There are so many tablets out on the market now and hundreds upon hundreds of educational apps to go right along with them. Sifting through these apps to choose ones that are actually worthwhile for you and your students can be a daunting task. I am here to make that part of your life a little easier by reviewing some of the free Windows-based math apps for you! This is the first article in a series that aims to find meaningful (and free!) math apps for the classroom.
A total of 6 free Windows- based math apps were reviewed:
1. Math (3 out of 5 stars)
2. Math Operators (2 out of 5 stars)
3. Elementary Math Flashcards (4 out of 5 stars)
4. Math Flash – Subtraction (2 out of 5 stars)
5. Math Flash – Multiplication (2 out of 5 stars)
6. Flash Cards (4 out of 5 stars)
The November Windows Math App winner is a tie!
Flash Cards (4 out of 5 stars)
This app has available quizzes for all four math operations and it allows students to focus on one of these operations or a combination of operations. I liked that the app gives the quiz score in a percentage and that you can adjust how many questions are in a quiz (default is 30 questions) along with the digits that are used for the questions. There are user friendly buttons present, such as skip ahead, skip back and view cards. There are also play and home buttons in the hidden section of the Surface tablet menu bar (at the bottom). I also found it helpful that you can save a quiz as a favorite to come back to later. I think that students will like seeing their best score, and best speed, along with the average seconds per question. That information could lead to some excellent self-monitoring and goal creation.
When playing this game, I purposely got a question wrong, but the app did not correct me. It simply had me continue guessing and never stepped in to give the answer. I think that this could be extremely frustrating to students who are not strong in their basic facts or strategy work. I had 13 incorrect responses and the program still had not advanced me to the next question.
Elementary Math Flashcards (4 out of 5 stars)
This app offers all four operations and the choice of adjusting the number of questions asked in a set (5,10,25). Students can enter their name before starting to play and the program wishes them “good luck”, which is always a great way to start a game that can be stressful for students. With a plain blue screen, large numbers, and white lettering, the graphics are very easy on the eyes. There are distinct buttons for students to help with navigating the app, including a green arrow button to advance to the next screen. When students get a problem incorrect, a red “x” is placed over the option and then students have the chance to pick another option. At the end of the review, the game results are given, including the students score out of the total number. The program also ends on a positive note by telling the student “good work ” while displaying the back button to start over.
The main con for this app was in the graphics. This is a very basic design and it seems that students might get very bored with the lack of bright colors and the true interactive gaming feeling that is so prevalent in their lives. Nevertheless, this app still delivers a great review and quick practice for basic computation.
Author: Desiree Harrison