Number Representation App Smashing with PicCollage

By: Dina Estes

Having hands on manipulatives during math instruction is key for student’s understanding in grades K-2. When you are teaching number representations, whether it be to numbers to 20, 120, or 1,200, it can be hard for teachers to find ways to easily integrate technology. App smashing is an easy way for students to practice showing what they know and to keep student’s work digitally. You will be able to save it for documentation purposes, parent conferences, or just to print to have colorful work on your bulletin boards. The PicCollage app works great for app smashing with several free math apps such as Schoolkit Math, Number line, and Number Pieces Basic.

An easy way to use PicCollage would be to have students to take pictures of how they represented the number with your classroom materials/manipulatives. This could be with ten frames, base 10 blocks, cubes, etc. Another great idea is to have them use the add stickers option in PicCollage to represent that number. Then, have them add their pics to PicCollage and label their representations using the add text option.

If you feel that your kids are ready to handle more, you could have them use apps such as Schoolkit Math, Number Line, and Number Pieces Basic to represent a number. Next, have them take screenshots to save them as photos. Then, add them to PicCollage and label each type of representation using the add text option.

Now in math, you always want to know how and what your students are thinking. This is where app smashing is beneficial for teachers and super fun for students! After they have completed their PicCollage, simply upload it into 30hands Pro or another app in which voice recording is an option. Have them explain how they used the materials/manipulatives from the classroom or the math app options to represent their number.

You may be thinking this is a lot of steps. I promise you they can do it. I modeled this several times for my K-1 students while airplaying on the SmartBoard. Then, had them practice with a partner on an iPad. For an assessment, I gave every student a different number in which they completed the same task independently on an iPad. This is built in differentiation at its best! If you have students who have mastered numbers to 120, just give them a more challenging number to represent.

All of the apps I have referenced are free, except for 30hands Pro. It costs $6.99 in the app store. Schoolkit Math has many tools including a hundreds chart.

Click here to see a completed student project and how she used PicCollage, the math apps, and 30hands Pro to app smash.  


Dina Estes has taught for 7 years in Lewisville ISD. She currently teaches K-1 Multiage. She integrates technology into her classroom daily and is innovative in ways to use technology to engage the youngest learners. She loves sharing with other
teachers ways to use technology to enhance the learning standards, andmake learning fun! Dina and her teammate Kerry Woods have been presenters at the TCEA Convention and Tots and Technology Convention sharing their love of K-2 technology integration while highlighting how little learners can be technology producers not just consumers. You can follow her on Twitter @MrsEstes8.



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