Math is a core subject and one used in everyday life, especially throughout the K-12 years. Students who enjoy and generally perform well in math classes will have their choice of an amalgam of apps to aid them in both study and enjoyment. There are, however, a fair number of students who simply don’t like to do math at school and who certainly won’t easily be tempted to do extra math at home. Luckily, there are a series of apps available to help math averse students. Some of these are geared towards students who need visual stimulation such as colors, patterns, and graphics to remain engaged in general math concepts. Other students, those who are geared toward auditory stimulation, will be interested only if sound and music come into play. In addition to focusing on multiple communication preferences, some math apps disguise learning in the form of game play. Students who have fun while learning can greatly benefit from these math ‘games’, especially if they are in the younger grades.
Take a look at these great math apps that will tempt math averse students into learning about important math concepts while having fun and staying engaged.
Math U See provides students with ample colors, patterns, and visual stimuli that are visually appealing. A key feature is that the virtual blocks match the color and shape of their corresponding physical blocks. Students who are using the full Math U See program will be able to switch back and forth from virtual, on-the-go, study to at-home study. The user can also change the background from graphing to number lines in order to suit the learning objective. This app allows the user to experience multiple senses and offers straightforward solutions to problems that math averse students often become frustrated with. Students can learn about fractions, algebra and more; the app is geared toward beginners throughout Algebra 1. Math U See is priced around $15.
By displaying highly rendered visual images of objects such as fruit and coins, Visual Math 2 helps younger children learn the basics of math. To play this game, children are asked to complete practical tasks, such as determining how many coins they’ll need to buy a certain piece of fruit that has a specific price tag. This is a great app for parents and preschool teachers who would like the modern version of the tried-and-true kinesthetic experience of counting with coins and using real-life objects in a digital venue. It’s essential that younger children have a chance to exercise their creativity and all of their senses in order to develop important visual learning techniques for the future. Visual Math 2 not only does this, but it also helps provide concrete grounding as younger students develop the foundation for abstract mathematical thinking. This app is priced around $4.
Algebra Touch is a great way for students to refresh their basic algebra skills. This will be especially helpful for teachers to use with students who will be taking standardized tests that require basic skills students have likely forgotten without realizing it. It’s also great for teachers who need to review for their initial teacher credentialing certificate, and for the math averse student, who would otherwise avoid picking up math apps. Algebra Touch offers animation and interactive features that make study and review less discouraging. For instance, students can choose from the standard keyboard feature or drag and drop letters and numerals with their finger. The ability to interact directly with the numbers prevents confusion and aids in the visual aspect of mastering math concepts. Algebra Touch is priced around $3.
King of Math offers highly detailed and artistically rendered backgrounds that will keep any student interested who loves stories, games, and visuals. King of Math is advertised as a game, which is a great way for teachers and parents to disguise learning in the form of fun. It’s also a good way for students to supplement their education outside of the classroom. Students get to choose their character and listen to music on each level of the game, which is a welcome creative addition. This app covers subtopics such as basic addition and subtraction as well as geometry, fractions, and basic statistics. King of Math is recommended for students in middle school and junior high school. The initial download is free!
Math Racer 3.0 encourages students to answer questions as quickly as possible, which is great practice for our world of standardized and timed testing. While using Math Racer 3.0, students will be able to compete for the fastest times and scores for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables against other users, such as classmates, friends, or family. The inclusion of multiple users can stimulate the competitive nature found in many young students. The graphics are detailed and will keep visual students interested while introducing a traditional activity in a fun and creative way. Math Racer3.0 is priced around $6.
Because math is one of our two heavily tested core subjects, math averse students are often left stressed out and struggling by the time they reach middle school. When teachers and parents use visual technology and gamification to aid in the stimulation of the creative brain, it can help these learners not only do well in math classes but also enjoy and embrace the wonderful world of mathematics in general.
Robyn Scott is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC in Irvine, CA. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.