Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's App-ening Wednesday: Splash Math Bingo App

As a technology coordinator, it is my job to show my staff members how to integrate technology into their lessons.  As a former math teacher, my love for all things math-y is strong and I am passionate about teaching children math fluency.  I don't believe all children will be fluent in math.  However, I do believe that in order to be successful in the upper levels of math (even pre-algebra, which, thanks to Common Core, is introduced in 7th or 8th grade!), you need to be fluent with your basic facts.  I've had many parents argue that little Johnny doesn't need to know his multiplication facts if he can use his calculator (which is mandated by the IEP), but that calculator will really slow him down, and cause a problem that could have been solved in 15 seconds by a student fluent in math, now takes Johnny a full minute and a half because he needs his calculator to solve 2x3.

But alas, I digress!

I'm here today to discuss a pretty cool app that I have used in my own classroom: Splash Math Bingo App.  It is a FREE app that helps students practice their basic math facts (it includes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division!) without breaking out those boring flash cards or tedious "Math Minute" worksheets.

One of my favorite things about this app is that students input their name, so the app remembers what they have done, so they don't have to continually start back at the beginning.  This saves to much time and frustration (especially when students get 5 minutes to practice and are always stuck with 1x__).

I also like that you not only choose which operation to practice, but also which level.  There is easy (both are single digits), normal (two digits by 1 digit), and hard (two digits by two digits).

When you click start, your problem shows up at the top, and you simply touch the box where the correct answer is located.  A cute little graphic shows up. Then your next problem appears.  There is a box at the bottom that indicates how many you got correct and incorrect.  There is also a timer, which would be great to use as an informal assessment (rather than those pesky flashcards that make everyone nervous!). 

I really love this app and can't say enough good things about it.  My only criticism is that nothing happens when you get the question wrong (not buzzer, no 'Try again', no nothing!), so sometimes students will keep hitting whatever squares until an animal shows up.  But when something is Free - it is hard to be critical:)

Do you have a favorite app to practice fluency?

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