How the Sushi Monster App Improves Math Fact Fluency

iPad Addition App using Sushi Monsters

Math Apps that help students practice their basic facts are very important in my classroom. When I find one that becomes a favorite, I have to share. I use this app with my second and third-grade math students. It is a called Sushi Monster (ITunes: Free; Ages 9-11). This app was created by Scholastic.



This game helps students to improve their fact fluency by writing addition and multiplication number sentences that equal a given target number. Watching the monster gobble up the sushi is equally entertaining. Students begin at the first level with basic addition and multiplication facts, then move on to extended facts using multiples of 10.

The goal is for students to apply the strategies they used when solving basic facts to extended or multidigit addition and multiplication problems. The game is timed to help encourage students to improve their speed and accuracy.

My students love this app! Some have even downloaded this game on their iPad and tell me when they have moved on to higher levels. A great way for our students to practice their addition and multiplication. Just wish they had a Sushi Monster app for subtraction and division.

First Published December 21, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Phonics Tic Tac Toe

Phonics Tic Tac Toe iPad App by Lakeshore

Another favorite IPad App that I like to use with my first-grade students is Phonics Tic Tac Toe Interactive Game by Lakeshore. The game is simple and makes it easy to integrate iPads into my basic skills curriculum. It is also free on Itunes. 

Phonics Tic Tac Toe is a great game for teaching and reinforcing important phonics skills. During this game, the students explore short and long vowel sounds, syllables, r-controlled vowels, and beginning sounds. The kids enjoy trying to get their “three in a row,” especially when they play against me. I usually have my students play as partners. This is very helpful for my students who are still learning how to read. 

Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe is a great app for learning at home and at school.

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First Published October 26, 2014

Who Else Loves the Addimal Adventure App?

Addimal App

During my years as a classroom teacher, I used every opportunity to integrate technology into my classroom. Before IPads and Google Tablets, there was Appleworks, ClarisWorks, and early versions of Microsoft Office. I was able to create Tile Posters and templates as a way for my students to use computers more often. We were fortunate in my district: we had at least 3 to 4 computers per class in grades 3 to 5. Unfortunately, our first and second grades were not as well equipped at the time. They usually received the “hand-me-down” computers that came off-lease when the upper-grade classes received new computers.

Enter the IPadMy goal was to discover IPad Apps that I could use to enhance my teaching and reinforce important language arts and math skills. I had to accomplish this goal during my 30-minute pull-out sessions. One app that my students loved was Addimal Adventure! The app was created by Teachley.

Addimal App adimal-img2 adimal-img4adimal-img3

What was great about this App is that my students practiced their basic facts as they helped Captain Memo and the Addimals restore the golden city of El Sumado and save the world. The game uses models to help teach addition strategies. Teachers can also sign up for a free Teachley account to monitor their students progress. The App is also free! Definitely download this App for your classroom and for your kids at home!

First Published October 18, 2014

Saving Pumpkins and Turkeys: Holiday Persuasive Writing

Ugly Pumpkin,

I love the fall holidays, especially Halloween and Thanksgiving. That is the time of year that I am the most creative! As we go through October and November, it becomes difficult to keep my students engaged and excited about learning. That is why I designed two writing activities for my classroom. The first one is Spyderley’s Oogly Pumpkin Patch  Pumpkins so ugly, you need an extra ‘o’ to describe them!

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