# Windows Apps for Maths

Our Year 7 and 8 classes received Microsoft Windows tablets at the beginning of last term, as part of a DEECD trial, “Inking your Thinking”. The students have enjoyed using these devices to access Mathletics, as well as playing the “2048” game in free time at the end of a lesson. However, there are some more good Windows apps that I would like each student to download onto their devices.

Number and Algebra

• 100 chart (for prime numbers, multiples and factors)
• Prime factors
• Maths Wizard
• Easy Fractions
• Motion Maths – Fractions
• Motion Maths – Hungry Fish
• Fluid Math Online
• Dragon Box (\$5.99)

Measurement and Geometry

• Geoboard
• Math Geometry
• Geometry 101
• Solve Geometry Ver 2.0

Statistics and Probability

• Charts
• Bar Chart creator
• Linear graph
• GraphPad
• Dice Roll simulator
• Simple coin flipper

# Dragon Box – an app for algebra

Tell me what you think about Dragon Box! Did you find it interesting, curious, fun, weird, exciting or not? What do you think you learnt about equations? Do you think this app will help you learn algebra? Would you like to play this app more often?

# Fractions Apps on the iPad

Learning Intention: This lesson we will be using three different apps on the iPads to learn about the value of fractions, decimals and percentages.

Success Criteria: Students will understand the value of common fractions (1/2, 3/4, 1/3, 2/3 etc) and be able to order a list of common fractions, decimals and percentages.

1. Motion Math HD – Bounce the fraction ball at the corresponding point on the number line by moving the iPad (10 minutes).

2. Fraction Factory – Move the factory cog to the correct point on the number line (10 minutes).

3. Number Line – Order the fractions, decimals and percentages from smallest to largest (10 minutes).

Please leave a comment below about which app you liked best, why you liked it and what you learnt.

# How do you keep your times tables in your brain?

Image adapted from wikimedia commons via Creative Commons

Do you have trouble remembering your times tables? It is very difficult to succeed in maths when you are unable to recall basic number facts,  so it is important to find ways to learn your multiplication tables. As well as regular repetition – both written and verbal – look for patterns. “Tips, Tools and Technology for Educators” has an excellent article with “Five Games for Learning Times Tables.”

These videos, from Right Brain Maths, show you some ways that will help you to remember three’s, sixes, seven’s and nine’s. There are lots of iPod apps that will help you to practise your tables with fun games.

Times Tables (Multiplication Tables)

Ultimate Times Tables

Math Facts

Math Drill Lite

iMultiply

Times Tables XL

TimesTables Free

If you have an iPod, you may like to download two or three of these applications and let me know which you like best. Which one works best for you and why? How did the game or activity help you to remember your multiplication tables? Would you recommend this application for other students who need to remember their times tables? Leave me a comment below.

# Maths learning on iPods!

Screen Capture of the Fraction Factory application for iPod Touch

As I wrote at Technoscience, I attended the Slide2Learn conference recently, learning about how to engage students in their Maths learning with Touch technology. Many parents may be concerned that their children are using these mobile devices for entertainment, rather than solid educational purposes. Victorian schools have tended to move away from ‘rote learning’ – continuous drills of multiplication tables for example – although many students still find instant recall of number facts difficult. Although I usually suggest to my students that they practise at home, perhaps with a multiplication grid on the back of their toilet door or above their bed, most kids I know are unlikely to spend the time necessary to make much of a difference. However, with an iPod Touch in their hands, they can practise with some of the following applications:

• Times Tables Free – count the apples in groups, listen to the answers to multiplication facts and generate random questions.
• Count By  – a 100 number grid with different colours to count by 5’s for example – also useful as an Erastothene’s seive, to find prime numbers.
• Brain Tuner and Maths Magic Lite – maths problems with basic operations
• Write Answer – Sums Lite – use your finger to write the answer to basic operations
• Column Subtration for ‘take away with big numbers’
• Math Tappers is a great blog with lots of examples of different maths apps
• Math Magic – Simple, colouful design with multiple choice style qustions
• Number Rumble – (\$2.99) Basic operations to learn and quiz from Leapfrog – looks and sounds great!

Fractions are often a very difficult concept for middle years students and there are some great applications to practise sequencing fractions, finding equivalent fractions, ordering and converting as well as performing basic operations with fractions.

• MV Fractions from Maths Village – short videos showing how to solve fractions problems
• Fraction Factory – Move a fraction cog onto  the correct position on a number line(shown above)
• Number Line – Move fractions and percentages into the correct order on a number line (shown below)
• Match Up (LITE)- Match fractions and percentages and Match Up (\$2.99)

Screen Capture of the Number Line application for iPod Touch

So, how do teachers (or parents) know what students have been practising without peering over their shoulder? You can take a screen shot of the result (most applications give a score or show you are ready for the next level) by holding the top (on/off) button and pressing ‘home’ at the same time – this image is saved in  ‘Photos’ .  Students can show you this image from their photos or send it to a blog (using Posterous) or to any email address.

How I plan to use this in my 6/7 classroom, is to have three groups of 8 or 9 students, with one group working on iPods, another teacher focus group and the third group on Mathletics or a hands-on problem solving task from Maths 300. Each student in the iPod group will be required to identify a learning need – perhaps ‘practising my 7 times tables’ or ‘learning to add fractions’ and search for at least two applications that purport to meet that need. They will then trial those apps. and complete a PMI or SWOT to identify which activity helped them most or which one they found most useful and why. This would also be submitted to the teacher as evidence of the work completed. I am really looking forward to implementing this kind of differentiated learning in my classes!