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Apps recommended for students who struggle with math

Research shows drill and skills are how children learn math (just like everything else they learn) ...
Research shows drill and skills are how children learn math (just like everything else they learn) ...
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If you were to randomly ask 100 students what their favorite school subject is, chances are high that mathematics will not land anywhere near the top of the list. That could be changed, however, if students could build a stronger foundation in the basics.

A strong foundation is essential for kids to do well in math.
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The fall 2014 edition of ADDITUDE magazine recommends three apps which cost $4.99 or less that could help students with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) accomplish just that. Not surprisingly, these apps will help any student who may be struggling with math, not just those who have a diagnosis of ADHD.

Contrary to what has become popular belief – among parents, in particular – researchers have found the old-fashioned “drill and skill” computerized (computer replacing pen and paper) math instruction helps students learn.

Below you will find information regarding three helpful apps that will make numbers your kids’ friends, something which will help them for life.

Math Vs Zombies: (iOS; itunes.apple.com; Android; play.google.com; $4.99) – This app is such great fun, you may have trouble convincing your kids to take an ice cream break. The world is being overtaken by zombies that can only be eradicated may have trouble convincing your kids to take an ice cream break. The world is being overtaken by zombies that can only be eradicated when students properly use their math skills.

The app urges players to quickly solve math equations to transform an approaching zombie horde back into happy kids. During the process, kids have to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are four worlds in this game, each having 21 levels. After a week of manhandling zombies, most kids are said to have already sharpened their math skills.

Sushi Monitor: (iOS; itunes.apple.com; free) – Scholastic offers Sushi Monitor, which is a great app for younger learners. Initially it covers addition, then moves on to multiplication. Numbers appear on a sushi plate and are fed to a “sushi monster.” Players are provided a series of sums and products for which they must feed the correct combination of sushi plates (numbers) to the monster that will make up those target sums or products.

The flow of the game is designed to improve students’ proficiency and speed when solving problems. Players are graded based on power (how many equations they complete within a certain amount of time) as well as proficiency (how many answers they get correct). Players can earn points, stars and trophies as well as to achieve personal bests in order to continually challenge themselves and unlock new levels.

Motion Math: Zoom: (iOS; itunes.apple.com; $2.99) – If your child is having difficulty understanding place value and decimals – as do many students – this app will help get her to where she needs to be. The app features a zoomable, stretchable number line, on which abstract numbers are represented by amoebas, dinosaurs and a zooful of animals. Some of the numbers are missing, and have to be put back where they belong by the players. The game begins with positive whole numbers and moves on to negative numbers and decimals. Research suggests that understanding the number line helps children develop math ability.