Raising student achievement with interactive apps

Raising student achievement with interactive apps

Guest post by Robert Knilands, Twitter: @unitcirclerummy

For teachers who are looking to integrate technical components into their lessons, a new set of apps provides that opportunity. The 4OAK math apps allow students to develop their skills inside and outside the classroom. Teachers don’t need to create game boards or quizzes; they can simply blend the apps into their units. They can be used for formative and summative assessment, as the teacher chooses.

The apps include:

Unit Circle Rummy for trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. Students match a set of degrees, radians, and coordinates, and then place the set in the correct place on the unit circle.

Angle Connections for geometry. Students identify a pair of angles in a category and then place them in the correct locations along parallel lines and a transversal.

Trinomial Scales for algebra. Students factor a trinomial. Feedback, both visual and in word form, is provided if the student answers incorrectly.

Math game page

Teachers can use the apps as a SmartBoard presentation, and they can have the students practice with them in a 1:1 setting. These formats also allow for small-group work if the teacher chooses.

Students who have used the apps have shown above-average growth on standardized assessments.

To obtain the apps, teachers can request a block of licenses at the website www.unitcirclerummy.com.

At the site, a demonstration is available on the landing page. Once teachers have obtained their licenses, they can assign them to students. The only information that is collected is a student’s name and e-mail address so the student can create an account and set up a password (which is encrypted). No other student information is gathered.

Conferences and demonstrations can be scheduled by sending an e-mail to unitcirclerummy@gmail.com.


What are the benefits of integrating the apps with a lesson?

The primary benefit is the teacher can still present the lesson in a preferred format. For example, if a teacher wants to use 30-60-90 or 45-45-90 triangles to introduce the radian values on the unit circle, that option is still available. The Unit Circle Rummy app can then be used to build thinking and memory skills. Teachers also can choose whether to have timed “races” among students or groups of students.

English Language Learners

The apps are excellent for use with English Language Learners, as they are highly visual and pattern-based. Feedback is structured in a format that can be interpreted quickly.

Extended use of license keys

A license key stays with a student throughout school. So a student who starts out with Trinomial Scales could theoretically use the 4OAK apps all the way through to pre-calculus or calculus when Unit Circle Rummy would be the most beneficial.

In addition, license-key holders receive all updates to the apps, as well as access to new apps that are developed.


The apps are located on a secure Web site, so no information is downloaded or uploaded. Students provide basic information to set up an account and a password that is encrypted. No additional information is requested from students.

Contact information: E-mail: unitcirclerummy@gmail.com

Twitter: @unitcirclerummy

URL: www.unitcirclerummy.com