How these 20+ math tools can make your lessons more exciting
Unfortunately, not everyone loves math. Some may find it boring, others difficult! By using fun math tools in your math lessons you can make everyone discover how interesting math really is.
In this blog post, I will show you some of the most interesting math apps you can use in your digital classroom.
These math apps help teachers make their lessons more interactive and more interesting. Nowadays, there are apps for students of all ages. Hopefully, these math tools for teachers will make students like math more by teaching them to do so in a funny way or by helping them with problems.
Most of these apps are free. As a teacher, the only thing you need to do is to make sure your students download and install these apps on their smartphone or 1-to-1 device.
20+ math apps for math teachers
GeoGebra is a dynamic mathematical software program. It is made for every level of education, from beginner to expert. This app combines geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphs, statistics and analysis, calculus in one user-friendly package. The community of GeoGebra is expanding very fast and has millions of users worldwide. They are the number one provider of dynamic mathematical software all over the world.
2. Geometry Pad
Geometry Pad offers a fun way to learn geometry and practice important constructions. It’s your personal assistant in learning geometry. Students can easily present their geometric constructions, take measurements, use the compass and experiment with a lot of different geometric shapes.
This app can be compared to the math tool GeoGebra above, and is designed for usage on iPads and Tablets specifically. Today’s students know very well how to use an iPad or tablet; perhaps teachers can learn something from them too?
To learn math, and to take the frustration out of math and to bring more peace to a student’s (and teacher’s) life, use the Photomath app. This app will help you understand mathematical problems with content to improve your math skills. Every month they solve and explain more than 1 million math problems. By scanning your math problem, this app will help you instantly with solving it. You can do this by using the camera on your mobile device. After it found out what your math problem is, the app gives you a step-by-step explanation. Photomath explains you the calculation steps with animations just like a teacher would do, in real life!
4. Khan Academy
The Khan Academy app uses instructional math videos, practice exercises, and has a personalized learning dashboard so you can study on your own pace in and out of the classroom. Besides mathematics, they also offer science, computer programming, (art) history, economics and more. All of the content they offer is free because they want to provide a free world-class education for anyone and anywhere. Khan Academy is a non-profit organisation that works with a community of volunteers and sponsors.
Shapes 3D is an AR app to teach geometry. You can create prisms, pyramids, solids of revolution and Platonic solids. Pick an easy figure to start with, and slowly build up until you reach the most complex figures. This tool wants to improve the teacher’s capabilities and provide possibilities to show things you cannot show with physical tools or within the classroom.
6. CK 12
This free math app is available on almost any device. It offers adaptive practice, workbooks, quizzes, tests and several simulations. The app is divided into different sections, so depending on your level you can handle a certain section or not. Because it’s available on almost every device, it’s easy to connect with anytime, anywhere.
This is a math app for students from elementary to middle school. Because it’s student focused, students are more motivated to use this app. It offers more than 3000 math problems which students can try again and again until they found the right solution. It used to only be a web-based app, but nowadays you can use it on any device.
Cuethink is an innovative application for students in grades 2-12. On the one hand, it tries to engage students who are already doing well, and on the other, it supports students who have math difficulties. They want students to see challenges as opportunities with a growing mindset.
Teachers can give students math tasks that come from the so-called “problem bank”. The tasks are linked to a certain level so that each student has tasks at their level. Students use a process to create and present their solutions. Cuethink is a community where students can work together in virtual groups. Thanks to these groups, they can learn from each other, both from their success as errors.
Fluidmath is one of the first to create this kind of teaching and learning tool. The tool is created for use on Pen-Centric platforms such as tablets and whiteboards. Students and teachers can create, solve, graph and animate math and physics problems in their own handwriting in a very easy way. Teachers can create dynamic instructional materials for the classrooms while students can understand concepts in math. You can see Fluidmath as a smart piece of math paper.
10. Rocket Math
The founder of Rocket Math says that students get motivated by seeing their own learning and success. This is why he invented Rocket Math. This math app offers a way to teach students math while having fun, doing their best and doing it on a quick tempo. Rocket math offers a “worksheet program” and an online game. The worksheet program can be printed. The printouts are ‘one minute tests’ where students have to work in pairs and try to solve the sheet as fast as possible while enhancing each other’s mistakes.
In the online game, students need to answer questions while using the knowledge they have with numbers in order to pass missions. The further they get into the tool the more difficult the missions become. The online game gives immediate feedback so the intervention of the teacher is not longer necessary.
The Desmos tool is great for teaching about graphs. They offer a free graphing calculator that can be used by students all over the world for free. It is even accessible for visually impaired students. In addition to the calculator, they also offer more than one hundred digital activities such as small math games.
Students can do these activities or can even create their own math ideas. These ideas can be shared with each other. Not only students can make their own activities and ideas, teachers can also do this thanks to the activity builder. This way, teachers can offer the right material to fit the needs of the students.
BookWidgets offers a wide range of different widgets or exercises you can create yourself for your students. This way, depending on the level of your students, you can make widgets that are very easy or very difficult. You choose the content you put in.
BookWidgets has different widgets, developed for the youngest students to teach the basics of mathematics. For example, there is the ‘Arithmetic’ widget where students learn to add, subtract, multiply, divide, …
You can also use the ‘Active Plot’ widget. In this widget students learn how different functions look on a graph. They also see what happens to the graph when they change the parameters.
Then, there is the ‘Randomness’ widget, if you want to teach your student’s probability. Here you can make anything random from numbers to symbols.
Let’s move on to the ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’ widget. Through this widget, you can apply the theory of a new learning topic. This example shows the names of the fracture components.
To make the lesson more enjoyable, you can use the ‘Bingo’ widget. There are many different ways to play bingo in a math lesson.
In the ‘Crossword’ widget, the questions are mathematical calculations the students have to solve.
Another fun way to learn mathematics is through a pair matching game, or in other words a math game, where students have to find the right pairs. You can put in mathematical formulas or fractions and their matching images.
If students find it difficult to remember mathematical formulas, you can use the ‘Flash Card’ widget. Here, they can first practice and then use the practice mode to have as many flash cards as possible correctly as quickly as possible.
When using a ‘Whiteboard’ widget, you can include another fun activity. For example, there are numbers in a drawing, these are solutions of calculations. The color that students have to use, depends on the solution. In the end, they will have a colorful drawing.
You can also use the ‘Quiz’ widget to test your students on their mathematics knowledge. There is a question type called ‘Equations’ that permits the inclusion of equations in an assignment. Additionally, your students can also respond with an equation if you provide them with the buttons. Furthermore, there are other elements you can include such as a scratchpad to make calculations or even a calculator.
The options above, can also be used within a ‘Worksheet’ widget. The difference with a quiz is that here all the questions are on the same page.
Finally, there is the ‘Video Quiz’ widget. Again, it features the same elements as a quiz, but an added value is the integration of a video. During the video, it is possible to stop it automatically several times so that students receive a question or have to solve an assignment before they can continue watching.
The possibilities here are endless, as you put in the content yourself. Are you looking for extra examples? Check out this blog post!
Mathalicious looks at mathematics from a different perspective. To teach mathematics to students, they don’t use old-fashioned, boring mathematic. Instead, they learn mathematics by using real-life subjects such as sports, food, economics, games, …
For example, a subject of the lessons can be “Spinning Your Wheels: Why do tires appear to spin backwards in some car commercials?” Students will learn to convert speeds, calculate the circumference of a tire, convert between the speed of a car and the rotational speed of its wheels, …
Thanks to these different lessons, students will not immediately see this as mathematics, although it is actually pure mathematics. This way, they will link mathematics to daily things which will make mathematics much more fun and valuable for them.
This Pokémon based online math game is created for students of grades 1 to 8. Students have to create their own avatar and can adjust as they progress through the game. Because it’s a fun game, students will also play this game at home so they double their math practice time.
Teachers can see, thanks to reports, which skills students have been working on, how much time they have spent playing the game and what they found difficult. The biggest benefit of this math app is that students can play it anywhere where they have an internet connection.
This online mathematics program is designed for students from 7 until 18 years old. Students have to solve questions. When they succeed, the questions become harder. The Mathspace app remembers the students’ past performance and thanks to this, it can decide the difficulty level of the questions.
Students can also give feedback on their progress. The app takes over the role of the teacher by helping the student when they encounter difficulties. The support is offered by video tutorials and tips that help the students solve the problem.
The application MathBoard is created for all school-ageing students. The younger the students, the easier the exercises. In the beginning students get exercises where they have to add and subtract. As they grow older, you go to the next step: divide and multiply.
Students can set their level themselves in the app. To prevent guessing, the answer is shown in multiple choices style and a scratchboard where students can solve the problem by hand. When it becomes too difficult, they can consult the MathBoard’s Problem Solver who gives them hints and tips to solve the problem.
17. Virtual Nerd
Virtual Nerd can be used in every math class. The only thing you need is a device with an internet connection. Virtual Nerd is made for students of all ages. On their website, you can find all kinds of videos explaining all kinds of mathematical problems. In these videos, they explain step by step how to solve these problems. In fact, this is a virtual teacher. This can be an easy tool for teachers to let students solve mathematical exercises. If students don’t understand the explanation of their teacher, they may understand it through the explanation of a Virtual Nerd video.
Mangahigh is a game-based learning tool. They want schools and teachers to use more games in their classrooms, especially within math lessons. This is a platform children understand and like to use instead of the boring books they normally have to study from. When playing the game, students don’t feel the pressure they have when answering in front of a full class. Instead, they build up more confidence which is very good for them.
If children really like something they have just learned in class, they will be more likely to continue this at home. So the barriers between school and home life will disappear.
With Brainly, students can ask their math (and other) questions to a community of people. This community-based app is a kind of forum where everyone comes together and helps each other with school-related questions. No matter what your question is, the people from this community will help you.
This app is made for questions from the youngest students to students from colleges. Sometimes, you need to wait a bit until you get your answer, but this is because it is a free app based on the help of a community.
CanFigureIt Geometry is a math platform where students can work on geometric proofs with the help of a guide or on their own. They can choose to work forwards or backwards. Work forward with the provided information (called ‘gifts’), or work backwards from the goal on a step-by-step approach. If a student is stuck solving geometric proofs they get hints. When a student reaches the final proof, a great pop-up shows up with a congratulations message.
This platform covers a lot of different types of geometric proofs. You can try to prove simple facts about lines to difficult proofs on circles, triangles and so on. This tool allows students to learn for themselves and how to prove something rather than simply copying it from the teacher.
21. Pattern Shapes
With Pattern Shapes, students can explore all kinds of geometric figures. Students can create things themselves by combining different shapes with each other. This way, students discover all geometric forms and geometric relations that exist such as angles, symmetry, and more. This is an ideal tool for students who are new to geometric shapes. With this tool, they learn the geometric shapes that exist in a playful way at their own pace.
The Mathway app is much more than just a calculator app. With this app, students learn how to solve a mathematical problem step-by-step, because mathematics is much more than just being able to give the correct answer. Students can easily fill in their math problem or take a picture with their camera and the app will explain step-by-step how to find the right solution. The app has a large range of topics from basic math to statistics, algebra, and so on.
It’s a very useful study aid, except for the two dangers: lazy students will only look for the solution and won’t learn how to solve it step-by-step, and this app is unfortunately not free.
23. Maths Chase
Maths Chase is a free site where you can quickly test your times tables, additions, subtractions and more. The site is a very simple game but kids will find it a really fun way to learn arithmetics.
That’s it! These were more than 20 math apps for math teachers you can certainly use if you want to teach your students something new or if you want them to learn something at their own pace. If my mathematics teacher had used some of these math tools, I (and most of my friends) would certainly have liked mathematics much more!
Make sure to share this post with your fellow math teacher colleagues as it will help them teaching mathematices in a more interactive way.