Something about playing a game on an iPad can turn a simple series of math practice activities into a fun experience for students. The following five free iPad apps do a nice job of offering a fun way to develop and practice elementary level mathematics skills.
Sushi Monster is a free iPad game produced by Scholastic. The purpose of Sushi Monster is to provide a fun environment for students to practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster.
Fizzy’s Lunch Lab Fresh Pick is a free iPad app from PBS Kids. The app is based on the popular PBS web seriesFizzy’s Lunch Lab. The purpose of the app is to challenge students’ math and problem solving skills. The app contains eight challenges for students to try. Students can go through the challenges in any order that they like. The eight challenges for students are Buying Groceries, Grocery Mapping, Neighborhood Mapping, Pantry Hunt, Fizzy’s Invention, Customer Change, Find Freddy, and Food Matcher.
IXL Math Practice is a free iPad app from the popular online math practice service, IXL. IXL Math Practice offers hundreds of math practice problems for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. The practice problems are arranged according to grade level and mathematics skill. To find a set of practice problems students select their grade level then select a mathematics skill to practice. IXL Math Practice can be used without creating an IXL account by simply tapping “continue as guest” after opening the app. Guests can use the practice problems. However, guests cannot track their points or receive digital trophies for reaching points levels. Students who have IXL accounts (accounts are not free) can track their points and earn digital trophies.
Thinking Blocks is a series of free iPad apps based on the web tool of the same name. The apps are designed to help students develop models of word problems. In each of the apps students create block models to work through a series of progressively more difficult word problems. As students work through the problems they are provided with feedback as to whether or not they are using the correct sequence to solve each problem. There are templates and problems for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and ratios. You can find links to all of the apps on the Thinking Blocks site.
Fetch! Lunch Rush! is a neat use of augmented reality to create a mathematics lesson for young students. The free iPhone app (it also worked on my iPad 2) was developed by PBS Kids. The purpose of the app is to get kids moving about a room in search of numbers that are the correct answer to the questions posed to them on the app. Students read the arithmetic problem on the app then search out the correct answer. When they think they have found the correct answer they scan it with their iPhone or iPad to find out if they are correct or not.
Disclosure: IXL is an advertiser on iPadApps4School.com