By Katie Chirhart
When you type “math” into the Apple App Store, the majority of apps found focus on math facts. These are great for children to do at home or at school for additional practice. However, there are a wide variety of apps that focus on teaching the concepts behind mathematical processes—a critical piece of the learning equation.
The beauty of these apps is often overlooked. They allow students to play and experiment with mathematical concepts in ways they cannot do with physical manipulatives. These apps are great for whole group instruction (with the use of reflecting software or an Apple TV), small group instruction, and in a 1-to-1 environment.
While many of them are not free, if you purchase these math apps for a teacher iPad and use reflecting software, they are worth the expense.
This amazing app starts by focusing on simple one-to-one correspondence and number recognition. As the student’s skills progress, it teaches the meaning of “equal” and basic addition and subtraction.
It’s an engaging app that’s perfect for kinders and first graders. This app allows for multiple student accounts.
2. Table Tots
In my opinion, this app was designed specifically for teachers and includes important letter and phoneme options, as well as mathematical options. Need some Base 10 manipulatives? This app provides them. Need money manipulatives? This app provides those too!
The Teaching Table is another math app that I believe was created specifically for teachers. It includes options for Base 10 manipulatives and money and also includes fractions, counters and a dice that rolls.
This free app is built for teaching Base 10 concepts. One of the most difficult concepts for young students to learn is that a 10-rod is the same amount of 10 ones. With this app you can break a 10-rod into 10 smaller ones so that students can visually see and manipulate the pieces. You can take those 10 ones and put them back together into a complete 10 rod.
Students can manipulate numbers, blocks and dots to help solve simple addition and subtraction problems.
This is one of my favorite math apps. Trying to teach students how to borrow while subtracting can be extremely challenging. This app breaks down each step and shows the student exactly what happens.
Need to move a 10-rod to the ones column to regroup? This app actually shows the 10-rod being broken into 10 pieces and placed in the ones column. It demonstrates similar concepts for addition problems as well.
7. Llama Drama
Llama Drama provides you with a fun way to teach multiplication arrays. Kids love learning multiplication concepts with a llama!
While this app is not as fun as Llama Drama, it cuts right to the chase. It allows students to create their own multiplication arrays, practice repeated addition, do simple division problems, and practice multiplication facts. It also has a side-by-side feature in which two players can compete to solve multiplication and division facts!
This math app is great for teaching the repeated addition concept related to multiplication. It also works for multiplying large, two-digit and three-digit numbers.
10. Division Board
Division Board teaches division concepts. Students can move pieces from an array into the appropriate number of boxes. It’s simple and straightforward.
Students need to learn more than the “how to’s” of math. If we fail to teach the “why’s” then we fail our students. Not understanding why we carry or borrow, or failing to teach students that multiplication is repeated addition and not just 6×4=24 deprives them of the foundation necessary for higher-level math.