Math Facts Help for the Pandemic Slide

Here are Ten Apps That Can Turn Your iPad into a Personalized Summer Math Tutor

Every teacher knows about the summer slide. It could also be called the “blank stares of September” — and it happens most frequently with fact and skill laden subjects like the Three R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic).

That’s because these subjects benefit most from practice, repetition and coaching — things that aren’t compatible with days at the beach, or a year of remote home learning.

Montessori Numbers: Learn to Count from 1 to 1000

As a normal school year starts to looks more like a reality next fall, many parents might feel as if their children might have slipped. Rather than hire an expensive math tutor, a more affordable option is to turn your tablet into one.

Here’s a collection of affordable, ethical apps for math skills that include with grade-level features. First some tips:

1. Just because a child isn’t being educated doesn’t mean they are not learning. Make every day a learning experience by asking children to write, read and talk. The libraries are open; so get books to keep them reading.

2. Get some Apps. There are hundreds of good, ethical choices in CTREX (a subscription only database). Be sure to download your apps first and start up each app before handing the tablet to your child. That’s because many apps can be customized to your child’s level.

3. Hide the candy. Put the icons for video players (especially YouTube, Disney+ and so on) out of site.

Khan Academy Kids. Free, easy-to-use, comprehensive and able to track multiple children; this complete curriculum contains approximately 775 leveled early reading, math and logic activities; including videos and ebooks; plus a drawing/coloring space. It’s easy to make your child a profile so that progress is saved.
By the Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org, ($free on iPad, iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/khan-kids/id1378467217?ls=1&mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.khankids.android https://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=org.khankids.android), for Preschool and Kindergarten.

Montessori Numbers: Learn to Count from 1 to 1000 is an elegant early math sandbox will let your child freely tinker with early mathematical relationships. You can freely drag-and-drop blocks to build the numbers in order. When your set is complete, you are rewarded with a set of unit blocks for free building, and further informal exploration of math concepts. Because there are different challenges — up to 999, there’s something for every young mathematician. If you like this app, you’ll also like Math Wizard for Kids by the same publisher
By L’Escapadou, www.lescapadou.com, ($2.99 on iPad, http://bit.ly/montessorinumbers), for preschool through second grade.

Bugs and Beyond contains 18 activities for Pre-K and early elementary age children. You can hunt for a matching bug in a jungle, program a robot to navigate through a maze, or feed realistic looking kitten. As with previous “bugs” apps, the illustrations are realistic when keeps things interesting.
Little Bit Studio, LLC, www.littlebitstudio.com, ($1.99 on iPad, iPhone https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bugs-and-beyond/id1393702002), for grades K — 4.

DragonBox Big Numbers takes a more indirect route, providing children with opportunities to explore number relationships. The setting is a lush jungle world full of “nooms” (unit block creatures), and things to collect. The more items you collect, combine and count, the more parts of your world you unlock. This is a wonderful way for children to informally discover the amazing relationships that reside in numbers.
By WeWantToKnow AS, http://wewanttoknow.com/, ($7.99 on iPad, Android https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragonbox-big-numbers/id1161717622?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wewanttoknow.BigNumbers), for grades K — 5.

Math Tango. Explore a playful, animated island that is home to a family of friendly musical monsters. Your objective is to earn money and monster crystals by solving well designed addition and subtraction puzzles. The coins are used to purchase items for your island. Content includes 25 monsters, 24 missions and 50 store items. There’s a nice variety of math problems, making it harder for more than one child to play. The challenge increases with correct answers.
By Originator, www.originatorkids.com, ($free with IAP of $12 on iPad, iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1234698308?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4), for grades 1 through 4.

Fiete Math Climber. Looking for a fun, well designed math facts drill experience? This app is all about math facts, starting with simple addition and going up to multiplication with carrying of tens. After you create an account for your child by entering your child’s name an grade, it’s very easy to get started. The app does all the hard work — with auto leveling, and automatic bookmarking — so your child’s progress is saved (locally).
Ahoiii Entertainment UG, www.fiete-app.com, ($2.99 on iPad, iPhone, Android https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fiete-math-climber/id1271712039?l=de&ls=1&mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ahoiii.FieteMathClimber), for grades K — 5.

Teachley: Fractions Boost. Hands on math pedagogy comes to the racetrack. You drive by tilting your screen like a steering wheel, to try to drive your car through a gate, using a fraction clue as your key. For example, if you are given a target fraction of 1/2, you must hit the gate in the center. If you miss, you are given a set of well designed tutorials that illustrate how fractions work. This app is especially good for fraction drill. It is backed by intelligent pedagogy that quickly rewards mastery, and supports the building of understanding.
Teachley, LLC, www.teachley.com, ($3.99 on iPad, iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teachley-fractions-boost/id1245167060?mt=8), for grades 3 through 5.

Slice Fractions 2. One hundred playful puzzles start easy and get progressively more challenging as they introduce core faction concepts. We liked how well the problems match your ability.
Ululab Inc., http://ululab.com, ($3.99 on iPad, iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slice-fractions-2/id1313342412?at=10lPQn&ct=press-kit), for grades 1 through 6.

NumberGym’s TableTrainer turns your iPad into a customizable set of timed times tables drills. You drag the short math equation toward the answers, which are arranged in a circle. Because there are up to ten answers, you are forced to solve the equation rather than take a guess. Your progress is saved to a classroom control panel.
By NumberGym Software, www.numbergym.co.uk, ($1.99 for iPad https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numbergyms-tabletrainer/id913546512?mt=8 and Android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.uk.co.numbergym.TT40), for grades 3–6.

This article appeared originally in the March 2021 Issue of Children’s Technology Review, a subscription supported publication and review database, online at www.childrenstech.com.

Assistant Professor, TCNJ