Has there ever been a subject in school that is more difficult to teach than math? Year after year, teachers struggle to make math relevant, understandable, and fun for students. Over time, teachers have used everything from games to rewards in an effort to help students learn math. Today, the increased use of the Apple iPad in classrooms may in fact be signaling a change for math teachers everywhere. The iPad, and the many apps that have been developed specifically around mathematics—including apps like Math Bingo—may indeed be the tools teachers have long been asking for.
Math Bingo is exactly what its name implies: an iPad application that uses the classic game of bingo to help children learn and practice their math skills. The app is intended for elementary school children, though it could easily be used at the middle school level. Math Bingo combines the concepts of games and rewards with cool “bugs” in an effort to make math learning more fun and enjoyable.
Users can select from one of four game types, which reflect basic math operations. Once a game has been selected, users answer basic math questions and the correct answers are recorded on the iPad, which serves as a bingo card. When users line up five “bugs” in a row, they win!
The idea sounds basic, but it is entertaining enough to show results, especially at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, New Jersey. Third grade students in Jennifer Kohn’s class at Millstone Elementary School are making use a variety of math-based apps, but are specifically fond of using the Math Bingo app as an enrichment tool during math instruction. Kohn’s students use the Math Bingo app on a daily basis in class because it allows them to work out basic math facts and problems, but in a way that they find more entertaining. Some students with their own iPads are also using the Math Bingo app—which costs 99 cents—at home for additional math practice.