his or her ability to add.

Identifying that a specific number can be used to describe the quantity of objects in a set is a key idea for assigning the labels of ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ or ‘equal to’ when making comparisons between groups. Addition is a skill of combining the number of objects in two or more groups. Counting is a skill that is fundamental to both making comparisons and addition.

As a parent with a busy schedule, how can you help your child learn basic arithmetic concepts and specifically addition facts? Chances are, you’re already doing it. Talk to your child about the meaning of addition whenever possible. How many blue cars do you see? How many white cars? How many in all? Listen when your child talks to you. Point out the total of two or more groups of objects that you encounter together when you are with your child. You’ll be amazed at how much your son or daughter will learn if you’ll simply talk about the addition in terms of combining two groups of household items.

Whether your child will learn quickly the concept of addition and be able to add quickly depends on a lot of factors. But once a child has learned to add, he or she won’t tire of finding examples in the environment. Parents should be patient and encourage the child to demonstrate these new skills because it helps to build self-confidence.

Addition Facts is a fun, convenient way to introduce and reinforce the basic concepts with your child. For all the times you and your child have a minute or two, this iPhone application is the perfect opportunity to practice addition skills. It will entertain both of you while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist, traveling by bus or train, etc. The possibilities are endless!

  • Sets with items to be added fade into screens with sums
  • Each flash card addition fact is pronounced
  • A quiz provides addition practice
  • A musical game reinforces concepts
  • Sequential/Random option for determining the selection of Flash Cards
  • On/Off option for sound effects

Addition Flash Cards

Addition Flash Cards help to encourage the development of addition skills. Two sets of objects appear on the screen and dissolve into a card labeled with the sum of objects in both groups. As each card appears the quantity of objects in the first group (first addend) and the quantity of objects in the second group (second addend) is pronounced.

The child controls the pace of the learning experience by either swiping or tapping to move to the next flash card. Shake the iPhone to randomly select another flash card.

The Preferences screen provides control over a variety of options. Sound effects can be turned on and off. Whether the addends and sum are spoken can also be controlled. To increase the difficulty and move from a representational learning stage to an abstract learning stage, numerals can be shown instead of counters. The "Picture Sets" vs. "Numbers 1-12" preference setting controls this option.



Addition Practice

Addition Practice is an interactive game where the child touches a button that is labeled with correct answer to an addition problem. When the correct button is touched a star appears on the screen. The object of this activity is to get 10 stars.

Shaking the phone causes a different problem to be randomly selected.

When introducing the concept of addition by playing this game encourage the child to count the number of the objects in the first set and to continue counting the number of objects in the second set to find the sum. Tap the counters or number tiles on the screen to hear audible counting and help the child find the sum.

As in the Flash Card activity, to increase the difficulty and move from a representational learning stage to an abstract learning stage, numerals can be shown instead of counters. The "Picture Sets" vs. "Numbers 1-12" preference settings control this option.



Rhythm Band

Just for fun, Rhythm Band creates an entertaining musical instrument on your iPhone where different sound effects or notes are produced as the color buttons are tapped.

In addition to encouraging eye-hand coordination, this activity helps to develop a sense of rhythm and melody.

Press the icons at the bottom of the screen to change the sounds. The sound wave icon selects entertaining sound effects. A drum set, flute or saxophone can also be selected. Tap home to exit.

Addition Facts is now available at the Apple iTunes Store.