This is a quick look at the 8 iPad apps which I was able to download for free from the publishers of Everyday Math, a spiraling mathematics curriculum (1st-6th) which is used in many schools. The apps are mobile versions of games that had already existed as desktop and/or web-based activities. Many of these games have versions that use physical manipulatives (paper, dice, playing cards, etc) and therefore can be played without a computing device. These apps are available for free until April 16th (I think).
Here is a link to the iTunes store page for McGraw Hill.
My main problem with the games so far is that there does not seem to be any indicator for what age/grade the activities are most appropriate. All the games have audio narration in addition to some written instruction. Some of the games also have the option for "Guided Play" where the narrator gives prompts along the way.
Several of the games are for two players (pass and play).
Addition Top It (2 Player)
Players are dealt two cards each and are asked to add the values of the cards and then compare the sums. The cards only have one digit making the addition rather simple. This game is definitely for early adders (K, 1, 2).
Subtraction Top It (2 Player)
Like Addition Top It, players are dealt two cards each and are asked to compute the difference in value and then compare them. The numbers on each card are two digit values, so this game might be better suited for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
Tric Trac (2 Player)
Players roll two dice and then try to eliminate the numbers 1-10 on their side in as few turns as possible. Numbers are eliminate by choosing 1 or more numbers that add up to the dice total. The "Add 1" chips are kind of like lifelines if you have no other moves. The game does have some good strategic potential, and I think that it could be good for kids in grades 3,4,5, & 6.
Baseball Multiplication (2 Player)
Players click on the pitcher to get two numbers. The product determines the type of hit. An incorrect response results in a strike, three strikes and you are out. There are also some moments where you randomly get an out (fly out?) after clicking on the pitcher. The game play is a bit choppy, but younger students (2nd, 3rd grade) who are just learning their multiplication facts should find the game to be engaging, especially if they like baseball.
Equivalent Fractions (1 Player)
This game is a pretty direct translation of the playing card version that is part of the EM curriculum. You eliminate cards from the pile by selecting equivalent fractions until no more matches are possible. This game is well suited for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.
Beat the Computer (1 Player)
This game asks users to compute single digit multiplication facts within a given time limit (20 seconds). I think the time limit is rather generous, and in general the game really doesn't have much to do with beating any computer. It could be good for 3rd or 4th graders who need practice with their multiplication facts, but I could also see the students getting bored very quickly with the interface. This is my least favorite of the apps.
Name that Number (1 Player)
This game requires the user to arrange numbers and operations to form an expression that is equivalent to the target number. More points are awarded when more of the cards are used. This game is definitely for 5th and 6th grade students who are exploring order of operations
Divisibility Dash (1 Player)
A divisor is provided, and users must put together as many 2 digit numbers that are divisible by the current divisor. The balls disappear in a "Bejeweled" type manner when correct combinations are made. Incorrect pairs become metal orbs that build up into a stack. When this stack reaches the top, the game is over. This is good for 4th and 5th graders who are learning about divisibility patterns and rules.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan