So I’ve been doing research and development for an iPad initiative at our school. It’s taken me quite a bit of time to even find an initial set of Apps that I think would be meaningful for my students to use in the classroom. It’s really important to me that I’m not just using technology as a fancy way to do something I could have done the old fashioned way. Here are some Apps that I think show promise.
iCut can be found in the games section of the App store. It presents you with a series of puzzles in which you have to color code the boxes to create two congruent shapes. I like this App because it asks the student to both problem solve and apply their knowledge of congruent figures in order to solve the puzzles. Students are able to practice mentally rotating objects and visualizing how they will look. They can also actually rotate the object by rotating the iPad.
Match-up Math is essentially a Mahjong game, but students have to match the tiles mathematically. The full version offers a choice of addition, subtraction, addition & subtraction, multiplication, division, multiplication & division, fractions, and fractions & decimals. As students work through the puzzles they become more difficult. What I like about this App is that, not only is it helping students practice facts skills and finding equivalent fractions and decimals, but there is also a strategy aspect involved in removing the tiles in the correct order.
This App is beautiful and I would love to see more from this developer. For the most part this App is more of a game of logic where you have to manipulate a figure with a variety of slides, flips, and rotations. What I love about it is that the first level on Easy gives a short tutorial which describes and illustrates translations, reflections, and rotations. This is a fairly new concept for my fifth graders so I’m looking forward to being able to re-teach or pre-teach using this app. I think it might need a little support to make it truly educational. For example, reinforcing the concept by having students keep track of how many of each transformation they use to solve the puzzle. This “game” definitely engages thinking skills.
Ok, sometimes they just need to work on their facts. AB math does this in a way that can be customized for students. The full version offers several choices in the calculation section. You can choose which operations you want to practice, mix and match operations, set the difficulty level, and even decide between inputting the numbers or multiple choice.