Top 5 Apps for Numeracy


Maths and Numeracy is an important focus for all aspects of learning. Just as with Literacy, there are a lot of applications out there that focus on the repetitive aspects of Maths, and while this is an important part of the learning process, applications which allow pupils to share their approaches to learning have been proven to deepen understanding and increase engagement.

Here are our top 5 applications for numeracy development.

Martin Coutts

  1. Explain Everything – this is by far the best application to use with pupils in not just numeracy, but any currcicular area. The interactive whiteboard in the hands of each pupil offers them the chance to create video walkthroughs of answering a question or sharing their understanding of a key concept or skill.
  2. MyScript Calculator – I know what you’re thinking; a calculator app on a Numeracy post. Big surprise, however, in terms of allowing pupils to quickly check their answer or increase their confidence, MyScript Calculator is the best free calculator app out there. Pupils are able to handwrite their calculation, MyScript converts it to text and completes the answer. This can then be shared as an image to verify the pupils did their working in the correct manner. Huge fan of this app and pupils think it’s pretty cool as well.
  3. PhotoMath – this is another app that has the cool factor. Encouraging pupils to think about the layout of their work, they are able to scan the equation or process using their iPad and have the app check the process and answer. Another great way to increase pupil confidence and take ownership of their learning.
  4. Mathboard – this was one of the first apps I used with my pupils when I got my iPad 5/6 years ago. Yes – the iPad was released in 2010. Amazing. This app was great for me as the only iPad in the class at the time was mine. This app creates multiple choice quizzes that are great for developing mental math skills. Either on a single teacher iPad mirrored to the board, or pupil devices, the app is a great choice.
  5. Book creator – finally, where do you show all of this evidence of achievement in numeracy? One choice, and one choice only. Book Creator is a great choice for schools looking to embed numeracy concepts across learning. Developing a pupil led ‘Preferred Methods’ ePub with video walkthroughs, sounds, images, all created by pupils can be a great way to establish a consistent approach to numeracy across currcicular areas in school.


Mat Pullen

  1. Seesaw.  Though this is a great app for sharing lots of things it is a nice easy introduction for younger children to using a whiteboard app to document their understanding of maths.
  2. Minecraft.  Just ask any class of children and you will hear about this programme. A great way for children to explore shape, dimension, area and so much more.
  3. Book Creator.  As above, the simplest way to document all of the learning but also an opportunity for teachers to make interactive exercise books.
  4. Maps.  Often overlooked in the classroom this app allows students to explore distances and time in an interactive way.
  5. Tickle.  Though this is bordering on the use of coding it is a great way to look at the numeracy involved in programming


Steve Bambury

  1. Math Shake – For me, Math Shake is the single best app for primary school. Not only does it allow for a huge range of differentiation whilst using the core word problem activity but it comes with a built in whiteboard complete with math tools and screencasting! Gold.
  2. Shape Lab – This is an excellent app for learning about 2D geometric shapes. Draw or insert shapes then play with symmetry, chop them into pieces and more. Bets of all students can take a photo then annotate it with the shapes they can identify,
  3. Little Digits – I love this vibrant app from Cowly Owl for EYFS students. It recognises how many fingers they are touching the screen with and moves from number recognition into simple addition and subtraction.
  4.   Storest – Brilliant shopping app for developing money related maths skills. Can be incorporated into some great roleplay by turning the iPad into a barcode scanner to use with QR coded produce cards that can be printed off.
  5. Dragonbox Algebra – This was always a favourite when I was teaching Year 6 maths. Students start learning algebra without even realising it. You’ll be amazed by how far their understanding can reach after just an hour with this app.

Dan Oakes

  1. Spark Video (formally Adobe Voice) – This is such an awesome app that can be used across all areas of the curriculum. In Maths it can be used to make ‘Maths Problem Movies’ that require the children to listen and then solve a calculation. With a ‘Mastery’ hat on it can also be used to get the children to create a short movie explaining the process they went through to solve a problem.
  2. Motion Math Pizza – I think possibly my favourite maths app. You are the owner of a Pizza shop and must purchase ingredients at the most competitive price and then make different Pizzas to have on your menu. Once you’ve decided how much to charge for each Pizza the customers begin coming in and asking to buy them. You have to quickly calculate the total cost for what they’ve asked for before they get bored of waiting and leave. The aim of the game is to make as much profit as possible over the course of the game.
  3. Quick Math+ – A great app to improve quick recall of number facts. First set your ability level and then prepare to have questions fired at you. The great thing about this app is that just like ‘MyScript Calculator’ you can handwrite your answer anywhere on the screen so you’re not prohibited by having to be able to type quickly.
  4. Math Duel – Brilliant app. A two player game where you must compete against your opponent in real time. The iPad acts as a table with each end being your control panel. You can set the difficulty level for each player which means you can play against virtually anyone. You have to answer the questions faster than your opponent to win. This is always a favourite in my class.
  5. Questimate – Children have always struggled with approximation. This app asks the children to create their own questions e.g. ‘How many footballs could you fit in a bath tub’, and then answer them. Great fun for a Teacher v Class type activity!

Matt Smith

  1. Explain Everything – one of the most versatile apps out there at the moment.  This is a must have for developing oracy to impact mathematical understanding and is appropriate for a wide range of age groups.  Superb for ‘Physical Maths’ – using manipulatives to explain abstract concepts.
  2. I can Animate – when it comes to developing understanding of shape, animation is an often underused tool; however, it is fantastic for explaining all areas of transformation.
  3. Talk Maths – a range of apps that focus on the verbal explanation of number relationships.   With the ability to play with peers, students can engage in a variety of activities that require logical thinking and number reasoning.   Fantastic app!
  4. Geoboard – a very simple yet effective app.  If you want something straight forward that allows students to create 2D shapes using rubber bands then this is a winner!  Mix this in with Explain Everything for a superb app combo that makes shape a much more engaging topic.
  5. Tickle – as an advocate for Programming as a learning tool, you can’t go wrong with this app.  Link to a variety of drones and your students can explore topics such as multiplication and angles whilst introducing them to Computational Thinking concepts.

Simon Pile

  1. Minecraft – it blurs the lines between home and school, but without doubt volume, fractions, data handling, ratio and much more are ridiculously engaging within the game.
  2. Explain Everything – the best way for pupils to share their thinking and video their thought processes. The collaboration is brilliant when problem solving.
  3. Right Move – that’s right! It’s about large numbers and tackling up to 10 million. It’s about measurement, perimeter, area and so much more. Right Move is a powerful maths app.
  4. iDinosaur AR – you put a little dinosaur on the table. You estimate how many dinosaurs make the height of the teacher. You work out the volume of a cage to keep him in. Then you make him life size and let the Mathematical investigations grow.
  5. Keynote – the easiest way to deal with rotation of shape, translation and reflection. You can do innovate shape work as well as patterns lower down the school.

Stuart Hammersley

  1. Book Creator – used as a ‘hub’ for all the mathematical learning in my classroom. Each week we start a new ‘learning journal’ add our photographs, videos, spoken word, writing and typing, along with learning intentions and marking. Simple and effective!

  2.  MyScript Calculator – a great tool to check the answer that has been given, also make sure that the children are accurately writing the ‘number sentence’ to be calculated.

  3. PingPong – used all the time in my classroom, like a set of mini whiteboards but digital, send a blank screen to the children they write the answer, sum or anything and submit it back to the teacher! This info can be saved with names next to each screen! 

  4. RNG (Random Number Generator) – sometimes coming up with questions for the children to answer can be boring. With RNG the children take control of the questions, set the range of the numbers needed and the quantity, the rest is simple! 

  5. SeeSaw – children can easily record videos, take pictures or create drawings that can then be voice recorded onto to show their learning and mathematical understanding. These can easily be added to their learning journal and sent to individual folders for each topic.


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