## Bring the Fun and Engagement of Gamification to Teaching and Learning Math in the Elementary Grades

If you are a primary class mathematics teacher you know that putting the foundation of understanding in place for new mathematics principles can be challenging. This often involves building on concepts like number systems and arithmetic basics while incorporating new ideas. For example, to teach the concept of square root “√”, you will have to ensure that students are well-equipped with the concepts of multiplication and division.

*Image source: http://www.schooltechnology.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ipad_students.jpg*

There are many hurdles students and teachers can face when teaching and learning mathematics taught in the conventional way. Today’s technology can provide learning tools that can be fun and engaging and beneficial in overcoming some of those challenges. Here are some great mobile apps for mathematics, which primary class math teachers can exploit in their lesson plans, making math practicing simpler and more fun.

*Math Graph **(Free on iTunes)*

Teaching the concept of graph equations and their graphical formation has always been an intricate task for math instructors. The biggest impediment can come in explaining how the graph will change every time a change is made in the values of the equation. The Math Graph app can prove beneficial in this regard.

You have to first build the basic understanding of line equation and how graphs are formed. Then you can take use of the app and let students enter values into the equation and see how the graph changes. At the primary level, many students learn better through the strategies of fun-and-learn and do-it-myself. The simple user interface of the application allows students to play with it and make changes in the equation values and the graphical positioning. In this way, students can play with the visual graph and see how it affects the equation. Furthermore, the app also displays individual values of X and Y in the 2D graph. So, when students put their finger on a particular point on the graph, the app will display the values of X and Y on that particular point, giving an idea of how the value changes at each point.

*Sushi Monster **(Free on iTunes)*

This is a fun game dealing with the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, suitable for children in the age group of 6-10 years. The concept of the game is to protect yourself from the monster by feeding it the right amount of sushi as it demands. The monster will announce the numbers to add, subtract, multiply or divide, which will also appear on the screen of the device.

In the first two stages, if 5 and 3 sushies are demanded by the monster, the screen will display the equation of 5+3 and will also display the 8 sushies for helping students. If the difficulty level is kept hard, then students will not be given a direct hint to the answer. For every wrong answer, the monster will throw back the sushi, and the fuel of the player will decrease. This adds to the fun part of the app, motivating students to give as many right answers as possible or they will run out of energy.

*Operation Math **($2.99 on iTunes)*

The application transforms mathematics problems into a crime scene, which need to be solved by the players. Criminal foot prints, crime objects, maps, and time are some of the features that are transformed into mathematical problems. By solving all problems students will be able to solve the crime case.

One fun interactive feature in this app is its “secret code watch”, which is worn by the user in the game. It feels like students are practically wearing the watch when they get involved in solving the cases.

These three apps have been applied successfully in many classrooms and teachers have given very positive feedback about them. Enjoy!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Very Informative iPad apps and it quite helpful to me. Thanks for sharing

Certain technology provides a awfully helpful resource for aiding within the development of psychological feature skills. If utilized properly, they will greatly profit in an exceedingly students psychological feature development.

Certain technology provides a very useful resource for assisting in the development of cognitive skills. If utilized correctly, they can greatly benefit in a students cognitive development.

Mathbit is another good iPad/iPhone appplication focused on children between 6 to 12 years (1st to 6th grade). With this app children can solve math operations like additions, substractions, multiplications, divisions or fractions. This app has also statisic info (graphical) which allow teachers (or parents) to follow children mathematical progress.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/mathgraph/id815084047?mt=8

Nice article and a good selection of apps. Math Kid is another free iPad app that could be very useful for teachers. It gives good foundation in mathematics to children between 4 to 12 years. More over it does not have the in-app advertisements.

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