Everyday Apps for Everyday Math

iPads are like the GPS. We were totally fine with just computers and road maps. But now that we have it, there’s no chance of turning back. Whether it is with one iPad or a class set, teachers depend on iPads to support student learning in many ways. My pet peeve, however, is seeing students use the iPads to play math games in class.  They can play math games anywhere, anytime. Our time in class is precious and very limited! Use the iPad to generate rich math conversations and leave the silent iPad fun for the bus ride home.

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MY SUGGESTION

Develop math activities with apps that we adults use everyday. Other than keeping up with social media, we use apps to retrieve information. Often times these types of information have to do with numbers. Think about it – temperature, travel time, spending, game scores, etc… If we use these apps everyday, why not use them for educational purposes?! You’re familiar with the apps which makes planning easier and it doesn’t hurt for students to learn how to navigate them.

EXAMPLES

Lesson: Temperature or Statistics  / App: Weather Channel

Activity: Create word problems with cities located in different parts of the world. Students look up the cities and either use the 10-day forecast or hourly forecast to compare, predict, or graph temperatures. Upper grades can compare the mean or range of weekly temperatures from different cities. Humidity and chance of rain data is also great for teaching percents. Endless possibilities…Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 2.22.38 PM

Lesson: Elapsed Time / App: Google Maps

Activity: Write word problems where students need to use Google Maps to select routes and get the total travel time. Students will use the information to calculate time of arrival or departure. Upper grades can consider distance and miles per hour information to calculate the total travel time. To amp up the fun factor, let the students develop their own road trips or flight plan. (Remind them to consider pit stops or layovers!)Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 2.53.21 PM

Have you used an “everyday” app in your classroom? How did you use it? Please share with us!!

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