Math education has gone mobile. Programmers, developers, teachers, and students have created mobile applications for every platform and almost every grade and content level. MathApps is a project that attempts to: a) provide a clearinghouse of existing mathematical apps; b) provide a deeper, objective description of each app; and c) provide a forum for community members worldwide to add new apps, discuss existing apps, and offer insight on implementation of apps in teaching and learning. The project staff provides reviews and ratings of various mathematics applications, supplemented by content from the mathematics community.

There are a number of websites--some useful and some not--that provide an overview of apps for teaching and learning across the lifespan. For instance, we find value in sites like Graphite and Children’s Technology Review. MathApps focuses directly on apps offered through the Apple, Android, and Windows platforms; it focuses solely on mathematics, it attempts to provide a deeper dive into the actual apps, and it creates a forum by which users can get review and implementation feedback from other users, teachers, and learners. We provide an Editor Review that attempts to objectively identify Common Core Standards as well as research-based mathematics practices of each app.

MathApps is intended for anyone interested in mathematics including teachers, learners, researchers, administrators, and curriculum specialists. The current focus of the project is on apps that are used in Pre-K to 12th grade; however, individuals in the higher education system and elsewhere will also find the site useful. Users are encouraged to create and share profiles, reviews and ratings. Teachers in the field can contribute their personal experiences with adopting and implementing these apps in their classrooms. While a majority of the information provided is intended for teachers, K-12 parents and students will also use MathApps to find effective apps to supplement classroom instruction.

MathApps is a free site for individuals with or without accounts. Any user on a mobile or desktop device can browse and get more information about math apps. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to create accounts on MathApps. With an account, users can rate, review, and comment on existing apps, as well as suggest their favorite apps.

Math education has gone mobile. Programmers, developers, teachers, and students have created mobile applications for every platform and almost every grade and content level. MathApps is a project that attempts to: a) provide a clearinghouse of existing mathematical apps; b) provide a deeper, objective description of each app; and c) provide a forum for community members worldwide to add new apps, discuss existing apps, and offer insight on implementation of apps in teaching and learning. The project staff provides reviews and ratings of various mathematics applications, supplemented by content from the mathematics community.

MathApps is currently supported with a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. We do not accept any monetary endorsements or promotions from publishers, developers, schools, or publishers. For additional information, please view our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.


Apps are primarily selected based on recommendations from registered users, and on peer reviewed research focusing on particular apps. By leaving identified apps up to the education community at-large, we believe this helps us maintain a degree of objectivity when reviewing certain features of the apps.

Editors on MathApps have significant background and expertise with mathematics education on particular topics. Additionally, registered users can rate apps on features that are not evaluated by the Editors.

For each app, we objectively examine and evaluate various criteria. We select the most applicable mathematics content standards from the Common Core State Standards, identify relevant Standards for Mathematical Practice which are encouraged through play, and identify the Level of Cognitive Demand generally associated with activity. Additionally, we list related scholarly articles and research, as well as additional platforms, oddities, and various other characteristics about each app.


The Common Core Mathematics Standards

breaks standards into Grade, Domain, Cluster, and Standard. For our purposes, we have identified the Mathematics Standards by Grade, Domain, and Cluster, not Standard.

Note: The Mathematics Standards list High School: Modeling without domain(s) or cluster(s), unlike all other grades. For our purposes, High School: Modeling has a domain entitled "Modeling", as well as a cluster entitled "Modeling". This is used as a naming convention to follow the pattern of other standards and adds no additional meaning to the High School: Modeling standard.

Standards by Grade:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • High School: Number and Quantity
  • High School: Algebra
  • High School: Functions
  • High School: Modeling
  • High School: Geometry
  • High School: Statistics & Probability

Standards by Domain:

  • Counting & Cardinality
  • Operations & Algebraic Thinking
  • Number & Operations in Base Ten
  • Number & Operations - Fractions
  • Measurement & Data
  • Geometry
  • Ratios & Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Expressions & Equations
  • Functions
  • Statistics & Probability

Each app is evaluated on the applicable Standards for Mathematical Practice. While many apps have one or more applicable Standards for Mathematical Practices, some apps have none which apply.


Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice:


1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

Mathematically proficient students:

  • explain to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution
  • analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals
  • make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution attempt
  • consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem
  • monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary
  • transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get information
  • explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs
  • draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends
  • use concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem
  • check their answers to problems using a different method
  • ask themselves, “Does this make sense?”
  • understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems

2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively

Mathematically proficient students:

  • make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations
    • decontextualize (abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents) and
    • contextualize (pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved)
  • use quantitative reasoning that entails creating a coherent representation of quantities, not just how to compute them
  • know and flexibly use different properties of operations and objects

3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

Mathematically proficient students:

  • understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments
  • make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures
  • analyze situations by breaking them into cases
  • recognize and use counterexamples
  • justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others
  • reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context
  • compare the effectiveness of plausible arguments
  • distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed
    • elementary students construct arguments using objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions
    • later students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies
  • listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions

4) Model with mathematics

Mathematically proficient students:

  • apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace
    • In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community
    • By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another
  • simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later
  • identify important quantities in a practical situation
  • map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas
  • analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions
  • interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation
  • reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose

5) Use appropriate tools strategically

Mathematically proficient students

  • consider available tools when solving a mathematical problem
  • are familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools
  • detect possible errors by using estimations and other mathematical knowledge
  • know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, and explore consequences
  • identify relevant mathematical resources and use them to pose or solve problems
  • use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts

6) Attend to precision

Mathematically proficient students:

  • try to communicate precisely to others
  • use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning
  • state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately
  • specify units of measure and label axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem
  • calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the context
    • In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other
    • In high school, students have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions

7) Look for and make use of structure

Mathematically proficient students:

  • look closely to discern a pattern or structure
    • Young students might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more
    • Later, students will see 7x8 equals the well-remembered 7x5 + 7x3, in preparation for the distributive property
    • In the expression x^2 + 9x+ 14, older students can see the 14 as 2x7 and the 9 as 2 + 7
  • step back for an overview and can shift perspective
  • see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or composed of several objects

8) Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Mathematically proficient students:

  • notice if calculations are repeated
  • look both for general methods and for shortcuts
  • maintain oversight of the process, while attending to the details
  • continually evaluate the reasonableness of intermediate results

This is embraced from the following source: Stein, M. K., Smith, M. S., Henningsen, M. A., & Silver, E. A. (2000). Implementing standards-based mathematics instruction: A casebook for professional development. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.

By assigning a task with a Level of Cognitive Demand (LOCD), the Editor is identifying the highest LOCD identified by most tasks within the app itself. Some tasks in the app may have lower LOCD, and some tasks may have higher LOCD. Therefore, the LOCD assigned is meant as a general and pragmatic guideline for the types of tasks included in the app, and not as an indicator for every single task. Further, certain apps might be used in a classroom in ways that adjust the LOCD of tasks embedded in an app. Thus, while the LOCD assigned is a pragmatic resource for those examining various apps, it is ultimately the manner in which apps are used that determine their effectiveness when integrated in the classroom.

Memorization:

  • Tasks in app generally involve reproducing previously learned rules, formulas, definitions, or facts
  • Procedures cannot / are not used or called for in the tasks

Procedures Without Connections:

  • Tasks implicitly or explicitly call for particular procedures or algorithms without any apparent connection to underlying concepts

Procedures With Connections:

  • Tasks implicitly or explicitly call for particular procedures or algorithms, but do so to make connections to underlying concepts

Doing Mathematics:

  • Tasks require user to demonstrate, in some form, investigation of complex relationships and related concepts. Completion often requires problem solving, reflection, creating algorithms, generalizations, and/or conjectures

Related scholarly articles provides an academic backing for the app's cognitive achievements.

We examine each app to determine how it aligns with each criteria in the Editor Review. There are various indicators available in the professional literature for each of these criteria, and we evaluate based on these indicators. Further, we evaluate each criteria holisticly for a given app. For example, an app may, at times, promote higher and lower levels of cognitive demand. Our evaluation looks at the general level of engagement rather than isolated moments or obscure features.

We use third party references for each criteria in the Editor Review to limit subjective evaluation. Further, Editors must have sufficient background in the content and instruction of focus to evaluate a particular app.



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