If you work in education, chances are good you know exactly what CCSS stands for! However, knowing exactly what to do with those Common Core State Standards is another thing entirely. Many states begin implementation this fall, and educators everywhere are trying to figure out what this means for their lesson plans.
Indiana jumped on board the CCSS train quite early, and my district fully implemented in my school last year (grades K-4). This list, then, brings you some of the best apps I’ve seen for use with the CCSS in math. My focus is on the primary level, but I’ve also included some apps that I know are good for upper levels, too. Read on to start planning!
** Please note: Some of these apps have in-app purchases, but they can easily be disabled in the settings of your device. There also may be ads and social network links in some of these apps.
Only the app's developer can control when an app is free or not. All prices and free apps are verified at the time of this post. We make no guarantees otherwise.**
Common Core Standards by Mastery Apps: No CCSS list is complete without mention of the app which gives easy access to the standards themselves. The interface is clean, the database is searchable, and for any teacher making lesson plans on an iPad or iPhone, or simply wanting to review the standards in an easily-accessible way, this app is a must-have.
(FREE, iPhone/iPad, iOS 6.0 or later)
Splash Math by Study Pad (FREE with IAP, full version 99 cents): While I don’t teach math to a classroom, I do work on math with my speech-language therapy students, on problem solving, math vocabulary, even using speech sounds to discuss homework. I also work directly with first graders in an intervention group every day, and without fail they love Splash Math the most. I love the sequence of moving through a topic, and the app teaches some concepts in a way that really helps the kids who are struggling. We normally use Splash Math one day a week during math weeks, to solidify a concept we worked on all week. Every single CCSS for math in first grade is covered. Though the full apps aren’t cheap, there is so much content they're worth it. There is also a free lite version at each level — great to allow educators to check it out first, to be sure it will meet their needs.
To see all StudyPad apps:
DoodleMath by EZ Education: This app was smartly designed with the CCSS in mind. It’s designed for parents, and costs an additional $5.99 (on top of the $8.99 for the full version) to add additional students. But a teacher could use it by creating a generic classroom profile, and parents will love it for math “homework." It’s great for kids who are ready to jump ahead or those who are behind grade level and want to work on the right skills to get caught up. It's a Top Pick — read my review for more information!
Free with IAP:
Pick-a-Path by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Problem solving is a big focus in the CCSS, and this skill is addressed for students in grades 3-7 in Pick-a-Path. Students have to figure out the best path, using powers of ten, negative numbers, fractions, decimals and more. It’s a fun game to reinforce concepts and apply basic math to a problem. It’s completely free with no in-app purchases, making it perfect for teachers in the classroom. When I first downloaded it, it was hard to stop playing this clever logic game — kids also have fun trying to find the best (or sometimes only!) path to meet each level's goals.
Slate Math For Kids by Slate Science: This app for kindergarten and first grade skills is another great app designed specifically around the CCSS, and it’s even FREE! It’s one of those apps I really can’t quite believe is free, and has been featured before on Smart Apps For Kids as a Good Free App of the Day. It targets the standards thoroughly, and also integrates a little geography, taking the child through scenes from different countries — practice counting with the fish in Loch Ness in Scotland, visit the Berlin Wall in Germany and practice writing digits, and learn about patterns with the Flamenco Fan in Spain. There are 38 different activities (and ten different European countries). Teachers and parents can set up individual profiles for each student learner, too, and there is even a professional version available for SlateMath (check the website for information).
FREE (iPad only):
Hands-On Equations by Hands On Equations ($3.99-4.99, free lite version, iPad only): These apps are designed to teach the beginning stages of learning algebra, and the hands-on method fits very well with the CCSS for expressions and equations in grades 6, 7, and 8, and in the algebra standards. With three levels, the hands-on method can benefit students as a supplement to any algebra program used in a school. I love how the app explains the concepts and helps it really make sense — not just an excerise in following the rules. Read my full review of Part 1 here.
Find all versions, including the LITE version (iPad ONLY):
Oh No Fractions by Curious Hat: Oh No Fractions is a bit of a misnomer, because through creative presentation the app takes away some of the "Oh no! Fractions!" mentality that people may have. The visual model can be especially helpful to kids who are struggling. The FREE version of this app allows for 10 free operations each day. After that point, the full version must be purchased for 99 cents to continue. Oh No Fractions fits perfectly with the CCSS for fractions in grades 3, 4, and 5, and remains useful for kids older than that age who haven't yet fully grasped fractions.
Free version: Full version (99 cents):
Moose Math by Duck Duck Moose: Moose Math is a brand new app from experienced developer Duck Duck Moose, and it's really fantastic. Like their other apps, the interface is smooth and easy to use. The math skills are targeted in game-like format, designed for kindergarten and first grade. I really appreciate apps for young kids that focus on learning math in a fun way, instead of with just drill — in Moose Math, the user is building up a run-down city by practicing math skills in a smoothie shop, pet store, and more. There’s a report card for each user profile, too, allowing parents and teachers to monitor activities used and progress made. There doesn’t seem to be any way to set the skill level, so be prepared for students to start at Level 1 and work up.
Mathtopia+ by Omega Labs: Mathtopia+ isn't just an app aligned to the CCSS in kindergarten through grade three. It's not just useful for older students who still need to meet those standards of fluency with math facts. It's also a 5-star app, and so addictive I often play "just one more" round for way too long! It's a Bejeweled-style game, with many more fun twists than even Bejeweled (I love to swap with two fingers at the same time!) And best of all, math facts fluency is practiced along the way.
Lite version: Full version ($3.99)
Math Doodles by Carstens Studios Inc (iPad only; individual apps available for iPhone): In the Common Core State Standards (and in math in general!) it's not enough to know how to add 3 + 2. Students need to then be able to apply those skills in a variety of problem solving activities. Math Doodles is a great app to do just that, perfect for first grade all the way through upper elementary. It contains five different games, three of which are available as individual apps on the iPhone (Connect Sums, Sums Stacker, and Unknown Square), and two more which are only available in this app (Splat Go Round and Sneak Peek Challenge, coming soon). The games challenge kids in a fun way — and each game is leveled to allow learners of various levels to play and learn. How can six dice be rearranged in three columns in order to match the number shown on the column to the total number of spots? Algebraic thinking makes an appearance in Unknown Square, and Splat Go Round helps kids learn to calculate difference in times, angles, or fractions. This "brief" description doesn't even begin to describe all of the great content in the app!
Math Doodles (iPad ONLY, $2.99):
Connect Sums (iPhone) Unknown Square (iPhone) Sums Stackers (iPhone)
(all three iPhone apps are included in the one iPad app!)