Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Educational iPad Apps: Mathematics

I previously posted my five favorite literacy iPad apps,
this post will be focused on the best math apps that I have found.
Just a reminder: my focus is elementary education
although many are customizable to meet the needs of many skill levels and ages. 


Here is short list of great apps that promote the learning of mathematics: 

What I love:
Varying levels of difficulty, focusing on a digestible, small amount of numbers at once.
Uses a variety of manipulatives to learn the quantities associated with numbers.
Easy to customize; change the time spent on reward games, the level of difficulty within activities.
Kids hear the name of the number repeatedly as they do the various activities.
Easy to use (my almost-3-year-old loves it!), and it grows with your child (ages 3-7).
The graphics are ok, but I'll admit I'm kinda a snob about aesthetics. 

What I love:
It starts very basic, with tutorials that help to refresh skills and boost confidence.
Being interactive, it is a lot more appealing to kids than the old pencil and paper.
It gives instant feedback on each problem, working through incorrect answers. Amazing!
The design is simple and fluid, easy to manipulate, and it's free!

Just like their wonderful Alpha Writer app that I featured in the literacy post,
this app is designed so beautifully and is perfectly on-point with the montessori philosophy. 

What I love:
It is designed for the youngest learners, to introduce the concepts of the numbers 0 through 9.
Kids can learn numbers, counting, quantities, and sequencing.
Uses various visual representations that are familiar and easy to understand.
Like before:  I have yet to see such a functional app quite as streamlined and aesthetically appealing.
Lays a great foundation before preschool or kindergarten, which will certainly ease learning later.
Since it is for the little ones (4 years is the recommended age, I would start earlier even), the touch and drag interface is great for developing fine motor skills and coordination.

What I love:
It teaches the real world applications of math, the everyday relevancy of numbers.
The pirate theme is really adorable and engaging for kids.
The activities are taught in relatable ways, such as adding on a chalkboard or using fingers (teaches left hand vs right!)
Kids choose their pirate avatar, and we all know how fun that is! 
It teaches reasoning skills and self-direction.

What I love:
The interaction is fantastic; you can rotate shapes and really interact with them.
Shape identification, as well as activities that link shapes to real-world objects.
It uses familiar shape names, as well as the technical terms; it is so great for young kids to hear these!
This app is good for kids of all ages who are needing an introduction to or a brush up on geometry.
The images are taken from vintage French textbooks - gorgeous.


One final note, something I've realized is a great quality in apps (from the perspective of a mother) 
is the ability to use them on both your iPad as well as your iPhone.
Many of you probably know that when you purchase an app on your iPad, 
you can update your iPhone and access it in both places (and visa versa). 
Well, some apps can only be used on the iPad, but many are accessible on both and THAT IS NICE. 
(All of the five math apps I featured are accessible on both the iPad and iPhone)
It's not a deal-breaker, but it is awesome to be able to access apps you've spent money on 
in the event of a mid-meal middle-of-the-restaurant melt down. 
You know you've been there.


Next subjects I'll be looking into: spelling, science, & geography.

I'd love to hear what is working and what just isn't in the classroom and at home.
Tell me what apps you love for your kids or students, and why! 


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