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Natural Maths Apps

Below is a comprehensive list of Natural Maths apps for iPad and iPhone.

3 Snakes App

3 Snakes is a great way to prepare your child for measuring length.

Reviews and Awards
We are pleased to tell you that our 3 Snakes app has been reviewed by the Educational App Store and awarded an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status. Furthermore, they have reviewed this app as a fantastic resource for learning.

How to Play
3 Snakes is a great way to prepare your child for measuring length. Length concepts such as longer/longest and shorter/shortest are developed as you turn the pages of this flipper-book app.

Each challenge comes in the form of an instruction like “Make a long red snake and two short green and blue snakes.”

Sounds easy? Try it yourself and see how you go.

A rationale for using the app
When children first meet the idea of measuring, we tend to use informal ways of describing how long an object is. For example, we could measure with hand spans and use them as a way of describing how long the object is. The more hand spans, the longer the object; the fewer the hand spans, the shorter the object. Well, with snakes in the jungle, measuring with hand spans is NOT a good idea! Instead, we can count the humps that the snakes make as they wriggle along. Counting humps is an informal measure of length that is a completely natural way in which to introduce children to the concepts of long, longer and longest as well as short, shorter and shortest.

If you want to find out if the green snake is longer than the blue snake, count humps and the snake with the most humps will be the longest, while the snake with the least humps will be the shortest.

In the classroom
Although 3 Snakes is an app that can be used by individual players, it is also a resource that can be used in the classroom. The following lesson plan and activity may help you to make the most of this app with a group of students or the whole class.

Download on the App Store


Balancing Act App

Make an arithmetic equation balance by choosing where to put the addition, subtraction, multiplication or division signs.

Reviews and Awards
We are pleased to tell you that our Balancing Act app has been reviewed by the Educational App Store and awarded an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status. Furthermore, they have reviewed this app as a fantastic resource for learning.

How to play
The Balancing Act game challenges the player has to make an arithmetic equation balance by choosing where to put the addition, subtraction, multiplication or division signs. When the operations have been placed, tap the Check button to see if the expression is correct and the equation balances.

A rationale for using the app
A key feature of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is the early introduction of expressions with mixed operations. Fluency with working out the value of a numerical expression is a great way into becoming confident with algebraic expressions. By bringing this topic forward students should be well prepared for the algebra shock that awaits. Balancing Act is our contribution to this topic. The program sets challenges that we have found really do encourage the application of mental strategies as well as giving familiarity with numerical expressions.

This program is aimed at the top end of Primary and expects that students will be comfortable with the four arithmetic operations as well as dealing with the negative numbers that occur occasionally in the expressions.

In the classroom
The Balancing Act program supports the Year 6 statements for Number & Algebra in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. In the lesson plan given below, you will see how the app can be used to develop skills with numerical expressions with a follow-up activity that will provide evidence of real achievement.

Download on the App Store


Fingertips App

Simple great tool for practicing number facts across a range of abilities!

How to Play
Press the Start button and a question tile begins to fall into a grid. While the tile is falling, the player tries to work out and enter the answer. If the player answers correctly the tile turns red. If the time beats the player or if a wrong answer is entered the tile turns blue. Three reds in a row and the player has won. Three blues in a row and the computer has won.

A rationale for using the app
Fingertips is a 3-in-a row game, similar to Connect 4, that allows practice of basic number facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) at a level and speed that can be closely matched to the player’s skill. The game allows players to select from:

The combination Standard – Addition – Novice allows time for a beginner to use a count-on strategy to work out the addition. But watch out, because the Advanced – Multiplication – Super-expert combination results in a very fast-paced game that even some adults find challenging and entertaining.

In the classroom
We have created lesson plans for using Fingertips at four levels. Click below to download suggestions for how to use this app in the classroom at the Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 levels of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics.

Download on the App Store


Function Machine App

Available for both iPhone and iPad

How to Play
The Function Machine is an input-output device that challenges the player to find the rule that is being used to transform an input number into the output. The app addresses known problems with learning algebra. In particular, seeing the connection between a table of values and a function rule is fundamental to making a good start with algebra.

A rationale for using the app
Have you noticed how often the idea of spotting and describing a pattern in numbers occurs in the new Australian Curriculum: Mathematics? The Patterns and Algebra section of the curriculum kicks off in Year 2 with describing patterns with numbers and identify missing elements’. In Years 3 - 6 the idea of a pattern within a sequence of number remains but the underlying rules become more complex.

There's a change in emphasis in Year 7, but the idea of describing a rule is there as creating algebraic expressions and evaluating them by substituting a given value for each variable.

In the classroom
The Function Machine app covers all of the above by generating a table of values that enables students to guess the rule that the machine is using to transform an input number into an output number. This is clearly a key concept that bridges the curriculum from Year 2 to Year 7. Suggestions for using the app are given in the Lesson Plan.

Download on the App Store


Number Scramble App

Take turns to use the tiles in your stack to make a line of numbers that add to 12.

How to play
You and another player in the Number Scramble game are given a stack of six number tiles. You then take turns to use the tiles in your stack to make a line of numbers that add to 12. The line must include one or more of the old tiles that are already on the game board but you can use as many of your own tiles to make the line as you wish.

A rationale for using the app
Fluency with numbers, and finding effective ways to make a total, are key features of numeracy. This game gives an engaging context within which the mental strategies of doubles, near doubles, rainbow facts and bridge through 10 can be practiced.

Each player has six tiles with which to make a line of tiles that adds to 12. The game starts with a tile at the centre of the gameboard and the first player has to use that number as part of their line.

A 2 was placed in the centre of the board and the player added the 2, 4 and 4 tiles to make a line that adds to 12. The two white tiles at the end of the line were added by the program to show that those positions cannot be used later in the game. A full description of how to play the game is given in the Help File.

In the classroom
The Number Scramble program supports Year 1 - 3 statements for Number & Algebra in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. In the lesson plan given below, you will see how the app can be used to develop skills with mental strategies with a follow-up activity that will provide evidence of real achievement.

Download on the App Store


Symmetricon App

Allows students to make symmetrical designs in simple contexts.

Reviews and Awards
We are pleased to tell you that our Symmetricon app has been reviewed by the Educational App Store and awarded an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status. Furthermore, they have reviewed this app as a fantastic resource for learning.

How to Play
The understanding of symmetry is known to cause great difficulty to students. Symmetricon allows students to make symmetrical designs in simple contexts and this experience will form a strong foundation for fully understanding this key mathematical topic.

A Rationale for using the app
The 2012 NAPLAN test caused many students to have great difficulty with the symmetry questions. With this in mind we decided to create an app that would provide many varied and fun symmetry questions for students to work on. Spatial reasoning and visual memory develop from many worthwhile experiences such as manipulating and visualising shapes and exploring changes through folding. Symmetricon can easily provide this kind of activity in a fun way and it can be used as a whole class, small group or individual activity

In the classroom
Although Symmetricon is an app that can be used by individual players, it is also a resource that can be used in the classroom. The following lesson plan and activity may help you to make the most of this app with a group of students or the whole class.

Download on the App Store

Traffic Lights App

Great way to give your child an understanding of place value!

Reviews and Awards
We are pleased to tell you that our Traffic Lights app has been reviewed by the Educational App Store and awarded an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status. Furthermore, they have reviewed this app as a fantastic resource for learning.

How to Play
The Traffic Lights game is a great way to give your child an understanding of place value at the same time as helping them to develop logical thinking.

The app chooses a secret number and the player has only six guesses to find it. The Traffic Light clues show that the guess has:

There are three levels, using 4-digit, 5-digit and 6-digit secret numbers. Just as you feel safe at one level, it’s time to go on to the next.

A rationale for using the app
When we first devised the Traffic Lights game, we played it with a High School class at Kulkarriya Community school, situated on the banks of the Fitzroy River deep in the heart of Western Australia. We were looking for a way to make the spoken use of large numbers have a purpose and found that, after initial difficulties had been cleared up, the students were fluent in their ability to write down and say a 4-digit number as they guessed what the secret number might be.

Once we had fixed the rules, the game soon became a favourite with the class and was often used as a quick warm-up to a maths lesson.

In the classroom
The Traffic Lights program supports the Year 3 and Year 4 statements for number recognition in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. In the lesson plan given below, you will see how the app can be used for a Mental Routine and as a Game to develop number sense.

Download on the App Store