There’s no question about it, mathematics is a high-stakes subject—especially when you take into account initiatives like "Race to the Top" and "Educate to Innovate.” But don’t let high stakes deter you from finding new (and fun) ways to inspire your students. In fact, it seems to us that these initiatives actually give us more of a reason help our students find joy in fractions, decimals, and algebraic equations. If you’re looking for some guidance, look no further: We’ve got 5 elementary math games that will help you not only reinforce and enhance your current lesson plans, but also help you reach students through a medium they are comfortable with.
Apps They’ll Love: 5 Elementary Math Games
Math Bingo ($.99)
This app has the blessing of the New York Times and Disney, so they must have done something right. Load it up and you’ll see a bingo board filled with random numbers. Once you start, an equation appears and students must choose answers from the numbers on the board. The object of the game is to get a pattern of five Bingo Bugs in a row by correctly answering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. Another cool feature is that students can choose from eight cartoon avatars. A bonus for teachers is that they can save up to 30 of their students’ scores and custom profiles to see how they’re performing.
My Math Flash Cards (Free)
This elementary math game doesn’t have a dazzling interface, but the app makes up for it in user-friendliness. As the title suggests, the app has taken paper flash cards and gone digital with them. There are a few noteworthy features: it’s completely customizable, so it will randomly generate addition, subtraction, multiplication and division flash cards; it will also give helpful hints or focus on a particular math fact. You’ll also find that students enjoy competing with their old scores by setting a timer. An added bonus is that, unlike paper flash cards, the app provides constant feedback and assessment.
Rocket Math (Free)
When your students tire of My Math flash Cards, load up Rocket Math, a math practice session disguised as a game. Students embark on math-based “missions” where they launch a rocket and solve equations while it orbits. Like My Math Flash Cards, the game turns competitive if students want to continue funding their explorations.
If your students still need some work on basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, this elementary math game still has them covered. And if they’ve mastered the basics, Rocket Math also covers fractions, square roots and entry-level algebra principles. Need some scratch paper? Think again, Rocket Math’s got one built into it. The free version has a limited amount of levels, but you can upgrade for only a $1 to access all 56 levels.
Teaching Table ($2.99)
Racking your brain for dynamic lessons? Choose from over 70 of them! Tired of drawing and re-drawing math examples over and over again? Simply drag and drop Teaching Table’s interactive manipulatives—all of which are inspired by real-life teaching situations and vetted by over 200 teachers—to create a lesson in a few short strokes. Manipulatives include fractions, coins, polygons, place value blocks, algebra blocks and text, to name a few. Still not impressed? How about the fact that every lesson has been aligned with Common Core State Standards?
Tutor.com (Pricing varies)
Tutor.com isn’t exactly an elementary math game, but it is the only online, on-demand tutoring service that allows students to connect with a tutor from any mobile device. Once students have installed Tutor’s HTML5 classroom, they are free to connect to a live tutor for one-to-one help in math, science, social studies, and English. Pricing is reasonable, and as with many mobile phone company plans, unused minutes roll over into the next month. Additional features include the ability to
- Save and review past one-to-one tutoring sessions
- Store essays, assignments, or photos of homework problems in your Tutor.com Mobile Locker
- Share items in your Mobile Locker with a tutor
- Access thousands of educational resources from the SkillsCenter™ Resource Library