Check out These Challenging Online Math Tools for Gifted Kids


This is a guest post by Joseph Rodriguez

While many educators agree that it is essential to improve the quality of math education in our public schools, a debate persists about how it should be done. Do we work with the students who are struggling, so that they can do better? Or do we push the students who are excelling, so they can move on to even greater things? Budgets are tight and many schools are pushed to decide one path or the other. Fortunately, many online resources can challenge gifted math students with new coursework and an outlet for their ingenuity. Here’s what you should know if you’re an educator or parent in need of inspiration.

1. Challenge Math Online

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Challenge Math is meant for students in grades 2-6 who have shown great talent for mathematics and who are eager for an extra outlet. It’s set up with two semesters of coursework, a fall and a spring, which can be done separately or together. It focuses on problem-solving strategies suitable for their age group, including diagrams, lists, logic, and learning how to work backwards from a solution. An early start on cultivating a love for math can go a long way in a child’s education, and learning how to solve problems logically is a useful skill in many contexts.

2. Math Zoom

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Math Zoom is another rigorous, yet fun, math course for students who have demonstrated an excellence in the subject. It has both an in-person and online options, and both provide training for students who would like to enter into mathematics competitions. Like many of these courses, they focus on areas of math and problem solving which go beyond what the typical classroom can provide. In addition, they offer a deep level of analytical, logical, and problem solving training which can help them when taking advanced high school or university level math courses. The Math Zoom academy provides training and coaching to push gifted students into their full potential and help them experience the brilliant world of mathematics firsthand.

3. Omega Math

Omega Math is affiliated with Woodbury University and offers online math courses for both credit and non-credit options. It has a full range of class levels, from basic math skills all the way up to Calculus III. For people who love math and want to further their understanding of it at any level with the option of getting extra college credit, this is a great resource. It is entirely online, so the learning can happen on your own or with help from the online tutors, and upon passing the course, a student will have a college transcript and list of credits when taken with the credit option. There’s even a business calculus option for those interested in learning how calculus can relate to real world business problems. More info on great careers for math wizzes can be found at

4. Alumcus

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Alumcus is a free online set of mathematics courses designed to get harder as the student learns more and becomes capable of more advanced calculations. Also, if a certain topic becomes harder to pass, there are more problems which can be added into the curriculum to give extra practice. There are built-in progress reports, so everyone can see where they’ve done the best and where they need extra work, to give the student a genius-level degree of understanding what they know and what they’ve improved upon.

Math carries with it very important problem solving and logic skills which can be applied to anyone’s life. It is very important, therefore, that students with a gift for math develop their skills as fully as possible, or that talent will not be properly strengthened.

Joseph Rodriguez writes all about math and education. His recent work is on the best Masters programs in Math in the US.


6 Incredibly Useful High School Math Apps for iOS

This is a guest post by Christine Maddox

Technology is a huge part of teenage lives today. Modern high school students are comfortable with technology, and just about every one of them has access to a smartphone, tablet or computer. Technology also has something of a negative stigma. Parents are usually looking for ways to limit screen time. This technology, however, can have positive uses and impacts on student lives. There are a variety of useful math apps students can download for free or very cheap to their iPhone or iPad.


1) Graphing Calculators

There are a variety of apps, some free and some for a few bucks, that turn an iPhone into a full graphing calculator. Gone are the days when parents were forced to spend $80 or more on graphing calculators for their students’ algebra and geometry classes. This math app for high schoolers does everything you would expect from a graphing calculator, including draw functions and perform advanced calculations.

2) Algebra Touch

This $3 app gives students an algebra tutor right on their phone. The Algebra Touch math app provides a series of lessons and practice problems that explore the concepts of middle and high school algebra. The app is great for visual learners because students can swipe to manipulate the problem right on their screen. The app also provides step-by-step instructions for students who are struggling to learn the concepts.

3) Math Pro

This $2 app is like downloading an interactive math textbook to a smartphone. The app covers all areas of high school math, including algebra 1 and 2, geometry, probability, statistics, trigonometry and calculus. The app has an incredible amount of information and content for its price. While it is not as game-like as other teaching tools, it does give students the tutorials, examples and practice they need to be successful in their math classes.

4) SAT Up

While this free app is not strictly a math app, SAT Up covers math, critical reading and writing as presented on the SAT exam. The SAT is an important part of any high school student’s life, and its scores have a large impact on that student’s access to colleges and chance of academic scholarships. Math is a key area on the SAT, and preparing for the math section of the test usually takes some hard work on the student’s part. This app gives students hundreds of practice SAT questions so they can get accustomed to what the test contains and get an idea of how they might score. It will also help them identify weak areas where they could use some more practice or tutoring.

5) Formulas Free

This free app is a database of important math formulas covering all areas of high school math and beyond. Students often struggle with math questions because they cannot recall the proper formula or are unable to find that formula in their textbook. This is an excellent companion study too to help students who may be drowning in formulas.

6) Math.

This high school math app is free and has an incredible level of useful content. The app covers all areas of math with multiple courses and hundreds of lessons per course. The lessons are delivered via video recording, so students can listen to instructions and watch examples as if they had a live tutor. This is a great option for students who may be struggling to learn from textbooks alone and need more instruction beyond their class time.

Apps can be a great way to support your child’s learning. Rather than taking technology away, reinforce that there are positive and constructive ways to use that technology. Especially if you have a struggling student, these apps and others like them can put your child back on the path to success.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @


More Mental Maths Tricks from the Teacher’s Maths Test


This is a guest post by Adrian Beckett maths tutor extraordinaire!

In my last blog post on the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Skills Mental Maths Test, Can You Pass the Maths Test For Teachers, we looked at the all-important times tables.  Without them, so much of maths becomes more difficult, and for those intrepid trainee teachers doing the QTS Skills Test, if they don’t know them there chances of passing the test becomes much less. Math tricks

In this post, I’ll be looking at how to answer a question from the QTS Skills Test which involves multiplying three numbers using mental maths. This is the sort of question we are looking at:

 100 pupils correctly completed a sponsored spelling test of 56 words.

Each pupil was sponsored at 5p per word. How much did the pupils raise in total?

  The prerequisite knowledge is

  1. Knowing your times tables
  2. Being able to multiply a number by a multiple of 10 (simple enough – just add on the zeros)

You are faced with this sum: 100 x 56 x 5 As you have very little time in the QTS Skills Mental Maths Test – only 18 seconds, you can’t rely on short multiplication alone to answer it and you need to identify quickly which order to multiply the numbers and how to multiply.

Check out this video post:

Adrian Beckett and his band of London Maths Tutors offer maths tuition for students and workshops for maths teachers in person and over Skype. He also blogs about maths learning for children and adults, those all important maths exams and dyscalculia at

If your child struggles with the times tables, check out my 31 Days to Faster Times Tables product to help your child to faster, more confident times tables

Inside the Head of a Maths Parent: Math Four Interviews Maths Insider


I’m taking a 1 month break from posting new posts here on Maths Insider while I work on other projects. In the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting some posts I’ve written here and on other websites that you may have missed. Enjoy!

I’m a big fan of the Math Four blog run by Bon Crowder. She’s an expert at talking straight when it comes to helping kids with maths. I love the idea of her Mathematician Parent series where she interviews real life maths educators and asks them how they use maths with their own kids. I was excited to share my own family maths experiences in this interview on the Math Four website. Here’s an extract:

MathFour: How do you play with your kids? In particular, what kind of math play do you do compared with non-math play?

Caroline: We talk a lot about maths, we like showing them You Tube videos or Ted Talks related to maths or science, but we also try to expose them to different things like poetry, anthropology, and business.

MathFour: Do you think you speak with your children or behave differently than other parents because you have a math background?

…..Read more…

Check out the other fascinating Mathematician Parent interviews in the series!