App Makes Math Fun

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 2:20pm

Teacher creates iPod app to replace worksheets.

Students at St. Paul School in Carroll County, Virginia have seen iPods take the place of textbooks.

Kellie Worrell, a 7th grade math teacher who helped spearhead the effort to wean students off textbooks, has taken technology in the classroom a step further.

“The students love the iPods. They seem more engaged. So, I wanted to try and convert my worksheets to an 'app,'” said Worrell.

“It makes it better, and easier to understand,” said student Coby Busick.

Worrell partnered with a programmer to create the new app "BrainStars," because of what she says is a lack of apps for middle school students.

“There are very few that address the standards that we try to teach in middle school math. So my 'app' is aligned with the Virginia standards, as well as the national standards,” said Worrell.

The app was released on iTunes and consists of activities where students click and move animals with math problems to correct answers.

A practice level corrects any wrong answer, while a test level gives a percent correct score.

Students can use the app to complete math problems using technology, while Worrell also lets them create their own math problems using worksheets that could be featured on the apps' website.

“I kind of like dragons a whole lot, so I made one that had dragons and castles,” said Busick.

So while Worrell hopes her creation will make learning more fun, she is also aiming to inspire.

“I hope that will be a good example for them that if they have a good idea they can pursue it,” said Worrell.

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