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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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There are so many ways to use mobile devices with students. You can create interactive textbooks for children to read, ask them to explain their thinking through screencasting or help them access informational text using QR codes. Mobile devices can also be used to help students practice foundational math skills and build their math fluency.

In order for students to tackle the multi-step word problems they'll be asked to solve as early as elementary school, they need to have mastered their addition, subtraction and multiplication facts. By answering 4 + 12, 15 - 5, 9 x 7 and 18 / 3 quickly and accurately, students can focus on reading word problems to figure out what the question is asking them to do. There are tons of fun apps that help children build their math fluency through games and flashcards. Check out some of these fantastic math apps.

Operation Math (iOS - $2.99, Android - $1.99)

This app turns your students into secret spies that will travel around the world on different missions. Kids can choose which operations they want to practice as they make their way through this app.

Sushi Monster (iOS - Free)

Scholastic's app offers children multiplication and addition problems. They'll have to reach a target number by picking the correct factors and addends listed on different pieces of sushi.

Quick Math - Arithmetic & Times Tables (iOS - $1.99)

With this app, kids will answer traditional skill-and-drill questions -- but they won't have to enter answers into a keypad. Instead, your children can write the answer anywhere on the screen of their device, and the app will read their handwriting and record their response.

Pet Bingo by Duck Duck Moose (iOS - $1.99, Android - $1.99)

In this game, children will have to answer addition, subtraction, multiplication or division questions and place their answer on a bingo board. This app is full of colorful cartoon characters and offers visual models to help students understand each problem.

Meerkat Math HD (iOS - $1.99)

This adventure app asks students to complete different races using their math facts. In order to make their meerkat avatar run and jump fast enough to be a winner, they'll have to answer each question quickly and correctly.

Math Flash Cards * (iOS - Free)

A traditional skill-and-drill app (yes, the asterisk is part of the title), Math Flash Cards * helps children practice their times tables by customizing the number and difficulty level of each question. This app has a simple interface that makes it easy for kids to play.

10monkeys Multiplication (iOS - $1.99, Android - Free)

Kids can practice multiplication facts with this animated app. The goal is to help monkeys trapped in a tree escape by answering a set of questions correctly. This app is broken down into different times table and includes a reference chart to review facts.

Math Monsters - Bingo (iOS - Free)

Students can practice all operations using this bingo app. They'll solve each problem and then find the answer on the bingo board. Players need to be strategic if they want to win the game.

Math Vs Zombies (iOS - $4.99, Android - Free)

This silly app asks children to add, subtract, multiply or divide single- and two-digit numbers. Students need to answer each question correctly in order to zap the zombies back into humans.

YodelOh Math Mountain (iOS - $2.99, Android - $1.99)

A virtual take on a traditional carnival game, this app helps children practice all four operations. They'll have to work quickly so that the yodeler doesn't fall from the top of the mountain.

What are your favorite ways to practice math fluency? Do you have an app that you've tried with students?

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Comments (17) Sign in or register to comment Subscribe to comments via RSS

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Thank you, Matt and Justice, for your reviews! There's nothing like hearing from students directly about what and how they learning from these apps.

Also, props to Mr. B for encouraging his students and giving them an authentic audience for their work.

victoria's picture

Number recognition

I have students in my class who were struggling with recognizing numbers 0-10. I had tried flashcards, games, songs and etc. They were still struggling with recognizing numbers. I finally tried math apps on the ipad. To my surprise, students who previously struggled with recognizing numbers 0-10 were improving. The app on this link was very helpful http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqIB8eENTixIAS8r7w8QF;_...

Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

The BEST math app (and that's not a term I use lightly here) is Dragon Box. It's a fun puzzle game that teaches key algebraic concepts. There's a version intended for elementary and a version intended for middle school. It's legitimately fun and challenging, while still introducing and reinforcing the basics of algebra.

Domingo Trassens's picture
Domingo Trassens
Former university professor, technology analyst, writer

Math apps are good if they help to build a logical path of thinking by steps. The logical training is more important than the result and the apps have to give the possibility to rebuild the path when somebody is wrong.

mathhombre's picture

Some of these are just drill and kill. Try things that are more constructive or representational. Wuzzit Trouble or any of the Motion Math games. Play physics puzzles like Where's My Water? Computational fluency will come from discussion with people trying problems in multiple ways. The NCTM math apps are all solid, as is their online stuff at Calculation Nation.

Courtney McConnell's picture

I highly suggest using these math apps for retention. Has anyone used Operation Math? Another free app is FlashTo Pass Math Flash Cards, it allows the students to choose the difficulty level and the operation to work on.

Teacher's picture

It is important to ensure math fluency. These games sound great. I have obtained Meerkat Math free app and it looks great. I plan to upgrade. I am also trying the Flash to Pass Math Flash Cards that Courtney McConnell suggested. Has anyone tried any of the others?

VirginiaU's picture

As a second grade teacher, it is essential that my students are able to fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By the end of the year, students ideally should know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers (CCSS 2.0A.2). It is important to me as an educator that I try my best to teach these standards in order to help my students become fully prepared for the future. I realize that I can not do this alone, and I am not alone because my students parents luckily are very active and engaged in their children's learning. They are constantly asking me for websites or things that they can do to help their child practice fluency. I will be sharing this link on our class website so that parents can assist students with acquiring these apps to advance their numeral automaticity. The additional links found in the comments are also very helpful. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned CoolMath.com yet, but my students also find that website helpful with fluency. Any additional online resources I can pass on to parents would also be welcomed. Thanks!

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