Every Friday, I share a website (or app) that I’ve heard about, checked into, been excited to use. This one is a math app. Since ‘math’ is by far the most popular search term of readers who seek out my blog, I know you’re going to enjoy this review.
Splash Math apps (there are five of them, grades 1-5) won the Best App Ever Award 2011 in the Elementary Student App category, and has been featured by Apple in the iTunes App Store. It has over 500,000 users and around 200 schools use it in their iPhone/iPad programs.
Yet I had never heard of it before being contacted to review their app for inclusion on Ask a Tech Teacher’s Great Apps list. It seems like I should have.
I downloaded the app and started to play.
The 19.7 MB Splash Math Worksheets for 5th grade (that’s the one I reviewed) by StudyPads is robust, satisfying, and intuitive enough, fifth graders will have no problem installing, setting up and using it independent of adult assistance. The start-up steps are clear. Screens are colorful and uncluttered making their purpose easy to understand. The space theme will appeal to most fifth graders, especially with ‘space’ being a common fifth grade unit. Parents and teachers will be pleased that math skills are aligned with fifth grade Common Core State Standards and include an endless supply of problems on topics like decimals, fractions, dividing by two digit numbers, place values, number sense, multiplication, division, measurement, and age-appropriate Geometry and Algebra. Each topic has between four and twelve worksheets where kids drag and drop shapes, rotate clock hands, pop bubbles and lots more as they solve problems. The app uses an adaptive learning algorithm to determine the child’s level and gradually increase the difficulty with the user’s skill.
To get started, students set up a personal account (up to six per app) with a nickname and an avatar, select a math topic and begin. Worksheets includes problems, feedback, the right answer, and a finger-operated notepad to use to figure out answers. Users get recommendations for areas that need work and points for right answers (enough points and they qualify to play a game).
The app tracks progress through the lessons, keeps a report for later viewing, and will even email parents and/or teacher on progress. Progress is tracked by questions answered right/wrong and a visual graph. A feature I haven’t seen in any other app is the ability to assign homework. When a student logs on, the app will tell them what worksheets their teacher or parents wants completed during that session. That’s a big plus.
At $9.99, I thought this might be a bit pricey for the average buyer (why pay when there are so many free math apps?), but I quickly changed my mind. Between the CCSS alignment, limitless worksheets, ability to track progress and assign homework, you’ll get more than the price in value. Having said that–if you want a FREE copy, check their blog’s right side bar, or enter the FB giveaway every week.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade, creator of two technology training books for middle school and three ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.