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The Best Elementary Math Apps for the iPad
Try these great math apps the next time you are looking for a new way to challenge your children with their number work. These apps are tried and tested classroom tools and would be a great addition to your home or classroom iPad
They are aimed at kids between 5 and 12 years old, but grown ups can have just as much fun testing their brains with one of these innovative games. Links for each app are below their picture.
1. Motion Math: $1.99
This perennial best-seller is a great way to practice those pesky fractions, decimals and percentages. It makes great use of your iOS device's accelerometer as you tilt your iPod or iPad left and right to bounce a falling star on the correct part of a number line. Levelling up and good game variation keeps kids hooked, as does the motivating sound effects, stars and rewards. All this makes Motion Math one of the best math apps you can buy. It currently sells for $1.99, and there are a number of other apps by the same developer that you may be interested in. See the other Motion Math apps here.
Motion Math Demo
2. Sushi Monster: Free
This creative, free app from Scholastic is designed to target core addition and multiplication skills. Players visit a Sushi bar and have to feed the Sushi monster correct mathematical equations in order to pass each level. It is fast paced, but fun, and there is lots of motivation for kids who wna to beat their previous scores. You can replay the round as many times as you like but your target numbers change, helping to add life to the playability of this game. There are no ads, in-app purchases or links to social media. Its just a good, safe, fun way for kids to practice math on an iPad.
Hands-on Math Practice for Early Years
3. Concentration: Free
How can you tell if an iPad app has sound mathematical practice or not? Easy. Choose one that is made by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Concentration is one such app. The premise is simple. You can play by yourself, or with a partner so your kids can play against a parent, sibling, grandparent or friend. The task is to match whole numbers, shapes, fractions, or multiplication facts to their equivalent representations in a concentration style game. The graphics are simple, but the theory is sound, and kids get to practice a wide variety of math facts. Concentration is free in the App Store
4. Todo K-2 Math Practice: Free
If you have kids who are just starting out in school, a great way to teach and learn new Math skills is the Todo K-2 Math Practice app. This iPad only app covers counting, number tracing, tallies, quick facts and more. At the end of each session, children are asked if the level was too easy, just right, or too hard. When they play again, the app adjusts the difficulty accordingly. It is a great all round app that has good mathematical theory at its core. Best of all, this app is also free!
Todo Math Demo
Increase Student Achievement with a Student Centered Approach
5. Math Ninja: Free or $1.99
Math Ninja is another great combination of math and entertainment. Players take on the role of the Math Ninja and attempt to hold off an army of marauding robots. Answer a variety of math problems and you will earn more cash with which to buy a variety of objects that you can use to repel the robots. Smoke bombs, throwing stars, and ninja magic are available to add to your arsenal, but only if you answer enough correct math problems to earn the chance to purchase them. It’s a clever take on exactly the kind of game that kids like to play, but with some math thrown in for good measure. What more could you ask for?! :)
6. Thinking Blocks - Fractions: Free
Fractions can be notoriously difficult for elementary students to master, so if you are going to use an iPad app to teach fractions, it had better be a good one. Thankfully, this one is. It teaches children how to model and solve word problems that feature fractions and whole numbers. They will find fractions of a number, add or subtract like denominators, and even multiply or divide fractions. It has a great visual layout, and does not contain any ads or in-app purchases to distract students. Additionally, if you like this app, you can check out the other free apps that are part of this series - Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, or Ratio and Proportion.
7. Geoboard: Free
There isn't an elementary teacher alive that doesn't wince just a little when it is time to break out the geoboards. They take up valuable space in the closet and the rubber bands get old and break, or are used for more nefarious purposes by students! If that sounds like you, then you NEED the Geoboard iPad app. It quickly dispenses with all those problems and lets you focus on your learning objectives.
With virtual rubber bands you can create line segments or shapes with ease, and there are eight different colors to choose from. You can fill the shapes you create, and switch between a 25 peg board and a 150 peg board, depending on how much variety and space you need when creating your geometric shapes on the iPad. Oh, and it is completely free!
Develop Strong Mental Math Skills With Your Students
8. MyScript Calculator: Free
If ever there was an app that should have been a default app on all iPads, it's this one. It takes the notion of a calculator and optimizes it for a tablet device like the iPad in a unique and innovative way. When you launch the app, you won't see a myriad of keys and symbols like you do on a normal calculator. Instead you see a blank slate. To perform a calculation, simply draw it out on the screen and watch as your handwriting quickly, and accurately, gets transcribed to text and your equation will be solved before your very eyes. You have to see it to believe it, so watch the video below for a demonstration!
MyScript Calculator Demo
9. MathLands: Free
If you are looking for something more in the logic and problem solving arena, then take a look at MathLands. It will really make your students think critically about real world problems. Puzzles like the Tower of Hanoi, the Water Jug Puzzle and the Ravine Crossing Puzzle will quickly get your students involved in some higher level thinking, and can be great for collaborative efforts where two or more students are working on the same iPad. There are only six games to choose from, but each one is guaranteed to please.
10. Door 24 - Math: Free
The premise of this app is simple - make 24 by arranging numbers in an equation. It sounds easy, and it is to begin with, but it gets increasingly challenging and will soon have your students scratching their heads...in the best possible way! Door 24 is aimed at grades 4-8, includes scaffolded hints when students might need them, and is aligned to the Common Core. It's a great way to introduce or reinforce some foundational algebraic concepts, and it comes complete with an engaging narrative to help motivate kids as they play the app. Best of all, Door 24 is free!
Do you have a favorite math app for the iPad that is not listed above? Why not leave a comment below with a link to the app that you like best.