Slapstack Math Review: iOS App

Featured Image: 
Slapstack Math screenshot of brightly colored Home Page with hands, numbers and math symbols.

APH has recently released a new action-packed math app, Slapstack Math. This iOS app is free and is fully accessible with VoiceOver. The game is designed to be played by at least two players; up to 8 players on an iPad and the maxium of 4 players on an iPhone.

Directions

Before playing the game, you must add players. Drag your finger around the edge of the iPad to select a color for each player. Ideally, the player should sit in front of his/her desired color. Select each players color by using the one-finger triple tap gesture.  

To start the game, one-finger double tap in the center of the screen.

The game starts with single numbered cards 1-12 which are dealt and announced. Whenever the number 11 is displayed, players slap the table. The first player to slap the table wins that round. The game will pause after the number 11, enabling a player to collect his points. Points are collected by using three-fingers to drag the "cards" from the center of the screen to the winning player's color. The winning player will receive a point for each card that was played during that round.

Teacher Hint: The game produces a tone just prior to announcing a new number - teach your students when they hear the tone, to be quiet and listen for the next number!

Did you miss the current card announcement? Right or left swipe a finger over the card in the center of the screen. The card will be repeated along with the number of uncollected cards currently in the stack.

If the wrong player claimed the points, return the points by one-finger triple tap on the player's color and choose "return points" from the popup menu. You can also "cancel player" from this menu.

Slapstack Math screenshot displaying the addition card, 1+1 and 5 players ranging in scores from 0 - 8.Want to be challenged? Change the settings! Add additional numbers and designate an action to be associated with each number. The game started with number 11, slap the table. Try adding your favorite number and action!  Example: If the number 11 comes up, players slap the table; if 4 comes up, clap your hands; if 6 comes up, shout, "yipee".

To change game settings, one-finger triple tap in the center of the screen. Your options are:

  • Select numbers at which flashcards pause. (Default is number 11 only.)
  • Select a Game. Now it is Single Numbers.
  • Seconds between two cards.  Now it is 3. 
  • Change font size.  Now it is Regular.

When you choose, Select a Game, the options are:

  • Single Numbers
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Multiplication & Division
  • All Four Operations
  • Cancel

When you choose Seconds between Cards, the options range from 2 - 8 seconds.

When you choose Change Font Size, the options are regular or large font.

Once the game is started, one-finger triple tap in the center of the screen will bring up these options:

  • Select Cards 
  • Change Settings
  • Start Over
  • Stop Plyaing
  • Cancel

Suggested Actions

Each number selected needs to be associated with a specific action.  Here are some possible actions:

  • Clap you hands
  • Beat your chest
  • Stomp your feet
  • Click like a chicken
  • Moo like a cow
  • Sneeze ("A-choo")
  • Flap your wings while saying "flap, flap"
  • Drum the table
  • The Wave (raise your arms and say, "Woooo!")
  • Rub your arms and say, "Brrr!"
  • Put your head down and snore
  • Say, "Cowabunga!"
  • Slap your knees
  • Bounce in your seat and say, "Boinng!"
  • Put a finger to your lips and say, "Shhh."
  • Yank your hands from the table and say, "Ow!"
  • Meow like a cat
  • Bark like a dog
  • Holler, "Yahoo!"
  • Blow a raspberry with your lips
  • Thrust out yoru hand and say, "Hello!"
  • Laugh ("Ha ha ha ha!")
  • Pull the chord and make a train whistle ("Toot toot!")
  • Raise your hands high and say, "Touchdown!"
  • Pump your right fist and say, "Strike!"
  • Salute and say, "attention!"
  • Sing out "Cuckoo!"
  • Invent your own action and sound!

App Review

Pros

This action game can be a lot of fun! Players use a combination of math facts, coordination and memory in order to be the first person to accurately complete the desired action! The game reinforces math facts, speed, and fast thinking.The app is designed to be playable by students who use VoiceOver, who have low vision, who are fully sighted or by a combination of players. Once a student becomes familiar with the game and the gestures used, the game is simple. I also love that this game encourages fast thinking - players need to think and react quickly in order to win points. The number announcement is also quick - helping students to think and process information faster. For most students, I reccommend changing the seconds between cards to 2 seconds!

Cons

The gestures used in this app are not always the typical VoiceOver gestures. For students who are familiar with VoiceOver, the anticipated gesture to Add a Player would be to double tap; however, this game uses a triple tap. It would be helpful to have a VoiceOver hint to alert players to use a single-finger triple tap. Digital assessments are starting to include an accessible Touch and Drag gesture (typically double tap and hold, then drag). Ideally, apps such as Slapstack Math would use the same standard gestures so that students would have opportunities to learn and practice these gestures. While the app is fully accessible, if VoiceOver is turned on or off while the app is being played, the app jumps back to the Home screen.

Teacher Hint: This game does not check that the student knows the correct math fact. The game pauses to allow the players to discuss who identified the correct answer by the determined action - this pause alerts the student that the card provided a correct number/math equation; however, students could simply decided to collect points without determining the correct answer!

Note:  To view a video of 4 students playing Slapstack Math, go to the How to Play button on Slapstack Math's Home page.

Slapstack Math in the App Store.

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