Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Apps for Math

Having some good math apps is really important to me. I hate giving math worksheets to the kiddos. The amount of busywork that this leads into for me to grade all of those problems on each worksheet is a nightmare. I hate grading. However, I know the kids need to practice. Especially when it comes to learning the facts. I can't do discrete trials all day though, so here is where the iPad becomes my best friend. I love the apps that collect data, work on skills in a meaningful way, and make the kiddos enjoy it and actually want to play! These are my tried and true math app successes. 

Do you remember yesterday when I said that I had one app that mixed literacy and math? This app is my all time favorite app I have ever purchased. I know, I know, lots of great free apps out there but give this one a moments thought. 

Here it is, the TeachMe apps. I have the Kindergarten level and the second grade level. Purchased separately, levels range from toddler-third grade, each $1.99. What I love about them is that you can add up to 40 students and the data collects for each when independently. Each app has different subjects, and they do build upon each other. Teachers can go in and turn on or off different subjects if you want the child to be focusing on  a specific skill. The data is golden, you can pick how many questions in a row the child needs to answer correctly in order to identify the question as learned. I think thats a great feature that goes well with my IEP goals. I always write something like "over 3 consecutive trials" and this aligns perfectly with the app. All I have to do is set it up to match my goals and  I have a perfect independent center going. The sight words are done in discrete trials (see picture below) the math has digital counters at this level as well as multiple choice! In the second grade app there is long addition and subtraction. These subjects have a virtual chalkboard and the app has a smart reader to analyze the child's answer for accuracy. A few of my kiddos with poor handwriting skills had a problem with this, just to bear in mind. 

The kiddos love the app because not only is it engaging, but there is a coin reward center. When they earn enough coins they can "purchase stickers" for a virtual sticker board. How cool?

When I am not using this app for addition and subtraction, I have the kids use the Hungry Fish app. This app challenges kids to think of the different ways to create a sum of a given number. It is free, however there are in app purchases for subtraction levels and negative levels. I just go with the free version, and I love it! Simple, fun, and engaging, it doesn't even seem like work!

This app works perfect for learning number order and its free. This is much easier than taking out a velcro number line. The numbers go through 199, and you can pick from 10-20 tiles. 

Another free app and the final one I am going to recommend. Of course I need to mention multiplication and here is a fun, game like, way to work on the facts. What is interesting about this one is that the answer is given to the child, and he or she needs to pick the numbers (from a small field of 4 numbers to start but it does get larger) that multiply to the given product. Certainly the child already needs to have some skill with his or her facts to be successful in this app. There is also an addition level, same idea. 

Thats all the apps I use in my classroom regularly! I do have a few others I pull out during specific lessons, however, I try to stick to these as often as I can so that the students begin making progress within the apps that collect data. What apps do you use, do you have any recommendations for me? 

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