Tag Archives: apps

Math vs. Zombies – Math Game App

Math vs. Zombies

Math vs. Zombies is a very fun math game for the iPad that pits students’ math skills against swarms of the undead.  To defeat the approaching masses of zombies, students must correctly answer simple arithmetic problems that increase in difficulty as they progress through the levels.  You can choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication or division for the problems, and set initial difficulty levels in Math vs. Zombies to help reinforce skills or challenge students.

Because of some cartoon violence (it’s really cheesy), some scary audio (groaning Zombies) and mild horror, Apple has rated Math vs. Zombies as appropriate for ages 9+.  Please take this into consideration if you are planning on using this with your students.  Any student in a higher elementary grade, or even a struggling high school student, would love Math vs. Zombies as a fun game activity or as reinforcement without making it seem like work!

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Apps


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Free Unit Conversion Apps

Conversion Apps

If you’re looking for a convenient app to help you convert units of measure, temperature, or even currency, why not give one of these a try – all free in the App Store.



Units has a very simple, text-based interface and can handle, according to iTunes, “over 800 units across 43 different categories… including Speed, Time, Length, Volume, Area, Power, Temperature, Fuel Consumption, Clothing & Shoe Sizes and loads more!” Units is also able to convert over 88 currencies with up to the minute rates.  You can pick and choose the most common, or needed, units you will use to help avoid cluttering the app.  Units also included a built in ruler for quick measurements (up to the size of your screen).

Convert Any Unit

Convert Any Unit is another simple interface where you can enter a value, then type in the unit you would like to convert from and then to.  As you type, the most likely unites will populate in a list that you can choose from – and only the first letter or two are needed, to help avoid spelling errors.  There is a list option available to find the units you need, and you can save and organize favorites of your most commonly used conversions.

Convert Units Free

Convert Units Free is a little more graphic oriented than the first two apps today.  You use a dial to select the units you want to convert from (on the left) and to (on the right). In the center of the app is a button that allows you to choose from 14 different categories to convert.  Convert Units Free even allows for you to customize units and conversions, making this a very versatile app.

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks


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Pocket Law Firm — Constitutional Law App

Pocket Law Firm

With so much in the news lately about the Second Amendment and gun rights as well as general questions about the Constitutionality of pieces of legislation and the general rights that Americans enjoy, students need to be made aware of what rights they do and do not have under the Constitution and Pocket Law Firm can help.

Pocket Law Firm is an iPad only app that according to iTunes lets students “decide if potential clients have a right, match them with the right lawyer, and win the case. The more clients you serve and the more cases you win, the faster your law firm grows!”

The gameplay is very straight forward and similar to other games where you have to perform tasks in a certain amount of time   What is unique about Pocket Law Firm is that as a client enters the office to be paired with a lawyer, students have to determine whether or not they have a Constitutional right, given the case, and then they pair them with a lawyer who is an expert in that portion of the Constitution.  Cases are won and lost based on the proper assessment of a right and pairing with a lawyer.

As you progress through Pocket Law Firm, the lawyers attain new skills in Constitutional law and new lawyers with different skills can be added. Each case, when won or lost, also includes an explanation of the actual rights as defined by the Constitution and sometimes corresponding cases for further research.

I highly recommend Pocket Law Firm as not only a fun game, but also as a tool to allow students to assess cases based on the Constitution and to study where in the US Constitution those rights are granted or protected.

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks


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Two Math and Science Game Apps

A Pair of Gaming Apps


24 Game

You might remember the 24 game as a kid in school!  You get a card with 4 numbers and you have to add, subtract, multiply or divide your way to a total of 24. With this app for iPad, iPod, and iPhone, you can have your class play without the use of the cards.  The interactive nature of the app will definitely spark new interest in this game, as well as the ability to keep score and track fastest times!



The SimplePhysics app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod and is a great tool to have students work with some realistic physics as well as engineering.  Students can build simple to complex structures (it advertises tree houses to Ferris wheels) through a blueprint interface then subject them to various tests in a game-like environment.  Create structures that will withstand different forces, or simple create intricate designs.  An added feature is the challenge mode where students have to create designs like rooftops and bridges to meet certain specifications while also remaining in a set budget for their project.

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks


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Toontastic — Create Your Own Cartoons


Today I thought there might be a little change of pace and come back to some tools and tricks after a short hiatus.  Today I’m going to delve into the land of apps.  First up is Toontastic.

Toontastic: Free is a fun tool that allows students to create characters, stories and cartoons on the iPad.  You can use as an alternative assessment in class or for those students who do not have permission to, or may be reluctant to perform in video projects.  While the Toontastic app is geared more toward younger grades, it is easily adaptable and fun for higher grades too.

All you have to do in Toontastic is select or create your characters and move them on the screen to animate while recording your voice to tell your story.  Toontastic even helps students create their stories by waling them through a simple story arc where they can individually create a setup, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution to their stories.

From the iTunes description:

Making cartoons with Toontastic is as easy as putting on a puppet show – simply press the record button, move your characters onscreen, and tell your story. Toontastic records your animation and voice as a cartoon video to share with friends and family on ToonTube, the app’s global storytelling network for kids.

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks


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Real World Math — Teaching Math Concepts with Google Earth

Real World Math

Another in a great one in a series of sites that helps you answer that question “when will we use this?” is Real World Math.   Using Google Earth, either on a PC or with a tablet device like an iPad, Real World Math has set up free lessons that will integrate with Google Earth to allow you to teach various concepts to your students using real-life and real world locations and scenarios.

The Real World Math lessons are broken into five subsections that have several modules and files within each.  All you have to do is download the .kmz files and open them with Google Earth. Instructions for the students are pre-loaded when they open the file and Google Earth will take them exactly where they need to be to complete their assignments.  This is a great way to integrate technology into your classroom either individually or through your projector.

The lesson subsections available are:

  • Concepts – Basic math topics, such as scientific notation, estimation, and geometry as well as geographical concepts such as exchange rate and time zones.
  • Project Based Learning – Students are presented with a location and a problem to solve.  They must work collaboratively in pairs or groups to work through the activity.  These are usually longer lessons.
  • Measurement – Uses the ruler tool in Google Earth to help students understand areas, estimation, and measuring geographical features.
  • Exploratory – More “non-traditional” concepts such as fractals, tessellations, and map-making.
  • Space – Uses the new Google Moon, Mars, and Sky features to take math activities out of this world!

Video tutorials on how to use both Google Earth and the Real World Math download files are available to help familiarize you and your students with the program and features needed to work through the lessons.  Make sure that you first go to the “Contact” section to apply for a free password to the Teacher area where you can find more information about the program and lesson plans.  All you need to submit is your name and email!

Also of interest: 

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Websites


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