Our Top Tips for Using Arithmetic Apps
Arithmetic is taught and practised in schools with children from the earlier years. More recently there has been an emphasis on the Singaporean method of teaching where the philosophy is that students should be taught in mixed ability groups with the more mathematically able pupils studying topics in greater depth, whilst others gain ‘mastery’ at a more basic level. The Singapore system has a greater emphasis on developing problem solving skills over mental arithmetic so that students are able to use and apply their knowledge and understanding in real life situations.
There are some fabulous arithmetic applications that support both the Singaporean method whilst building confidence and number understanding. Here are some of our recommended apps, along with tips on using them:
1) Nifty Number Bonds: As the basis of all arithmetic, quick recall of number bonds to 10 (building up to 20 and so on…) is essential. Number Bonds 1-10 helps children to become familiar with them, and be able to instantly recognise their number bonds to 10 through visualisation, colour coding and repetition. The thinking is that it builds strong associations in their mind allowing them to grasp number challenges more readily.
2) Visual is Vital: Many children find numbers very tricky without visual clues and representations. Splash Math uses ten frames, base-ten blocks, number lines, coins and fraction models to help students make the connections between numbers and help them solidify their number understanding. It’s a great app to bridge the gap between number and understanding and uses a Singaporean methodology.
3) Love the Logic: Logical thinking it vital when is comes to making connections in their number thinking. Too little emphasis is put on skills that develop thinking at a logical level but the Traffic Lights app is a first rate resource to help your child develop these skills. It’s a great game: so simple, so intuitive and yet, the kids are undertaking abstract numerical thinking. We can’t rate it highly enough!
4) Magical Math: What child wouldn’t find a 3D game involving an evil wizard and building magical towers fun?! Tower Math app provides children with a really super way to practice their arithmetic whilst still feeling part of a visually beautiful game. It has all the elements of gameplay that children love. The aim is to free the numbers with their magic towers through solving arithmetic puzzles. Children are rewarded for their efforts by earning special powers. Pretty cool!
5) Marvellous Mental Math: Although increasing emphasis is now placed on using and applying maths in real life contexts, there’s still a place for developing speed and accuracy when it comes to mental arithmetic. There is no better mental math application programme than those apps developed by math teacher Andrew Brodie. The Let’s Do Mental Maths apps are ideal for home and school use and students can enter their names to enable the reporting section of the app to track their engagement and progress with it.
Have some awesome fun using arithmetic apps with your kids or students!