Early Elementary Math Apps

Although I teach college level math and therefore focus on apps for that level, I also have two small boys who I keep in mind while looking at apps.  One is 4 years old and the other is 6 years old.  I am often on the look out for math apps to help them practice math in an enjoyable way.  These are a couple of my 6 year old’s favorite math apps.

(Disclaimer: These reviews are based solely on my own experiences with these products.  I am not associated with any of the following companies.)

Marble Math Junior

iTunes App Link: Marble Math Junior on iTunes

Cost: \$2.99

What is it: Roll the marble (either by dragging with finger or tilting device) to pick up desired objects for the level.  Earn points to “purchase” new marbles.

• Easy Level
• Equivalence – numbers/dice/tallies 1-10
• Sequence – numbers/dice/tallies 1-10
• Sequence using ordinals
• Shape recognition
• Medium Level
• Addition – coins to \$1.00
• Compare clock faces – hours
• Compare numbers 1-100
• Sequence – numbers 1-100
• Subtraction – numbers 1-20
• Hard Level
• Addition – coins and notes up to \$2.00
• Addition to 100 – finish equation
• Compare clock face – 15 min increments
• Identify fractions (/2, /3, /4)
• Multiples of 2, 3, 5, 10
• Multiplication to 100
• Sequence numbers 1-1000
• Currencies available
• Australian Dollar
• Euro
• British Pound
• United States Dollar

Why my six year old likes it: I like it because it is about math.  It has a marble and I like marbles.  Other kids should play it because math is good for you.  It is fun.

Why I like it: Marble Math allows for individual profiles.  It also contains multiple skills and levels to continue to challenge.  Any skills within a level can be selected or deselected to individualize learning objectives.  Instructions are spoken to help emerging readers.

Math Bingo

iTunes App Link: Math Bingo on iTunes

What is it: A Bingo card is filled with numbers.  You answer the given questions by selecting the correct answer on the Bingo card.  (Some numbers are in multiple places.)  After a Bingo, a Bingo Bug is awarded.  Bingo Bugs can be interacted with by touching, spinning, and tilting them.

Why my six year old likes it: It has Bingo Bugs and it is fun.  It is about math.  It is really good.  When you earn Bingo Bugs, you can play with them.  When you touch a Bingo Bug, it spins fast.  They are fun to play with.

Why I like it: I like the fact that it incorporates individual math operations and has different levels of difficulty.  It also provides the opportunity to practice all four operations together.  Individual profiles are available to keep track of performance.  My boys love earning Bingo Bugs to play with.  I also like the fact that it helps them learn strategy.  There may be multiple squares with the correct answer, but the goal is to get a Bingo.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish

Website Link: Motion Math: Hungry Fish

iTunes App Link: Motion Math: Hungry Fish on iTunes

Cost: Free (Limited levels in free version)

What is it: Free version includes on addition.  (Paid levels include subtraction and negative numbers.)  Includes 18 levels of difficulty.  The fish has a specific number that it needs to eat in order to grow.  You must move the right number bubbles to the fish to eat.  Number bubbles can be combined to make the sum.

Why my six year old likes it: I like it because it is also about math.  You can change your fish colors when you pass levels.  You can also change the types of fins.  It’s fun.  When you drag the right number bubble to the fish, it eats it and gets bigger.  You must put number bubbles together to get the right number for the fish to eat.

Why I like it: This is a different spin on learning addition facts.  Instead of being given two numbers to add and finding the sum, you are given the sum and must chose numbers to add together to achieve that sum.

There are so many wonderful apps available for this age group.  Leave a comment and let me know what apps you have found.

Apps in the College Math Classroom – Part 2

This is Part 2 of my initial series on apps in my college math classroom.  Last time, I reviewed Notability, Good Grapher, and Brainscape.  These were all apps that I recommend my students to get also.  Today, I want to focus on apps that I use to help me stay organized and to provide my students with content.

Explain everything

iTunes App Link: Explain Everything on iTunes

Cost: \$2.99

What is it: A whiteboard with the ability to record the screen and audio

Who is it for: Teachers at all levels

How I use it: I use Explain Everything to prerecord lectures for classes I may need to miss and to record mini lectures of example problems.  I like to import a set of fill-in-the-blank notes from DropBox or Google Drive and set each page to be a slide in Explain Everything.

Pros:

• Records audio along with the screen recording.
• Allows for separate recording on each slide (or page)
• Allows you to pause and restart recording in the middle.
• Don’t need to record the entire session at once.
• Merges all recordings into one video in the end.
• Different colors of ink available.
• Can save video to different locations, including DropBox and Google Drive.

Cons:

• Changing the recording into a video is time consuming.
• Make sure that your device is charged before converting to a video.
• There does not appear to be an option for only screen recording with audio.

Dropbox

iTunes App Link: Dropbox on iTunes

Cost: Free

What is it: File storage

Who is it for: Teachers at all levels and students at the junior high school, high school, or college level

How I use it: I store files I use for classes on Dropbox to have access to them from any device connected to the internet.  When it has synced, I also have access to documents offline on my computer.

Pros:

• Access from many locations with different devices.
• Able to share folders with others for collaboration.
• Free storage up to a certain limit.
• Many apps allow you to import from and save to Dropbox.

Cons:

• There is a limit to the amount of free storage.
• Can only share folders and not just specific files.
• Offline on the iPad, can only view documents previously opened.

Cost: Free

What is it: File storage

Who is it for: Teachers at all levels and students at the junior high school, high school, or college level

How I use it: I store files I use for classes on Google Drive to have access to them from any device connected to the internet.  When it has synced, I also have access to documents offline on my computer.

Pros:

• Can share folders or individual files with others.
• Can share items for editing or read only access.
• Access from many locations with different devices.
• Can access designated items for offline access.
• Free storage up to a certain limit.
• Many apps allow you to import from and save to Google Drive.
• Can see who has access to the item from within app.

Cons:

• Difficult to use with multiple Google accounts.

What apps do you find useful in your classroom?

My plan is to review apps for preschool and early elementary grade math in the next few weeks.  Do you have any that you want me to look at?  (I already have a list thanks to my young boys.)

Apps in the College Math Classroom – Part 1

Here is a brief review of some of the apps for iPad that I use on a regular basis as I teach in my college math classes.  (Disclaimer: These reviews are based solely on my own experiences with these products.  I am not associated with any of the following companies.)

Notability

iTunes App Link: Notability on iTunes

Cost: \$1.99

What is it: Note taking app

Who is it for: Teachers and students at all levels

How I use it: I import my fill-in-the-blank notes into Notability, write on them in class, and project onto the projector screen. I can also import pictures from the digital textbook online for examples.

Pros:

• Notebook paper, graph paper, and blank backgrounds available
• Continues to add pages vertically, as needed
• Displays handwritten notes during class through projector
• Allows audio recording
• Allows imports of pdf files
• Allows clips from webpages
• Exports as
• Notability file
• rtf
• pdf
• audio file, if recording made
• Allows rearrangement of pages
• Allows page additions between any pages

Cons:

• Erase button erases the entire pen stroke
• Does not have an option for screen capture with audio
• Files cannot have the same name, even if in different “subjects”

Good Grapher Pro

iTunes App Link: Good Grapher Pro on iTunes

Cost: \$1.99

What is it: Graphing calculator

Who is it for: Teachers and students at the high school or college level

How I use it: I use this when showing graphs to students and solving problems graphically.  I also use it to create pictures of graphs and/or intercepts for tests.

Pros:

• Zoom in and out with two fingers
• No more trying to decide on the window
• Simple to find
• x-intercepts
• y-intercept
• local minimums
• local maximums
• intersections
• Multiple colors available for different graphs
• Allows x(y) graphs
• Polar graphs
• Polynomial equation solver, up to degree 4
• Solves system of linear equations with 2 or 3 unknown variables
• 2D & 3D Implicit graphs
• 2D & 3D Parametric graphs
• 2D & 3D inequality graphs
• Complex numbers

Cons:

• Not free anymore
• Teacher must make policy decisions if allowing a calculator on a test.

Brainscape

iTunes App Link: Brainscape on iTunes

Cost: Free

What is it: Flashcards

Who is it for: Teachers and students at all levels

How I use it: I have used this to create flashcards with key definitions, equations, and basic problems for my students to use.

Pros:

• Can be used with a web browser or within a mobile app
• Has the ability for text, images, and sounds
• Students have the ability to rank their knowledge of each card on a scale of 1-5
• Can create decks easily through the website.
• Students can create their own flash cards.

Cons:

•  It takes some work up front to create the flash cards.
• Unsure if the upfront time costs are justified by the amount of student use.

Check back next week to see part 2 of my review of the apps I use on a regular basis in class.  What are your favorite apps to use in your math class?