Friday, January 3, 2014

A Great FREE App: Find Sums

In the past I have written about some of my favorite apps including math slide, line 'em up, the number rack, ten frame fill and the subitize tree.  Today I want to show you another FREE and favorite app that I have been using with the iPad in grades K-3.

Find Sums

When I first found this app, I really liked it and was using it a great deal with my first graders at the beginning of this school year.  It shows a ten frame and you click on numbers that make pairs of 10.  A SUPER important skill for kids to be fluent with in K and 1.  It gives kids tons of practice with combinations of 10 and a visual image to support them.  At the beginning of the year, I thought this was the only thing the app did and I still loved it.  About two months ago, I was talking about combinations of 100 with a colleague and she suggested I use this app for some third graders who were struggling with this idea.  
The most basic setting for Find Sums.  Students practice combinations of 10  with a visual image of a ten frame to support their developing understanding.
I had no idea what she was talking about until she showed me the settings menu on this app.  It opened up an entire menu of possibilities that I didn't know existed.  All you do is touch the i in the upper right hand corner and you get this
A look at the settings menu.  At the bottom you can see that you can chose from apples or part whole.  If you choose apples you will get a visual image that is vital when students are just starting to work on a skill.  When they are getting close to fluency, chose part whole and no visual image will be shown.  Instead it shows a part-part-whole diagram.  (see pictures below for more detail).  Also you can change the sum target to any number between 5 and 20 as well as 100.  See how this game can be useful for K-3?  

Let's take a look at some of the different settings

This is sum total of 20 with apples.  The student has clicked on 13 and now needs to find what number goes with 13 to make 20.  See how this is a natural extension for someone who is fluent with combinations of 10?  I work on combinations to 20 a great deal during the end of grade 1 and the beginning of grade 2.

This is sum total of 20 with a part-whole model.  See how they have to think about what goes with 8 to make 20?  There is no visual image, but at this point when I have kids working on this level, they would have enough experience with the visual models for this type of questions that they would most likely have a mental model they could pull from if necessary.  If this is to challenging, it is easy to switch them back to the apple setting.  
This is sum total of 100 with an apple model.  This student has clicked on  75 and 25  which is a very important combination of 100.  When they are ready to move to the next problem, they just click on any number.  This is a skill I spend a lot of time working on in grade 2 and the beginning of grade 3 for kids who still need more practice.  Check out this blog post for more ideas on working on combinations to 100!
Now I have changed the setting to sum total of 100 with a part-whole model.  I love that kids can feel like they are all playing the same game but that I can so easily differentiate it for each individual need.  It also has worked quite well for partners to play this game sharing one iPad.
The best part about this app is that it is a fairly fast game yet still gets at important ideas and provides the right amount of support.  It is a great time filler between transitions or as kids finish other work with only a few minutes remaining in a class period.  

I only have access to a few iPads so I also use some of these free computer games on the classroom computers and the smart board to work on similar skills.  

How do you use technology to work on combinations of 5, 10, 20 or 100?  Please respond in the comments below!

16 comments:

  1. I would want to win Place Value Base Ten Numbers up to 1000 Card Deck and Activity Set Common Core because I have many 3rd graders that still need this work. I am a new follower and I love your blog. I have used many of your 10 lessons in my small reteaching groups. I feel like you are my personal math coach. Thank you very much.

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    1. Wow what a nice comment! My place value decks are my personal favorite products. I don't know how I ever taught without them. I use them over and over again for lessons, interventions, extensions and to squeeze a little more math time out of the day during transitions and such. MANY third graders can benefit from the place value base ten numbers to 1000 deck! I have even used it with fourth and fifth graders.

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  2. Ooh! I'm so excited to try this app with my kinders. I'm always looking for easy apps they can work on on their own. Thanks!

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  3. I was SO excited about this app that I made my husband race up stairs to get my Ipad so I could download it. BUT.... I cannot find it in the app store. What do I search for? I tried Find Sums and came up with nothing. HELP! I have some at risk 5th graders who will really benefit from this app. THANKS

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  4. I just downloaded this app before break! I am looking forward to trying it with my students next week! I love most of the apps by Math Tappers!

    Amy
    Eclectic Educating

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    1. How did you find it? I'm having difficulties locating it on the App Store.

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  5. Thank you for posting your favorite apps. I, like Roberta, can't find it even after searching Math Tappers. I found Multiply and Find but not Find Sums. It can't be gone from the App Store, can it?

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    1. When I search for it, I can find it but I already downloaded it so that might change my search results. I don't see why it would be gone from the App Store but I am certainly not an expert. I have only been an iPad user for about 8 months. I would ask someone you know who is more familiar with tablets in general or apple products.

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    2. Thanks - I have about the same time as you with my iPad. I found the apps, in the store, on my laptop but they don't show up on the iPad in the store - strange but I guess there is a reason for it. I follow up with out tech. person. Thanks again for blogging about the apps.

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  6. I am having problems finding the app as well. Any other suggestions on how to find it? Could you link us to it through the App Store?

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    1. Open safari and do a yahoo or google search for find sums app. It will be the first search result and will open the App Store for you. All of the apps from Math Tappers seems to be hard to find in the App Store.

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