What is it? CAST, a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand educational opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning, has released two research-based educational games that teach essential math reasoning and problem-solving skills. Finding patterns or functions, creating models, working with variables, and making predictions are just some of the skills the puzzles help develop. The puzzles are not tied to any particular curriculum or content, so they can be used at different grade levels and ages. Demonstrating universal design for learning (UDL) principles—which call for flexible, learner-friendly approaches—the puzzles can be solved via multiple strategies.
Best for: Any age
Price: Both are free
Requirements: Both are compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Rated: Both are 4+
Features: MathSquared puzzles are grid-based that use basic math operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. MathScaled has a balance-scale format to support understanding of equations, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. The goal is to place the shapes on the balance scale so that the scale is balanced. Teachers will find tips for integrating the puzzles into their lessons, short tutorial videos, and specifics about using the digital puzzles to support student persistence on the freely available iSolveIt website.
Links: MathSquared: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/isolveit-mathsquared/id594938855?ls=1&mt=8