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Using iPads in the classroom, specifically during math, let students explore concepts, practice math, and enjoy doing activities while engaging in technologically advanced activities. There are many foundations that donate iPads to schools in support of technology in the classroom. One local one, is the Fox Family Foundation, which is headed by the Broncos head coach, John Fox. Recently, they donated 40 iPads to Tollgate Elementary School in Aurora and helped the school achieve their goal of supplying every fifth grader with an iPad.

The iPad is great for a subject like math where students typically copy down a bunch of problems and have to sit at their seats the whole time. As we all know elementary students more often than not, are kinesthetic learners, which means that they benefit from hands-on activities. One of the advantages of having iPads in the classroom is that they get to learn in a very interactive way, and the iPad is completely portable, so kids can go anywhere with it and take their math into the real world like when they are learning geometry. There is actually an app that allows students to measure a wall or surface and get precise angles. So instead of copying down all of those hand-written problems they can solve what the angle of their desk which is much more interesting and relevant to them.

There are many applications that help with various aspects of math, but here are a few that get kids interacting with their learning. These are grouped together by the role the app has, and what aspect of math that it aids in.

Numbers and Operations

-Bugsy Kindergarten Math -Counting in order, counting on from a given number, writing numbers, etc

-Motion Math -Fraction practice through games, comparing percentages, decimals, and fractions; Grades 4-5.

-Math Dictionary for Kids -A good resource for upper grades to use as they do math practice of any kind, but especially when doing measurement because there is a lot of vocabulary that needs to be learned.

Geometry

-Symmetry Shuffle -Has many different pictures to play with; can slide, transfer, flip, and replicate the images for practice with symmetry. This could be used for those starting with symmetry, so maybe like third grade.

-Shape-O ABC's - Like a puzzle; you have to fill in the shapes to make a picture and then fill in the letters to make a word. Some of the words are harder than others but you can choose based on level. I actually even enjoy this game!

-Geom-e-tree -The user is allowed to be the designer of a geometric pattern. They are colorful and really easy to make. They can be easy enough for kindergarten with some direction but could be used in all grade.

Math Games

-Operation Math -This is really cool for like k-1st. It has addition and subtraction problems in a "Mission" box. In order to complete your mission you have to enter a "code" which is the answer. I could imagine the boys loving this one.

-Super 7 -There are little hexagons that fly across the screen with numbers on them. You have to make all of them disappear by showing which numbers add up to zero. If you don't use a number it disappears and you lose points.

Importance of iPad’s in the classroom

Every teacher begins a new lesson with some way to engage their students. “How do I get my students excited for…” is the big question every teacher goes through. Teachers plan and re-plan their lessons so they are connecting with every student and making sure the lesson is fully understood. The engagement portion is every important in any lesson being taught. This is the opportunity for the teacher to get the students excited but most importantly curious about the lesson or unit. Also, many teachers are restricted to a schedule of what lessons that needs to be taught or for a certain number of minutes a day. Many teachers have found a way to skip the entire engagement part of the lesson and wasted no time starting on the lesson at hand.

In the 21^{st} century, our students see the world digitally and visually. Many students today incorporate technology in their everyday lives. From cell phones to computers, students use technology to make their lives easier. Teachers around the U.S. have noticed the same trend and have invested in the future, the future of their students. School districts around the countries have adopted the iPad as a tool for educating young minds. Teachers have noticed how students are engaged and excited for the next lesson assignment because they get to do it using the iPad. In the article “Heights Middle School Students Get New tool for Math”, Fred Hollingshead (Math-Coach for 7^{th} through 12^{th} grades) said,” The iPads will allow the district’s middle schools students to dig deeper into math”. He further said “It’s ubiquitous” referring to the technology. “It’s around them all the time. These are 21^{st}century kids. They’re digital natives.” Also in the article, Whitney Czajkowski a teacher at SHMS (Shawnee Heights Middle School) considers herself as a “child of technology”. She added,” She expects her students’ math growth in the coming months will be “exponential” while using the iPads.” Many fellow teachers are reluctant to embrace technology into their everyday classroom routines but there are a few who are fighting for use of technology. In the last portion of the article, Becky Greer a director of curriculum presented to the board members in her district about the use of iPads. She told the board,” the iPads represent a shift in the way math instruction is delivered, no the fundamentals in which math is taught. She also added,” We didn’t throw away what we know about math. We didn’t throw away our textbooks. We’re taking all of our good instructional practices and what we know about what the student engagement needs to look like and put it together.”

The iPads represents a new kind of teaching that can go beyond the classroom walls. By using the iPads and all the wonderful App’s that are being created, students can explore math in a whole new way. Students can see the problems but also see the solution step by step. Many math games have been created for the computer. For example, “cool math 4 kids” is a great site for students to play games involving math. Besides helping with math problems at school, students will be able to extend the lesson to their homes. If students are allow to take their iPads home, students are learning all the time not just at school. Practice makes perfect, and more practice with math the students can be exposed to will increase their math skills and their comprehension of the concept.

The 21^{st} century students are hardwire already to use technology at a very young age. Technology is all around them so why don’t teachers use this as a teaching tool. Students are more engaged and willing to learn new things with the use of the iPad. Why not use what they already like and use it to teach them. School districts around the country are seriously looking at using more technology in the classroom to engage and motivate students to learn and what better way than an iPad.

Students today live and play in a digital world surrounded by technology. Many teachers have recognized how much their students are using technology and using it to their advantage. School districts and teachers are slowly embracing technology into their schools and classrooms. These schools and teachers are finding out how excited and engaged the students are using technology. The iPad represents a new and exciting way to present math to the technology driven youth of today. Instead of the traditional method of math (writing the problem down and solving it while showing your work), the use of iPad's during math takes it to a whole new level of understanding how math works. Teachers are finding out how valuable the iPad has become in their classroom. The iPad is tactile(hands-on), visual(you can see how the problem is set up), and you can see the solution(how the problem is solved step by step). From learning whole numbers to advanced math, the iPad is a excellent tool for schools and teachers to incorporate into their everyday classrooms. Teachers will have fun selecting from all the new App's based around math as much as their students.

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