Teacher Review For MathBoard

Alternative for traditional paper and pencil rote math practice

Michelle S.
Special Education Instructor
Los Angeles County Office of Education
Downey, CA
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 2
Pedagogy 3
Support 4
My Students Liked It No
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Individual
Practice
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
General
How I Use It
I intended this app to replace traditional paper and pencil rote practice and timed quizzes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Students love to use the iPads, however, they found it much quicker to solve more complex problems on paper, then enter their answer, rather than trying to write directly on the screen. Students were able to work independently after I created the desirable settings. This was a bit complicated and time consuming. It had its limits which were discussed previously. Students did not find this app as engaging as anticipated. They found the game of concentration very complicated and not worth their effort, therefore rather than solving each problem, they began guessing at answers. One feature I did find resourceful was using the app to solve a problem step by step. This would be beneficial for assisting students with homework if they get stuck on the problem. However, when working with division it does not take in account for decimals or fraction answers. It only gives a remainder answer, which was odd to me considering the complexity of problems in practice. Unfortunately, my students do not have iPads at home, they are only for school use, therefore I could not test the feasibility of this feature in creating learning potential.
My Take
I give this app an overall 3 stars. It is merely complicated alternative to traditional paper and pencil rote math practice. I agree students can never get enough practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, so I considered using this app to engage students. In addition, while my students needed additional practice, rather than direct instruction, they were all at different levels of ability. This app was an easy answer for creating levels of activity quickly. In app settings allow you to manipulate which operations are being practiced, as well as selecting skill level (easy to difficult). You can also manipulate the number range and equation types. Changing equation types was the one feature that sets this app apart from many of the other rote math apps out there. Users can select simple one step algebraic equations with one variable. Other than that, I found this app very complicated for the limits of use. While I wanted to give practice on large range numbers for addition and subtraction, I was not able to select a different range for multiplication and division. Either practice has to be individualized to one operation at a time, or one skill level and range at a time. This doesn't make it any different than other rote apps available in the market. The appearance is easy to look at (green chalkboard). Students can take a practice quiz or play a game of concentration. The game of concentration is very difficult, even set at the easiest setting. It includes all operations and ranges of numbers. Students have to solve problems such as 364/52 and match it with the answer all while being timed for speed. My students began randomly guessing rather than solving the problems just to beat the clock. They still get a perfect score at then end and submit their time. Unfortunately, this app fell short in too many areas and was far too complicated for me to utilize for the purpose intended. Sometimes paper and pencil does have its advantages.