This presentation was created through a collaboration with a middle school teacher, Ms. Jenny Kim, who works with 7th graders in Norwalk, CA. Though we put this together in 2010, I think the ideas are still quite relevant and powerful to consider. Note that Ms. Kim's students made HUGE gains in their mathematics achievement in the span of one academic year in her classroom with 2/3 moving from below proficiency to at or above proficiency. Hope you find in this some ideas for your own classroom!

## Friday, September 28, 2012

## Tuesday, September 25, 2012

### Apps for Math Learning

As we see more students having access to web-enabled handheld devices such as tablets it is important that we (the adults in their lives) help them to use these devices productively. Recent research has revealed a new "digital divide" though not in access to devices but in knowing how to use the devices to support learning. (Read Warschauer and Matuchiniak's detailed summary of this research to learn more). Of course, this requires us as educators to know a bit more about such tools! With this in mind, here are some places to begin.

A growing number of apps support meaningful mathematics learning. By this I mean these engage users in more than factual recall or procedural drills (which are okay if that is your objective - for example Concentration and Pick-a-Path are great!). A few of my favorites are:

- Okta's Rescue is for preK-2 children and helps them develop number sense by counting, subitizing (recognizing units), and recognizing sets of 10 (when counting how many Oktas were saved). To learn more about the importance of subitizing to students' early development of number, read this
*Teaching Children Mathematics*article by Doug Clements. - Motion Math's Wings app (only for Apple devices) offers a fun way to learn about multiplication through multiple representations including grouping and array models. A nice article about what underlies students' understanding of multiplication, see Smith & Smith's "Assessing Elementary Understanding of Multiplication."
- Finally, here are a couple of apps to develop fraction understanding. Math Tappers: Estimate Fractions asks you estimate where a fraction or sum of two fractions would be placed on a number line and how a fraction is represented visually. It's a simple app done quite well. NCTM offers Equivalent Fractions for Apple and Android devices. It allows users to develop understanding of the relationships between visual representations of a fraction and the placement of the fraction on a number line. See my earlier blog entry about fraction learning to get a sense of how to support students in developing understanding of this critical set of ideas.

Also note that while the apps shared here are for mobile devices, there is a treasure-trove of web-based applets that support conceptual learning of mathematics on NCTM's Illuminations site! If you've not been there for a while, check out what's new.

Update 9/28/12 Edutopia released today a free (with registration) guide,

Update 9/28/12 Edutopia released today a free (with registration) guide,

*Mobile Devices for Learning:What You Need to Know*.
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