The fantastic primary maths iOS app called Pattern Shapes is free with no in-app purchases, so downloading it is a no-brainer. It’s very versatile and can be used throughout the primary age range.
Pattern Shapes is an open-ended educational tool that is ideal for use on iPads. It can be used with young children for identifying 2d shapes, geometric relationships, symmetry, tessellations and older children can explore fractions, perimeters and areas.
Shapes can be rotated in increments of 15 degrees and can be easily duplicated, resized or their colours changed. We really like how similar shapes easily slide together making it an easy tool for children to work with. You can use a blank background or choose between a triangular or square grid. There are drawing tools to annotate work. Another useful feature is the selection of blank outline silhouettes which children can fill with shapes. This activity is excellent for developing spatial awareness.
If you wish to give the resource a try before downloading it’s worth noting that it is also available online which is useful should you wish to demonstrate the tool on an Interactive Whiteboard. We link to the online version in our search engine too; just search for pattern shapes.
Ask any teacher what the worst things about the job are, and our guess is that the mountain paperwork that you accumulate over time, will be on the list.
We think help may be at hand, to reduce that stash of files where you store ideas, notes and course handouts that “may come in useful one day” – that is if you have a smartphone or tablet! There are apps available which allow you to digitise and store your documents. Here we compare two free apps which do this.
The first app is Evernote Scannable, a new release on iOS 8.0 or later, for users of the fabulous free Evernote. The second app is TinyScan, which is available for iOS 6.0 or later and also on Android.
With both, you place your document on a contrasting background and simply point your device’s camera at the document. It’s then saved as a PDF document without having to crop the image. Evernote Scannable also lets you combine multiple scans to create a single multi-page document. If the app does have a problem recognising a document, you can capture it yourself by switching to manual mode.
Whichever app you use, you will be able to save your digitised documents on your device, upload them to the cloud or your computer. One bonus of using Evernote Scannable is that the documents are searchable in Evernote, which makes them very easy to find – much quicker than trawling through all those paper files.
Other things these apps may be useful for is to digitise receipts or business cards. When you scan a card with Evernote Scannable, it picks up your contact’s details and adds them to your address book.
These two apps may not be the most feature-rich document scanning apps, but they’re free, simple and fast solutions to help you go paperless.