Web-Based Math Differentiation in Elementary Schools

Different Learning Paths for Different Students
Different Learning Paths for Different Students

It’s apparent that student achievement data, in many different forms (formative, standardized, norm-referenced, common assessments, etc.) is becoming increasingly valued by administrators and teachers alike.   Teacher PLC teams analyze this data to become more aware of strengths/concerns and differentiate their instruction accordingly.   Instead of whole group instruction, teachers are beginning, or already using guided groups to meet the diverse academic needs of their classroom.

Once needs are identified, teachers put together plans to address the needs in the classroom. Generally, teachers utilize guided reading/math groups, small groups, resource specialists, to meet the needs of individual students, whether the needs are remedial or for enrichment purposes.  One of the goals is to meet the need with some type of teacher support or intervention; although this is not always possible with time constraints and limited staffing.  Have time to be able to individualize instruction is vital for any teacher.  At times, time and staffing limit the amount of differentiation that can occur.  Teachers continue to look for ways to supplement their instruction for differentiation in and outside of their classroom.  Which leads me to this question …

What free online tools can be used to supplement math differentiation in and outside of the classroom?

Note:  All of the tools below are aligned to the Common Core Standards and can be accessed at school or home.  I’m not suggesting that these tools replace school interventions, but they may be helpful if used appropriately.  Click the pictures to enlarge.


MobyMax is an adaptive online curriculum provider that creates individual education plans for students.  Student take a pre-assessment that seems to be fairly accurate (at least in my opinion).  The pre-assessment determines where to start instruction and helps students practice skills that they haven’t yet mastered.  Student data is collected on every lesson and problem that is completed, so progress monitoring is quite painless.  Mobymax also has an app for easy access.

MobyMax - You can assign specific concepts for differentiation
MobyMax – You can assign specific concepts for differentiation


Scootpad is another adaptive curriculum provider that enables teachers to assign specific CCSS concepts to individual students.  Teachers determine the mastery level and they are able to keep track of individual student progress.  As of right now, there aren’t any lessons associated with the questions.

Scootpad - You can analyze performance on specific concepts
Scootpad – You can analyze performance on specific concepts


TenMarks is used to introduce or reinforce teaching in the classroom.  Students are able to review online lessons and are asked questions related to the topic.  Teachers are able to track student progress over time with TenMarks.

TenMarks - Allows lessons to be interactive with feedback
TenMarks – Lessons are interactive with feedback


Xtramath is designed to help students improve their math computation fluency.  This isn’t a program that’s for everyone.  I’ve found that students who need practice with multiplication/division tables benefit from this web-based intervention.  The program is very user-friendly and has a progress monitoring component which seems beneficial.

XtraMath - Students practice math computation facts
XtraMath – Students practice math computation facts

Photo credit: weesen via photopin cc

What tools do you use to differentiate instruction in/out of the classroom?

iPad Apps for Math Intervention

IPad Apps for Math Intervention

Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting with guided math strategies in my classroom. One station in my classroom has been dubbed as the technology table. This table has been primarily used to differentiate  instruction to improve students’ understanding of mathematical concepts.  I’ve been using the tech table for the past few months with great success. There are five iPad apps that are used at this table.  Unlike many math apps that offer only demo versions, I’ve found the below apps to be useful in the classroom.

5 Dice

This app is the newest addition to my iPads for intervention list.  This app emphasizes order of operations for upper elementary and middle school students.  The game encourages students to use multiple dice to find the “target” number.  A whiteboard is built into the game for students to work out problem.  Progress reports can be emailed to the teacher for formative assessment data.

photo (1)

Splash Math – Grade 3

This app is used to differentiate math instruction and assigned practice.  What I like so much about this app is the variety of concepts that I’m able to individualize.  For example, if a student needs additional work on the concept of time, then I can setup the app to only give questions related to time. Questions first appear simple, but then become more challenging as questions are answered correctly.  If you prefer, Splash Math will send you a weekly update indicating the progress of each student.

Math Blaster Hyper Blast 

This app is used to improve computation fluency.  This interactive app has a quick tutorial to teach students how to move the main character through a variety of mazes.  Students control a space vehicle that inevitably encounters an octopus type of creature.  Students must answer computation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) questions to defeat the boss.

Factor Samurai

Factor Samurai is an app geared towards emphasizing the concepts of prime and composite numbers.  Basically, numbers fly into the air and the student is expected to slice the composite numbers with their fingers.  If it’s a prime number, then the student leaves the number alone.  Some composite numbers can be sliced multiple times.


ScootPad can be used to individualize practice in your classroom.  I’m able to assign specific students certain Common Core objectives to practice. After a student completes an assigned section, they are allowed to see all of the correct answers.  Scootpad will also send the teacher a statistical report of the progress made by individual students.  I’d also like to note that Scootpad can also be used on a PC or MAC.

Honorable Mentions: 

 Math 7

 Sail Through Math

 Divisibility Dash

Equivalent Fractions

Rocket Math

update:  02/03/13

I’ve been asked by a number of people what apps I would recommend to an elementary teacher.  I decided to create a quick chart to help.

Elementary Apps

So, what math iPad apps do you use in your classroom?