Friday, October 14, 2011

Hands-On Math: Number Sense

$1.99
iPad
Levels:  I would say any student who needs to develop number sense would benefit.

I've been exploring a lot of apps lately, looking for just the right apps to share with other teachers and using my 3 nieces, Kdg, Grade 2, and Grade 8 to test them out on.  I have found many apps that allow students to practice what they already know but I've come to realize that there are few apps that actually teach number sense.

I am happy to say that this app tops my list!  On the left hand side, students will find a set of blocks sized 1-10 that they can easily change from 1-10 to 0.1-1 to 1/10 - 1.


The teacher can download a teacher guide pdf with instructions from the website or through the app on how to use the program or sample activities the students can try.

Students can use the program to explore addition, subtraction, fact families, multiplication, division, greater than, less than, equal to, the commutative property, comparing and ordering whole numbers.


By clicking on the calculator, students are provided with a randomly generated question.  They can use the program to solve the question.  If they enter the correct answer, they receive acknowledgement from the program verbally.  If the answer is incorrect "Try again" appears.

There's also a number line that can be turned on and off and converted to whole number, fraction or decimal format.

What a great program to use if you don't want to pull out all of the manipulatives for one or two students, if you don't actually have the manipulatives in your classroom due to budget cuts, or for students use at home or on the road or anywhere they happen to be when they want to practice!

I found this features list on the Ventura Education Systems website and stole it to include here.  Shhhh.  Don't tell!
Hands on Math:  Interactive Number Sense creates a virtual math playground where students explore, investigate and discover mathematical concepts.  When students are interacting with the Number Sense Playground colored number bars are used to represent whole numbers, fractions and decimals.  
  • Using [this app] students can develop important mathematical concepts:  
  • ordering and comparing whole numbers, decimals and fractions; 
  • adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions and decimals;
  • locating whole numbers, fractions or decimals on a number line.
Sound Effects:  Can be turned off.
Speech:  Can be turned off.

There's a slider bar titled Whole Number View Options.  You can set it so that the blocks show up individually, as a single block with the number written in the center or as a single block without a number.  This allows students to move from the concrete visual to a little more abstract.

Other than that, I didn't run into any kind of technical difficulties while running this app.

As one of my nieces would say "Two thumbs WAAAAAAAAY up" for this app!

The Review I added to the app:
I've been exploring a lot of apps lately, looking for just the right apps to share with other mathematics teachers and using my 3 nieces, Kdg, Grade 2, and Grade 8 to test them out on.  I have found many apps that allow students to practice what they already know but I've come to realize that there are few apps that actually teach number sense.  This app would be a great addition to the home and the classroom.  It's colorful, easy to use and I didn't have any technical glitches which is always a bonus!

This app allows students to explore number sense on their own or based on questions provided by the calculator.  No rods to lose!  This is an app that will remain on my ipad forever regardless of the ages of my nieces or the grades I am teaching.

1 comment:

  1. I used Hands-On Math during elementary school (20+ years ago!) and am so excited to see it in app form! I am beyond needing Hands-On Math for my own education, but I am thrilled to be able to use this program with my son. It's really great to see Ventura Educational Systems translating their amazing software programs to the iPhone and iPad interfaces!!

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