Sunday, April 15, 2012

Students' Favorite Math App for iPad: Math Duel

As my fifth graders and I to explore using an iPad in the classroom we continue to find great apps that are both fun and help students develop their math skills. This week I'd like to share another of my Grade 5 students' favorite iPad apps.
  Math Duel is a split screen math game for two players. This app is created by Ellie's Games, LLC and you can find it in the Education category of the App Store. There are several very nice features of this game but what students really like is the ability to play with another student on the same device.

  A very nice feature of this app is that it is customizable for practice at varying levels of ability. Each player can create their own settings so that students who may be at different levels can still play against each other, each getting problems that are just right for them. Setting selections include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Each player can choose one, two, three, or all four functions for their problems. The students can also choose the number of digits, from 2 to 7, in the equation. The app does not allow decimal so if students are select division practice they must estimate the answer to the nearest whole number. These options make this app great for students from a wide range of math abilities.

  After the settings are determined the duel begins. Each student is given a problem and the first to enter the correct answer wins the point. Students should decide the score they are player toward before the game begins as the game seems to keep going indefinitely. Students in my classroom have played as high as 50 points without the game ending. If neither player selects the correct answer the math problem stays on the screen until one of them gets the correct answer.  

  Not only do students really enjoy this game, but we have seen struggling students improve their basic computation skills after playing. This is especially true when a student plays against the teacher.
  This app does come at a cost of $0.99. The combination of fun and educational value, however,  make this app well worth it. When students are given free time with the iPad this is the activity they choose most often.

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