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).

Write Sums – a mobile app for maths

Screenshots of Write Sums – an application for iPod Touch and iPhones

While most of the class have been starting a unit of work on Algebra, some students need to practise their basic drills. They have been enjoying using the iPod with this application, “Write Sums”. The Lite version has three different levels of difficulty and the choice of a short game (10 questions) or a long game ( 25 questions). The script recognition is pretty good, although it does get confused between “0” and “6” from time to time, which can be frustrating for the students. But it also teaches them to write neatly! This is a tactile game that they believe has improved their skills with basic operations.

Jonathon Riley has written about “The Top 10 iPod Touch Apps to Use in Maths Class“, which are all free apps. Not all of them are suitable for middle years students (iFormulas and Quick Graph are probably for older students), but they are recommended for hand-held practise.

Using an iPod for probability experiments

Screenshot from iChoose

Year 6/7 students continue to explore probability in our maths classes, today with iPod touches. “iChoose” is a free application, with a number of options for random choice results – coin toss, dice, cards, girl/boy and more.  Students did  timed trials to collect data (both coin tosses and dice throws) and collated class results. Each student used the iPod calculator to work out their percentages of each result and then compared individual data with class data to show that the greater the number of trials, the closer to the theoretical probability the experimental data gets.

We also used real dice and coins (swapping over so all students had a turn at both the real and virtual) and compared the results. At the end of the lesson, students completed an ‘exit slip’, with three important things that they have learnt about probability. Most students were able to complete this successfully, writing how to calculate probability, how all outcomes add to 100% and about experimental and theoretical probability. Even students with greater learning needs were able to state that they had learnt how to work out percentage and how to tally results. It is pleasing when you can engage students with a wide range of learning abilities in one class and hear that each of them has benefited from the lesson.

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.