Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2018 - 20

What Can Elementary Teachers Do with Technology? There's an App for That
Figure 3: Teachers can create multiple polygons and explore patterns using a single iPad.

The teacher can first demonstrate some
example strings of multiple polygons
using the Math Learning Center Pattern
Shapes App5. The teacher may or may
not have the concrete manipulatives,
but students should be familiar with
these blocks. A string of triangles,
parallelograms, and hexagons can be
created and students can be asked to
find the perimeter when 10 blocks are
connected in a string and then extend to
ask for the perimeter when 50 blocks are
connected.

The teacher can then challenge the
students to explore these patterns with
regular polygons that are not typically
provided in manipulative sets such as
Pattern Blocks. The teacher can use the
NumberKiz Pro App4 to create regular
polygons up to a decagon.

Using the NumberKiz Pro App4, the
teacher can demonstrate various strings
and challenge students to determine
the perimeter when 100 polygons are
connected. The teacher can challenge
students to construct a recursive rule that
would help them determine the solution
and an explicit rule that would help
students determine the solution to any
number of polygons in the string. The
NumberKiz Pro App4 has other features,
such as recording the lesson, which could
benefit students after their classroom
exploration.

Conclusion
Teachers of mathematics are called to enhance the learning of their students through the use of technology (NCTM, 2015).
The iPad has become a very robust device that can fit the technological needs of most teachers. Elementary school teachers
can supplement their concrete manipulatives by using dynamic applications. Teachers can challenge students to explore
patterns as well as make connections to algorithms through the use of technology and hands-on materials. Technology can
help engage students in the learning process and create classrooms that solicit interactions between teachers and students
and among students, as well. When it comes to teaching mathematics with an iPad, there's an app for that!
John Lamb, Ph.D. * jlamb@uttyler.edu
Associate Professor Mathematics Education
The University of Texas at Tyler School of Education

References
Christenson, S. L., Reschly, A. L., & Wylie, C. (Eds.) (2012). Handbook of research on student engagement. New York: Springer
Burns, M. (1996). How to make the most of math manipulatives: A fresh look at getting students' heads - and hands! -
around math concepts. Instructor. 45-50.
Burns, B. A., & Hamm, E. M. (2011). A comparison of concrete and virtual manipulative use in third- and fourth-grade mathematics.
School Science and Mathematics, 111(6). 256-261.
Klein, D. (2003). A brief history of American K-12 mathematics education in the 20th century. In Royer, J. (Ed.). Mathematical cognition: A
volume in current perspective on cognition, learning, and instruction. (175-225). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Moyer-Packenham, P. S., Shumway, J. F., Bullock, E., Tucker, S. I., Anderson-Pence, K. L., Westenskow, A., Boyer-Thurgood, J., Maahs
Fladung, C., Symanzik, J., Mahamane, S., MacDonald, B., & Jordan, K. (2015). Young children's learning performance and
efficiency when using virtual manipulative mathematics iPad apps. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and
Science Teaching, 34(1). 41-69.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2015). Strategic use of technology in teaching and learning mathematics: A position of the
national council of teachers of mathematics. Retrieved from https://www.nctm.org/Standards-and-Positions/Position-Statements/
Strategic-Use-of-Technology-in-Teaching-and-Learning-Mathematics/
Reimer, K., & Moyer, P. S. (2005). Third graders learn about fractions using virtual manipulatives: A classroom study. Journal of Computers
in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24(1), 5-25.

Apps from Article

1. Explain Everything: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/explain-everything/id1020339980?mt=8
2. CuisenaireĀ© Rods: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cuisenaire-rods/id536204074?mt=8
3. Base Ten Blocks Manipulative: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/base-ten-blocks-manipulative/id966324173?mt=8
4. NumberKiz Pro: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numberkiz-math-interactive-whiteboard/id594702283?mt=8
5. Pattern Shapes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pattern-shapes-by-the-math-learning-center/id908511013?mt=8

Other Suggested Apps for Elementary School

* Manipulative Apps by Brainingcamp: https://www.brainingcamp.com/product/mobile.html
* Manipulative Apps by The Math Learning Center: https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/apps

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Texas Mathematics Teacher


https://www.nctm.org/Standards-and-Positions/Position-Statements/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/explain-everything/id1020339980?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cuisenaire-rods/id536204074?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/base-ten-blocks-manipulative/id966324173?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numberkiz-math-interactive-whiteboard/id594702283?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pattern-shapes-by-the-math-learning-center/id908511013?mt=8 https://www.brainingcamp.com/product/mobile.html https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/apps

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