Learning mental math, that's the ability to do math in your head without pen, paper, or finger counting, requires lots and lots of practice. Unfortunately, many kids are simply not getting the practice and repetition they want. In 2017, over 50 percent of 4th graders weren't proficient at 4th grade Common Core math standards. Slower learners, like those with autism, end up falling further and further behind.
Luckily, new educational programs for iPad, iPhone, and Android are taking math learning into another level. Kids can use these apps at college or at home to learn, practice, and learn mental math. This allows children to devote more brain power to learning new concepts, instead of counting.
In case you have an iPad, iPhone, or Android device, consider giving your children any of these 6 best math apps for math drills and mental math practice .
1. Math Ace
Launched in the summer of 2018, Math Ace is one of the newest and best mental math practice apps for gifted and autistic kids alike. There are apps for each grade. Each app is a full Common Core mastery workbook disguised as a game.
Math Ace breaks the Common Core math standards for each year into minute-long mathematics challenges. They are like digital worksheets, that adapt to student mistakes to increase learning.
What sets Math Ace the top of the list is that it excels at both learning and fun. For each minute of mathematics practice, students are given a token to blast off into orbit at an enjoyable jetpack mini-game which often lasts under one minute. Students earn medals doing math clinic to level up their jetpack and fly into space.
Within 10 minutes of program usage, students answer between 100 to 200 math facts, higher than the other apps we've tested. Along with the dynamic nature of the challenges is very effective.
The app layout is amazing, and easy to use. There's one large collection of challenges that makes it simple to keep track of your child's progress.
We recommend setting a goal for you kids to earn 10 medals every day. They will be on a fast path to mental math mastery. Start a free trial with Math Ace for one week, which gives you complete access to all Ace Programs such as Math Ace and Spelling Ace. After that, full access is $19.99 / 3 months.
2. Splash Math
Second on our list is Splash Math, a wonderful all about mathematics learning program, with a wide selection of questions and fun, colorful design. Within each category, there are a number of levels. Students have to answer around 40 or 50 questions correct per level.
In 10 minutes of play, students will answer about 60 math questions. While slightly less effective than Math Ace for mental math mastery, Splash Math is a great tool to allow your child to use every day. Unlike Math Ace, which repeats questions that students get wrong until they achieve mastery, Splash Math appears to select questions randomly. The Splash Math challenges are also untimed. If your child feels too much pressure from timed challenges, then Splash Math is a nice casual alternative.
Start a free trial for a week. After that, full access costs $19.99 / 3 weeks.
Children Academy is an e-learning platform for Pre-K through 3rd grade. It has a fun visual design, and provides thousands of challenges. Each challenge comprises a set of pages using a range of adorable problems on them. Students answer the problems by circling with their finger. Children Academy is like practicing paper worksheets on the telephone.
In 10 minutes of use, students may answer between 50 to 100 math issues, which is great. The worksheets do not seem to be as lively as in Math Ace. Mistakes do not cause problems to be replicated.
While Kids Academy is a great general e-learning platform, it's less effective at developing mental math mastery quickly than the apps above.
Prodigy is a fun role playing game (RPG) with mathematics problems folded in to the battles. And it's free.
In 10 minutes of play, students will reply about 30 mathematics questions. The actual amount varies based on how many battles students get into.
Prodigy is free and widely recommended by teachers. It gets third place on our list because of how entertaining the RPG game is, even though it's less effective at mental math mastery. Kids who may be immune to learning can get sucked in to the game.
The developers earn money by selling in-app upgrades and real world toys.
SmartKids offers an impressive selection of mini-games to teach a wide assortment of topics. Kids go crazy for this app. While SmartKids is a great general e-learning platform, the speed of this mini-games means that students only answer a couple of math problems per minute of program usage.
If your child really needs to catch up, we recommend one of the other programs above. Each mini-game requires the player to learn the rules of this game, and leaves less space for studying mental math. Tracking a child's proficiency is also harder.
We hope your child enjoys using the apps over to develop great mental math skills.