Everyone knows how much we love math apps at TWA. The ability to play with time and space and organize it in a cohesive yet understandable manner is thrilling. It accounts for structure and predictability and helps make sense of our phenomenal world. Here are a few recent apps that have come into view of our radar, and all are worthy of a look-see, if not a download. They are all games that can be tapped into when waiting at the dentist or at your sister’s recital (with headphones on please). Quick rounds with any of these will improve basic knowledge over time to make it automatic.
Compare all Fractions by Yevel Belyavsky in conjunction with his wife Tatyana was made as a labor of love for their grandchildren. These two former computer science professors and mathematicians know how to teach mathematical concepts and make them stick. In this app, kids are challenged throughout 4 levels of difficulty. Fractions are compared in all their forms, including decimals and percentages. It is up to the user to determine if the two fractions are less than, equal, or greater than in comparison with each other. The interface is direct with a no-thrills presentation. This keeps the focus on the task, and keeps the pictorial in the mind about numbers without extraneous stimuli – and this is so important for special need’s kids. You can guess of course, but wrong answers are recorded as well as time and points so that kids can see improvement and where they may need to work. The quiz is over in 20 questions and is copied to the clipboard, so teachers can review data for progress reports or email results to parents. (For kids 9-11).
Demografix pty ltd always comes up with novel approaches to learning. Pop Tables - Pop & Rock Times Table Songs with a Fun EduGame is a fun way to review basic math facts. Pairing the irresistible urge to pop bubbles to a hip school house rock beat, try and see how many points you can rack up before the song is over. Wrong answers will take you back, so be careful! There is an option to stop the action to rest a bit, but only for a few moments. By playing a few rounds a day and your students will be singing the praises of Pop Tables! (Intended for kids 6-8, the sweet spot seems to be for the older set just learning to memorize their time's tables).
Math Rat by BoaNeo AB begins as a 1:1 correspondence game for the younger set and progresses to adding, subtracting and comparing the relative values of numbers. By placing the corresponding amount of MONEY or number of coins into a purse earns you CANDY - You can’t get much better than that. Just watch out for the rat! Catching the rat helps keep the nervous system alert and ready as he appears all over the place. The game has a definite kid’s ed tv show feel that’s tons of fun. (made for kids 6-8, but younger kids can play the earlier levels with support).
Another game from BoaNeo AB is HoMaM (Heroes of Math and Magic - Play and Learn) for kids 9-11. It uses a medieval type theme with heroes, wizards, and villains to solve math puzzlers in the most efficient manner that you can by moving your hero through a grid to capture the numbers needed. Simple addition, sequencing, and even creating equations are in store and await your solution. By choosing your moves wisely across the grid, try to answer the question and get to the portal, as once a path has been chosen, you can’t retrace your steps. Rewards to battle foes are provided as sensory breaks and to draw kids further in this beautifully rendered world. This will be a big hit for kids over the summer!
Michal Kucharczyk from Hoglet Studio has another hit on his hands with mathie. (It’s for the 5 and under set, but it can be used with kids a little older too.) The game is simple to learn – feed a little animal type monster the cookies that he wants and in the order he wants. Just be sure to deliver them directly into his mouth! Intermittent rewards are offered as natural breaks to decorate your little monster’s world. I love how this game is multidimensional in its use. It not only teaches counting and patterns but also precise visual scanning and motor planning/targeting. Use of a stylus will help kid’s get used to holding a writing utensil without the added pressure of making specific marks. Those can be refined and shaped later. Design features are of course whimsical and not too overstimulating, allowing little ones to process the requests made. This is a must have for preschool teachers.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.