Math Apps for 1st Grade

While considering possible accommodations for a first grader who struggles with writing math problems, I started exploring high and medium tech possibilities that would support the student in the classroom. Generating of problems using Intellitools Classroom Suite  (ICS) is a possibility using an on-screen keyboard with a customized tool bar however it would require some creation time and require her to understand another computer program when working away from her desk at the student computers. Although this is a very feasible answer given the available software and support of a tech savvy teacher but it also requires being “different”, sitting at the computer and away from her desk.

Having been afflicted with case of iThing-itis, of course, I started researching apps that might be available on an iPod that would allow the student to remain at her desk to perform the same type of task using the touch input of a handheld device (…and can you hear the refrain of other first graders saying “why does she get to use that?”). Many students write answers with ease, however for some handwriting is a barrier in expressing what they know and masks what their real abilities are.  My search resulted in finding the following math apps, most customizable for the students needs and appropriate for learning math facts for first grade students:

Math Magic –  $.99 – Provides customizable simple math fact addition and subtraction. Objects to support use of visuals to assist students who are at the being stage of math computation. It has an easy to use interface and is appealing to young students.  For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Kids Math Fun 1st Grade – $1.99 – This app provides addition and subtraction practice in a traditional format with timed practice, type of feedback to problems completed and scores. It provided a kid friendly user interface for easy access however there were no customization features for selecting addend maximums/minimums or sum for problems. The Kids Math Fun Kindergarten app provides practice for students beginning to learn their math facts. No visual manipulatives are provided with the app. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Math Smart – $.99 – 1st grade math app containing addition, subtraction practice and number sequencing tasks. Easy interface for early elementary school children. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Kid Calc–  $.99 – 7 in 1 app for kindergarten to first grade students including counting, number tracking, math puzzle, calculator and flash card challenged. The flash card challenge shown below allows customization of numbers used in flash card presentation. For iPod and iPad.

Math Tappers – Free – Early elementary school app that uses visuals to learn math addends of a sum.  For iPod.                                      

Math Drills –  $1.99 – Another math fact drill app. Provides numerous features to customize the fact drill set for a student including number of problems top and bottom numbers of the addends, arrangement of the problems and more. Gathers scores on user drills and tests. Provides reviews assistance including block manipulatives, a number line or facts chart. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Math Fact Drills – $1.99 – This math app creates the ability to set “game parameter” such as number of questions, top and bottom number limit, length of timed test for provides a lot of customization for a user. It does not appear to collect data over time but provides final results of a “game”. Provides addition, subtraction, multiplication and division practice. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

If you were a 1st grader which one would allow you to learn in your best learning mode?

What are your favorite first grade math apps?


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
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