## Math Doodles

Math Doodles is an app for iPad and iPhone. It is a ton of fun.

I was initially nonplussed but playing with Tabitha turned me around in a hurry.

Tabitha was playing the Connect Sums game by herself and guessing haphazardly. In this game, the player is shown a 4-by-4 grid of numbers, and is offered a target number. The goal is to click on numbers in the grid until you reach the target number. Then the numbers you used disappear and a new target is offered. Et cetera.

Haphazard guessing didn’t seem to be a particularly valuable activity for Tabitha, so I sat down with her. Our first target number was 12.

Me: What do you know about twelve?

Tabitha (five): That it has a 1 and a 2.

Me: Yes. Why does it have a 1?

T: Because when you count to twelve and write it, there’s a 1.

Me: I see. Actually it’s because twelve is made of 10 and 2. So if you can make 10, you can make 12.

T: Ten is two 5s. So 5-5-2.

Our next target number was 8.

Me: What do you know about 8?

T: That it’s two circles; one on top of the other.

Me: Yes. But what do you know about how much eight is?

T: I don’t know.

Me: Do you know a number that eight is more than, or less than?

T: It’s more than 6, but less than 10.

Me: Yes. How much less than 10?

T: Two less.

Me: Nice. So a minute ago, you did ten as 5 and 5. Now we need two less than that. Do you know what’s 2 less than 5?

T: Three. So 5 and 3.

Our next target number was 9.

Me: What do you know about 9?

T: One more than 8. So 5-3-1.

Our final target number in this round was 7.

T: That’s one less than 8.

Me: Yeah. But we don’t have a 5 this time.

T: Uh huh! Two and three!

Me: Oh nice. Two and three to get five. Then two more.

There was a whole lot of learning going on there. Of particular interest to me was her shift from numeration (how we write a number) to quantity (how much a number represents). In our first two rounds, she told me what the numbers looked like; she was telling me how to write numbers. In the third round, she told me about quantity when I asked. And in the last round, she knew to start with quantity.

Playing the game a few days later, when she was a bit less patient, we got stuck on the target number 11 on a board that had only 4s and 3s remaining. I couldn’t see how to use what she already knew to build towards 11 as 4-4-3.

I can, however, see that various decompositions of 10 are really useful, and that halves would be as well.

We’ll have to talk about those things.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

## Smart Notebook app now available

I am looking at my Gmail inbox and I see that Smart is announcing the release of their Notebook app for iPad. Before I read it, let me state that I know it’s going to offer integration of the iPad with the SmartBoard.

I know I’ll be able to control my Smart Board from my iPad with this app and a wifi connection, right? I can draw or write on the iPad as I move around the room and the image will appear on the Smart Board in real time. Right?

Now I’ll open the email.

Students can actively engage in personalized learning by creating basic multimedia files and completing SMART Notebook lesson activities using a choice of tools on their iPads. They can also learn collaboratively by saving files to work on at different times or by sharing the iPad screen to the SMART Board interactive whiteboard for whole-class discussion.

As personal devices become increasingly integrated into the classroom, SMART Notebook for iPad provides a versatile and highly anticipated option for your schools and districts.

That bolded text seems to hint at what I’m after. The following is from an online review:

A great app that lives up to its purpose. While on the outside it appears to be just a drawing app with no SMART Board connectivity (which is not the intent of the application,) the application lives up to SMART Product’s reputation. The application is perfect for small group instruction, to where the need of an actually SMART Board is unnecessary, or carrying a laptop across the room to pair it with an Interwrite pad can be tedious (in my position as a technology head and reading interventionist, painful…)

Hmmm…now I’m less hopeful.

Bob Jackman has done a really nice video overview of the app’s capabilities. But my feature doesn’t get addressed in it. (And by the way, the amount behind-the-scenes monkeying it must take to get these features up and running is astonishing.)

Seriously, “Can I control Notebook with my iPad?” is a question that has been asked many, many times in Smart Board sessions I have done. Teachers want these things to integrate with each other. I’m not convinced that they do yet.

The app is really intended for students to interact with a Notebook file on their own iPads. It costs \$6.99.