Best Math-Teaching iPad Apps for Under $1

By Rob Klindt

One of the most challenging tasks for K-12 teachers is making a subject like mathematics interesting and fun for students.

Fortunately, the recent influx of tablet technology into schools has helped make learning mathematics easier thanks to a wide variety of educational apps focusing on all levels of math from basic counting to algebra and geometry.

And for many teachers and school districts, the iPad is the tablet of choice because of its simplicity and versatility in adapting lesson plans into a digital format. In addition, the Apple and Education program offers classroom support to teachers while the iTunes Store offers hundreds of math apps for all grades.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Numbler looks like a crossword puzzle but it helps students master math concepts

Numbler looks like a crossword puzzle but it helps students master math concepts.

For younger children, colorful and animated apps that focus on basic numbers, counting and measurements offer a fun introduction to math.

  • Ladybug Count. Kindergartners and preschoolers can learn to count up to 10 by touching or tapping the dots on colorful animated ladybugs that multiply each time a dot is correctly selected. Audio and visual clues help users count the correct number of dots. Cost: 99 cents.
    Download the app
  • Counting Coins. This practical app teaches K-6 students how to count and calculate the individual values of U.S. pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Students can drag, move or delete coins from the screen display to change the sum of the coin collection. Free.
    Download the app
  • Sushi Monster. Designed by Scholastic, this game app helps first- through sixth-graders learn, practice and extend basic math concepts. It meets Common Core State Standards. Free.
    Download the app
  • Reading the Ruler. This fun and colorful app teaches elementary school students how to read inches and metric rulers. Free.
    Download the app

 Elementary and Middle School

As students become more proficient with basic math concepts, these apps offer more sophisticated exercises and a glossary of math terms. An interactive math puzzle game is also available.

  • BuzzMath. Teachers will be impressed with this versatile app, which includes more than 2,800 math practice problems aligned to Common Core State Standards for middle school students. Free.
    Download the app
  • Long Division Touch. Students can learn the mechanics of long division with a touch interface. Drag digits down, slide the decimal into the correct position and tap to identify repeating decimals. This app is designed for K-8 students. Free.
    Download the app
  • Math Terms. A must-have app for all beginning math students, this illustrated math terms glossary includes nearly 1,000 entries tailored for middle and high school math students.  It includes fully searchable terms in English and Spanish. Free.
    Download the app
  • Numbler. Similar to a crossword game, this app helps students have fun learning and building math equations by using numbers instead of letters on a crossword-style board. Students can challenge classmates or test their skills against the computer. Cost: 99 cents.
    Download the app

 High School

With many high school students preparing for college, these apps offer a variety of advanced math concepts and exercises focusing on algebra, geometry and even time management.

  • Geometry Pad. With a swipe of a finger, high school students can create fundamental geometric shapes, explore and change their properties and calculate metrics in real time. Mathematical symbols can be inputted using text annotations and documents can be shared via email. Free.
    Download the app
  • Get Primes! This simple app helps prealgebra students quickly find prime numbers. It also lists and counts prime numbers between any two integers entered by the user. Results can be copied and pasted into other documents. Free.
    Download the app
  • Algebralator. This versatile algebra calculator was created by math teachers to help students solve common linear and quadratic equations, fractions and formulas typically used in high school-level algebra classes. Free.
    Download the app
  • Banana Math. K-12 students can master fundamental math facts in a practical way with this collection of interactive word math problems. The app includes addition, subtraction, algebra and time-management problems on three difficulty levels. Free.
    Download the app

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