Problem Solving and Math Apps

Before beginning a hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.-Winnie the Pooh

Problem solving is a critical skill and a large part of the foundation for early learning.   Opportunities for problem solving exist in everyday life.  By exploring their environment, manipulating objects, thinking critically, and building on existing learning, students can strengthen problem-solving  skills.

We have been using our iPads to create story problems in our Whiteboard App.  Students draw the story problem then type the number sentence to represent the picture.  We have even had a story problem exchange.  Students create the picture to represent either an addition or subtraction problem.  Then they pass their iPad to a friend who looks at the picture and figures out the appropriate number sentence.

Another activity my students have enjoyed is taking objects in our classroom such as unifix cubes or pattern blocks and creating a pattern.  They use their camera on their iPad to take a photograph and trade iPads with another student.  That student identifies the pattern and re-creates the pattern using Pop Beads app.

Using these manipulatives, students can make visual representations and I can model for students.  The iPads create another opportunity for practice and integration.  It can serve as a calculator, a notepad, an information resource, and flashcards.  It keeps score, tracks progress, and many apps monitor and adjust content.  iPads allow me to also integrate content.  The word problem in the above picture was created by a student after we studied seeds and plants.  She typed a science journal entry in Pages and then created her story problem.  The iPad allows for seamless integration of subjects that makes sense to students and increases their understanding of new concepts.

Other apps my students enjoy using in math are Math Bingo, Park Math, Monkey Math, and Flash to Pass.

By providing sustained opportunities for students to solve problems in a variety of contexts, they begin taking responsibility for their own learning.

I’d love for you to leave a comment, subscribe to my blog, and/or share this post with a friend.

3 thoughts on “Problem Solving and Math Apps

  1. I am absolutely loving your blog. Each post is better than the next. I bought my 5 year old an iPad after reading a few blog posts. I have been downloading all of the apps you recommend. Some of them are hard to find by name. I was wondering if you would also note if there is a cost for the mentioned apps, as it would help me identify the correct app to purchase.

    Keep up the great work. Ps I heard Bout your blog from my friend Angie Mizzell.

    • Melissa,
      Thank you for your comment. I will certainly try to include the cost of the apps in posts. The difficulty is that many of these apps were purchased last school year and some of them at the time were free and now they are not. Also, once you purchase an app, you can no longer see the cost of it in the app store. It just shows that you already own it.
      Glad you are enjoying the blog!

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