Saturday, May 18, 2013

Student Motivation-Math ipad apps

The closer we get to the end of the year the harder it is to keep my kiddos on-task. It seems to me that as we enter the last few weeks of school I am needing to reteach and remind them of basic classroom rules. The frustrating part for me is that I have so many fun things I want to do with them the last week of school...but we have to finish our work first! Anyone else feel my pain?

I'm linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching to share one thing that still motivates my kiddos at this time of year...ipads.

When the school year started I had an iphone and would allow the kids to use my phone to scan QR codes in our math centers. Some of the kids had their own ipods and ipads so I started allowing them to bring them into school. We made a deal, they could bring it into school if it was stored on my desk during the day (so I could monitor them.) They also had to play only "Mrs. Hunter approved games," and they needed to put them away as soon as I said it was time to clean up. In January, my principal had extra money that needed to be spent so she bought ipads for faculty that wanted them (one for each teacher to use in the classroom) and a student set that we could sign out from the computer lab.

This week I've signed them out each day to use during math time. My kiddos and I are working on reviewing for our end of the year math test. I spend the first 15-20 min. of math reviewing key concepts, the students then work on an independent practice page (while I work with my lower kids who need more support.) When the students finish they are allowed to play a math game on the ipads. They play quietly and are focused the entire time. It is wonderful because it really gives me time to work with my low kids that need more of a review.

iPhone Screenshot 1
The first math app they love is Sumoku. It is a game that they can play against one other person or against a few. The app cost 99 cents, but it is a lot of fun, and it helps the kids with finding multiples of a number.

iPhone Screenshot 2
The second math app they love is Math Bingo. This game is a fantastic way to practice math facts. Students solve math fact problems (they can choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or mixed, as well as easy or hard levels-which makes it great for differentiation!) The app keeps track of how long it takes them to get a bingo. If they are faster than the time before they earn a bingo bug. There are a few games they can play with their "bugs" and the more bugs they have the more fun it is. This app is also 99 cents (but if your school has a set of ipads the school can get the app for 49 cents.)

iPad Screenshot 1
The third math app is Splash Math. This app is pricy $9.99, but they have a free trial version (which is what I have my kiddos using right now) that allows you to play the beginning of all the levels. My school is purchasing this app over the summer. What I like about this app is that it has a game or activity for ALL the concepts I teach in fourth grade. They have it for each grade level, definitely worth checking it out. I plan to have it set up as a center to reinforce whatever skill we are learning next year.

iPhone Screenshot 2
The last game I want to share with you is Everyday Mathematics Equivalent Fractions. My school does not use Everyday Math, but I do love this app. When I was teaching my students equivalent fractions this app really helped them understand the concept. Many of them play it during free time because they like the game so much. This app is $1.99.

Sorry for the super long post! Hope some of those math games inspire your students or your own kiddos! What do you do to motivate your students to practice math skills and facts?


  1. Love these ideas!! I'm really hoping to get some iPads or tablets with donors choose. We don't have them. :(
    ideas by jivey
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  2. You're right, apps that are both quick to play and instructional are a great way to keep kids somewhat engaged in this challenging time of year. Tic Tac Math is a math app series that uses the fun, familiar game of Tic Tac Tac Toe to learn math facts, fractions and algebra. It's quick, self-directed and instructional.

    You may check it out here:

    Thanks for taking a look at this fun series of games. More than 50,000 sold by small, family owned company.

  3. I don't teach math but I will share this with my partner teacher. These look awesome. :) Thanks for sharing.
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. Great games. I'm going to have to check out sumoko. That looks pretty good. Thanks for sharing.
    I've used the Splash Math for 1-4th, I lucked out and got them early and super cheap, but they are great for reinforcing skills.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  5. Oh yay! I love finding more apps to use! I only have one iPad but it is put to good use:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. What great math apps! We have one set for our school, but it's hard to get our hands on them! I'm pinning them for later! (when I get some of those awesome iPads!) Thanks for linking up and sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching