Many middle schoolers struggle to understand math, and staying motivated to master basic concepts and learn advanced ones can be even more challenging. Luckily, there are plenty of apps available to help students conquer the math beast and have fun while doing it.
Here are some excellent apps that are specifically designed to help middle school students strengthen their math skills.
Dragon Box says it can “secretly” teach your kids algebra, and it seems to do a pretty good job: using Dragon Box, 83% of kids learn the basics of algebra in merely one hour. Designed with a learner-centered approach, Dragon Box was voted the World’s Best Serious Game at the 2012 International Mobile Gaming Awards.
Edupad’s 6th grade math app offers a host of different, grade-appropriate lessons and exercises to teach kids operations, data analysis, algebraic structures, and geometry. It’s no wonder the content lines up with curricula: the app was designed specifically by 6th grade math teachers. The app has a 4.5 star rating on the iTunes App Store, and students will find plenty of activities here to challenge their minds and sharpen their skills.
HoodaMath offers a vast variety of games by grade level and topic. Students can choose from a selection of categories to play, including logic games like Goat Crossing and Simple Squares and geometry games likes Basket Balls and Rotate Roll. Kids can also select games according to math skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.
This app accomplishes two goals simultaneously: teaching math, and offering a little Mayan history. Designed by archaeologist and former-middle school teacher Suzi Wilczynski, MayaNumbers requires students to stretch their thinking by adjusting to the Mayan numbering system, which is based on sets of 20 instead of the usual Western sets of 10.
This entertaining game is the 2013 winner of the Best Educational App Award from Balefire Labs. Aligned to Common Core standards, it allows students to practice a variety of concepts including negative numbers, absolute value, and order of operations. Kids are drawn into the game by being able to compete against friends and track their achievements.
Math Code Squad offers a multi-player mode for up to four players. Students take on roles as secret agents who must foil Dr. Odd, an evil genius hoping to rid the world of … wait for it … math. Designed with multiple levels (easy, medium, difficult), the app becomes progressively more challenging as students advance.
It simply makes sense to incorporate learning into adolescents’ inevitable screen time. Educational apps such as the ones described above give kids the opportunity to engage with academic material in a comfortable and fun setting, and can be extremely useful tools for exposure, practice, and motivation.