Locust Grove Tech Tidbits

By Denise O'Brien, LMS/STC

Tech and Math....putting it together!

This week I wanted to showcase apps that can be integrated into a math workshop. Whether you're modeling a concept or using virtual tools to promote student engagement, tech can help to transform some of your daily lessons!

Keep in mind - these virtual tools are great to use as a whole class, table or group work, for students needing extra support with manipulatives, or with differentiation for higher learners!

Base Ten Blocks- Number Pieces

Number Pieces is a great free app that allows every student with an iPad to have an endless number of base ten blocks at their fingertips. Whether they are learning basic place value, modeling how to add decimals, or exploring expanded notation, this app is worth looking into. Children can write all over the iPad screen and demonstrate their thought process as they manipulate the virtual base ten blocks.

Number Pieces helps students develop a deeper understanding of place value while building their computation skills with multi-digit numbers. Students use the number pieces to represent multi-digit numbers, regroup, add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Number Pieces Basic

Same as Number Pieces (above) but designed for primary students. It has fewer features, putting greater focus on place value, counting, addition, and subtraction.

Free Protractor & iCamera Protractor

Even on an iPad, a protractor can be used as a tool to measure angles. Children can simply practice making acute and obtuse angles by moving the line on the screen, or they can measure the angles in objects placed on top of their iPad. Try putting traditional pattern blocks or cutout paper shapes on top of an iPad screen. There are even a few apps that let you use the camera on an iPad or an iPod Touch for measuring angles.

Free Protractor is easy to use. The angle can be set by touching the pointer directly or by entering the angle on a keypad. There is also a lock function to avoid accidental movement of the pointer when taking readings.

Graph Paper, Shapes & More using Geometry Pad

Geometry Pad lets children draw lines and shapes on graph paper. They can plot points on this coordinate grid and even add text to the screen. This app is easy to use and includes tons of functions to try out. Educreations also lets students change the background of their screen to graph paper before they start writing.

With Geometry Pad you can create fundamental geometric shapes, explore and change their properties, and calculate metrics. The shapes are displayed on a scrollable and zoomable workbook with a rectangular coordinate system.

The following tools are built into the application:
- Point, angle, line, ray, segment, perpendicular bisector, tangent, triangle, quadrilateral, polygon, regular polygon, arc, sector, circle, ellipse, parabola, hyperbola.
- Tools to create medians, altitudes and bisectors in a triangle.
- Tools to create special triangles and quadrilaterals: right, isosceles, equilateral, square, rectangle, parallelogram and rhombus.
- Two additional ways to create an ellipse: by center, end of a major axis, and a point on the ellipse; by focus points, and a point on the ellipse.
- Compass tool to plot arcs with an easily adjustable center and radius.
- Pencil tool to draw freehand annotations.
- Text annotations and labels with mixed-in metrics such as length, angle, perimeter, equation, etc.
- Transformation tools: rotation, reflection, enlargement, translation.
- Create lines and triangles with predefined parameters such as equation of a line, and angles or sides of a triangle.
- Insert images into the document.

Each shape has a set of customizable properties such as color, width, background, etc. Shape metrics are automatically calculated and presented along with shape properties. Some of them are editable such as point location, line length, circe radius, etc.


This virtual tool is perfect for elementary and middle school classrooms. Kids can simply create polygons on their geoboard to show off different quadrilaterals and triangles. They can also find the perimeter and area of each shape.

Geoboard is a tool for exploring a variety of mathematical topics introduced in the elementary and middle grades. Learners stretch bands around the pegs to form line segments and polygons and make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more.

• Create line segments and polygons by stretching bands around the Geoboard’s pegs.
• Choose from 5 different band colors; 8 band colors on the iPad.
• Fill individual shapes with a transparent color, or use the Fill All button to toggle all the bands between filled and unfilled.
• Switch between the standard 25-peg square board, a rectangular board with 150 pegs, or a circular board with 13 pegs. The circular board enables explorations with angles, fractions, and time measurement.
• Duplicate shapes then move, rotate, or flip them to explore symmetry and congruency.
• Display grid lines with or without numbering to more easily calculate area and identify shape locations.
• Use the drawing tools to annotate work and show understanding
• Write equations and expressions with the text tool.


Ruler is a neat app to try out on your iPad -- it simply turns your screen into a ruler. Students can measure items placed on their screen in inches and centimeters. They can solve perimeter and area problems with the information they gather.

Number Rack

The Number Rack facilitates the natural development of children’s number sense. Rows of moveable, colored beads encourage learners to think in groups of fives and tens, helping them to explore and discover a variety of addition and subtraction strategies.

• Display 1 to 5 rows of beads, 10 beads per row. On the iPad, display up to 10 rows.
• Hide beads with the resizable shade, which allows teachers or learners to model subtraction or difference problems.
• Reverse the colors of rows 6 to 10 to distinguish (or not) groupings of 25 beads.
• Use the drawing tools to annotate work and show understanding
• Write equations and expressions with the text tool.

Pattern Shapes

Students use Pattern Shapes to explore geometry and fractions, creating their own designs, or filling in outlines. As they work with the shapes students explore geometric relationships, think about angles, investigate symmetry, and compose and decompose larger shapes. Many of these explorations lead naturally to thinking about fractions as parts of a whole.


  • Rotate shapes in increments of 15 degrees.
  • Duplicate and change the color and size of shapes.
  • Fill the built-in outlines with shapes or create your own.
  • Choose between a triangular or square grid, or use a blank background.
  • Use the drawing tools to annotate work and show understanding.
  • Write equations and expressions with the text tool.

Number Line

Number Line helps students visualize number sequences and model strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It can be used to represent sequences of numbers, including whole numbers and multiples of a variety of numbers.

Students can use what they know about number relationships and computation to identify missing elements of sequences shown on the number line.


  • Mark the number line with multiples of any whole number from 1 to 100.
  • Add and manipulate forward and backward jumps.
  • Hide and reveal numbers on the number line.
  • Use the drawing tools to annotate work and show understanding.
  • Write equations and expressions with the text tool.