Around this time last year, I wrote a post about the lack of engaging Maths apps on the iPad that went beyond “skill and drill” number activities. Since then, developers have introduced a greater range of apps across all areas of the Maths curriculum that can be used to enhance the Maths teaching and learning in your classroom. Here’s a selection of 20 apps that cover Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability ( these are the **Content strands (CS)** Australia’s Mathematics curriculum has been categorized under ). They also cover the **proficiency strands (PS)** of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning. I’m sure other countries’ curricula are similar in many regards and you will be able to make the connections.

Undecided (free at time of writing)

A handy tool for probability experiments, Undecided comes with customisable dice ( up to six) with number of rolls, last roll and sum of rolls data, Heads/tails coin toss with cumulative tallies, a 1-10 spinner ( wish it was customisable) , Rock/Scissors/Paper and Short Straw simulations and a random number generator with customisable maximum number beyond thousands (although it’s time consuming to go beyond 1000).

**CS -Statistics and Probability PS – Reasoning**

Decide Now! ($0.99)

Does what Undecided doesn’t with spinner. You can create/edit unlimited numbers of spinners with any types of categories and combinations of categories. Minimum number of sections is 10. If you add less than that, it intelligently uses ratio to created the segments. Great for probability experiments, especially for increasing and decreasing chance of random events to occur.

**CS -Statistics and Probability PS – Reasoning**

DragonBox+ ($6.49 – expensive for multiple copies)

Despite the cost, which would be prohibitive for some schools with limited budgets, this is a clever app for building conceptual understanding of the principles for balancing algebraic equations. Presented in a game format, it builds up from simple to complex as you play through 5 levels and 300 individual puzzles. The object is to be left with a single object on one side by applying inverse operations to object on both sides. The final level introduces the alphanumerical symbols associated with algebra.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Understanding, Problem Solving, Reasoning**

Dartfish EasyTag (free)

This app allows you to create data collection tools using panels as recording buttons for categories and and subcategories you create. Each time you touch a panel, it begins tallying results. It collects category totals and tracks the elapsed time by whole seconds, minutes and hours. Not only useful for data collection and statistics, but can be used as a simple timer as well. Results can be exported by email as a csv file which can be opened in Excel (not iPad spreadsheet programs), although it records labels rather than numbers so editing the spreadsheet is necessary for tallying results.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry, Number and Algebra PS – Fluency, Reasoning**

Pattern Blocks ($0.99)

A simple app that can be used for many purposes. The drag and drop geometric shapes can overlay translucently to create fraction models, supported by the grids. Tessellations can be created effortlessly and rotations can also be done. At junior levels, shape patterns can easily be created and continued. Relationships between different shapes can also be explored.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry, Number and Algebra PS – Problem Solving, Reasoning and Understanding**

Room Planner (free)

Created with House planning in mind but can be applied for many measurement tasks. This app allows you to create and edit individual rooms or entire house plans. Each element ( room, architectural element or furniture) can have its dimensions adjusts though simple touch and drag, elements can be freely rotated and final plans can be viewed from all angles and views in 2D and 3D. Area and Perimeter investigations can be implemented and concepts of space can be explored through placing objects within the rooms. Text can be added and in 3D mode, creativity is encouraged though applying colours and textures for realism. Scale can be explored by creating models of actual rooms.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry PS – Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

5 Dice Order of Operations (free)

A simple but engaging equation building game that builds understanding of order of operations rules. A target number is randomly selected and 5 dice are provided to use as the values to generate equations to reach the target. IT provides a whiteboard for experimenting with possibilities before dragging the numerals and operation symbols into place. There are options for using some or all operations and brackets to allow for different ability levels.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Fluency, Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

Foldify ($2.99)

Its whimsical nature and cost makes it appear superficial use of technology but it allows for an engaging exploration of 3D objects and nets. Can also be used to create patterns on dice faces that can encourage logical reasoning in building patterns.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry PS – Reasoning and Problem Solving**

Geoboard (free)

Simply put, it is a Tech based Geoboard that allows for wide ranging angle and shape explorations as well as quick creations of arrays to build understanding of multiplication and division. Can also support fraction and decimal exploration with careful manipulation. Shapes can be rendered transparent or translucent for easier viewing and comparison.

**CS -Measurement and Geometry, Number and Algebra PS – Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

Geometry Pad (free; $6.49 full features)

This app allows for exploration of shape, angles, co-ordinates, area, perimeter, circle properties,algebraic expressions on graphs and linear graphs ( functions in the paid version ). Free version is still quite functional but paid version has some compelling upgrade features for higher level mathematics.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry, Number and Algebra PS – Understanding, Reasoning**

MyScript Calculator (free)

A screenshot doesn’t do this app justice. In a nutshell, this app converts your handwritten scrawlings into equations and calculates the answers. Recognises indices/roots, trigonometric functions, percentages and fractions as well as basic operations. YOu can edit equations on the spot by crossing out and replacing numbers and symbols and equations automatically update as you increase and decrease values on either side. Blank spaces are replaced with calculated values. A great app for exploring equations as well as a very functional calculator. Does have limits, which you will find as you explore but its free so explore at will.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS - Fluency, Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

Friends of Ten ($0.99)

A handy app for exploring subitising and the visual conceptualisation of 1-10, important number skills to develop in younger students. This app has six activities using Tens Frames to develop build to ten, how many and more than/less than.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Fluency and Understanding**

Tens Frame Snap Lite (free)

This game based app consolidates the skills developed in Friends of Ten above using a 2 player Snap game.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Fluency and Understanding**

Routes ($1.99) (My Maps – linked to Google Maps account – free but harder to use)

Using Google Maps as its base, this app allows students to build routes along maps by dropping waypoints along the way. It generates distances and estimated times along the route and between points and you can compare bicycle, car and walking routes to the same locations. It also creates instructions which can be tested by actually going out and following the routes created. The distances and times can also be tested by actually going along the route as well. Routes can be shared via email, Twitter/Facebook and printed.

**CS – Measurement and Geometry, Number and Algebra PS – Problem Solving, Reasoning and Understanding**

Virtual Manipulatives! (free)

An app that provides manipulatives to explore the relationships between fractions, decimals and percentages. Limited to values from 1/2 to 1/12s ( no 1/7s or 1/9s)

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Fluency and Understanding**

Counting Board (free)

A simple but effective counting aid. Either show or hide numbers. Create visual number patterns. Use to develop count on/count to/ count backward strategies for counting, addition and subtraction. Has an option to say numbers as they are tapped.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS – Fluency and Understanding**

Fraction Division ($0.99)

A very specific skill set for an app but great to see a conceptually difficult operation ( division of fractions) explained in a concrete way. I know teachers who don’t understand how to divide fractions or explore the rote learnt reciprocal concept. This app definitely helps

**CS -Number and Algebra PS - Fluency, Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

Numbler Free (Free! – paid app $0.99)

A fun way to explore equations and practise calculations. Basically, this is a number based version of Scrabble. YOu are given a selection of tiles with numerals, operation symbols and an equality sign. The object is to make equations with the tiles you have and/or the tiles already on the board. Easy to play, challenging to finish. Encourages experimentation by trying to score the highest possible score. Free version only allows for one player versus computer. Paid version allows two player game.

**CS – Number and Algebra PS - Fluency, Problem Solving, Understanding and Reasoning**

Logic Puzzles HD ($2.99)

I love Logic Puzzles. This app provides are large selection of puzzles to complete. While not easy to categorise under COntent strands, the logical reasoning developed throough these puzzles is essential for higher order thinking. I have successfully taught 7 year olds how to solve ( and create ) these types of puzzles which has encouraged thinking, problem solving, creativity and logic.

**PS – Problem Solving and Reasoning**

PollDaddy (free)

Others prefer SurveyMonkey but PollDaddy has its own iPad app that gives you a simple way to COLLECT data based on surveys created online. All you have to do is link the app to an account, download the survey and it creates an easy to use, question by question survey on the iPad. You can review the results and upload the surveys once done.

**CS – Statistics and Probability**

As you can see, most of these apps are free so you can easily try them out to see what you can do in your classrooms with them. The paid apps won’t exactly break the budget if you download one copy to try. While many have physical, old school versions that can be used instead ( just like they were pre-iPad), I am of the opinion that the iPad version are more user friendly are allow for more possibilities and instant, repetitive use.

Let me know what you think about these apps or maybe suggest some other apps I have left out.

April 2nd, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Awesome. Thanks for this, some really useful apps here.

Have you used algebra champ and quick graph apps ? They are also really useful in maths.

Thanks

April 2nd, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Hi Nigel

I have tried out Quick graph. A good app for graphing equations but as a primary school teacher don’t have much use for it.

I always look for apps that develop conceptual understanding. That’s why I like Dragon Box for algebra. algebra champ is more of a practice app.

April 2nd, 2013 at 7:12 PM

We’ve released our app Polynom today, which would fit this post quite well. It solves math exercises by showing simple step-by-step solutions and explanations for them. Check out our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9A6mmsDwsE

April 2nd, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Some great apps. I’d go back to school to use these apps. Great work and very engaging for students. When we think about it how far have we advanced in one year

Regards

Peter

April 3rd, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Peter,

I hope this type of change in math app focus sees a shift away from textbooks for Maths. Schools who have the ill conceived notion that they are making great use of iPads by loading them up with ebook versions of their old Maths texts need to look at apps like these and change the learning and teaching model.

April 3rd, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Hey thanks for mentioning my math app – 5 Dice: Order of Operations Game

I have two more math games/apps that cover Fractions:

4 Dice: Fraction Games

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/4-dice-fraction-games/id583546023?ls=1&mt=8

Ordered Fractions: Compare and Order Fractions Game

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ordered-fractions-compare/id592036890?ls=1&mt=8

Thanks again

April 3rd, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Hey, Justin.

Love 5 Dice. Have your other apps personally and think they are terrific too but mentioned 5 dice because its free so I have loaded them on all of my school’s iPads. Since the other apps are $1.99, I have kept them for my own enjoyment but not the schools. $1.99 can get me more multipurpose apps like Notability and SonicPics which whole school can use for many purposes. Keep up the development though, ( maybe a free for short time only sale?) as they are terrific apps.

April 3rd, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I’m glad you like them!!

I actually have another math app coming out in a few weeks, it’s going to be a coordinate grid battleship type game: http://www.mathfilefoldergames.com/my-math-apps/grid-lines-ordered-pair-game-app/

I totally understand that the $1.99 problem for schools that’s why I have a special program just for schools to buy my apps, you can read about it here: http://mathfilefoldergames.com/vol2/ but essentially what I do is drop my price from $1.99 to 99¢, on all my apps, on the day you plan to make a volume purchase for your school this WITH Apples own 50% volume purchase program you would get my apps for 49 cents each

Thanks again

April 3rd, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info. Will keep that in mind.

April 3rd, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Great list. Have you seen balancing act an order of operation app?

April 3rd, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Hi, Anne. Thanks for tip. Looks like it is pretty much the same concept as 5 Dice, which is free unlike Balancing Act at $0.99. Nice app though.

April 9th, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Awesome. Thanks for covering all these apps here. I totally love these apps very much. I am a maths tutor teaching maths for kids here – http://www.mathssuccess.co.za