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Best Math Apps for Special Education Learners

Teaching math to special needs children is slightly different from teaching math in a regular classroom. Find apps, games, and other tools to help kids with special needs and learning disabilities acquire and improve maths skills.

    Millie Moreorless is an innovative new game for iPad and iPhone co-designed with children with Down Syndrome to ensure that it is inclusive and accessible for players of all abilities. As they help the space adventurer Millie Moreorless explore beautiful alien planets, players practise and develop their basic number sense. The game is based on pioneering scientific research in the field of Magnitude, our instinctive ability to identify whether one quantity is ‘more or less’ than another – without counting. This ability is believed by some scientists to be the foundation of all subsequent maths learning. 

    Devices: iOS


    Dexteria Dots 2 – Fine Motor Skills and Math Concepts is an excellent tool for building math fluency and fine motor skills. Kids can learn about comparing numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction as they boost their critical-thinking skills to solve problems. There are two main options: Make Equal Dots and Compare Dots. Each option includes four levels, from beginner to expert. As kids start to play, a voice command tells them what value to make, and the timer begins. Kids have to manipulate dots to complete the challenge and are rewarded with fun animations and sounds. If they're fast enough, kids can earn bonus dots. 

    Devices: iOS


    Cyberchase Shape Quest is a free app from the PBS network in America and is related to one of their animated series.  The series follows a group of children who help “Mother Board” protect cyber space from “The Hacker”.  The game, however is only loosely related to this narrative but instead focuses on understanding of shape and angles.  The app consists of three games that each cover different areas of shape and angle and is suitable for a range of abilities. The games begin at quite an easy level but progresses to some quite challenging concepts and skills.  The first of the three is an engaging augmented reality game where children need to use a range of shapes to patch holes in a path.  There is also a hide and seek game that tests children’s understanding of shape names and their properties. The final game could be used to look at angles but seem to have less direct educational value than the first two.

    Devices: Android


    Spencer Riley, the reviewer of this app, is a Secondary History and Mathematics Teacher, Computer Science Developer and Entrepreneur at TeacherLed. He uses tablets and apps in the classroom and amongst his students he is known as the “iPad Man”! GazziliMath is an app designed to introduce and develop counting and arithmetic skills to pre-schoolers.  Starting with counting forward and then backward, the activities progress though to basic addition, subtraction and finding halves.  The progression is well judged and each activity builds appropriately on the previous one.  Together the activities are tightly focused on a specific point of a child’s mathematical learning and so will fit in well with other forms of teaching the child is likely to be receiving at this time.  To begin with the activities are locked so that the child cannot approach them out of order. This is a fantastic app and has been awarded EAS Recommended Status with a 5 star rating.

    Devices: iOS


    Embark on a fun adventure in the savannah in which your kid will learn key math skills such as counting, ordering numbers and adding or subtracting while playing games with cute savannah animals.

    Devices: Android


    Build a Scare - This fun filled app allows children to create unique monsters while using some simple maths and problem solving skills at the same time. Children select a background and a body for their monster and then use a number spinner to find out how many arms, legs, eyes, noses, mouths, ears and horns their monster will have. Once a monster is complete children can turn it into a jigsaw to solve on their device or save and print their monster to show their friends and family later.  

    Devices: Android , iOS


    Little Digits is a fun way to learn to count using a multitouch interactive approach. Little Digits is a great application that you can use with your child to help improve their number recognition and number fluency skills. A really fun and engaging app, that requires your child to place the correct amount of digits on the numeral animation. All of the numbers are represented as fun and colorful creatures that your child will love. The app is easy to follow with three modes of game play and an easy to follow tutorial. The multi touch technology allows your child to place the correct amount of fingers on the screen when solving simple number problems. A really nice feature is the ability to record your own voice for each number, a particular favourite with my own 4 year old. Probably the best thing about Little Digits is how fun and simplistic it is, the app allows for development of natural curiosity and hours of fun are guaranteed. 

    Devices: iOS