Archive | July, 2012

Tasty Math – Multiplying Acorns

30 Jul

Multiplying Acorns is the third app in Operatio’s Tasty Math App series, the others in the series being Adding Apples and Subtracting Sardines.  It is aimed at young children learning the concept of multiplication, but the characters would be attractive to older students with special needs.  This app is a little different to others in the series, in that it has several learning activities, and some mini-games that are unlocked as rewards for progress.

As with other Apps in the series,  three user profiles are available and these are represented by three squirrels that greet you as you launch the App.  You can assign a name to each squirrel.  Tap on one of the squirrels to start the game.  The screen resembles a large calculator, and a squirrel is there to prompt children to start multiplying.

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Play Time with Toca Boca Apps

23 Jul

Kids all home sick? Rainy day? Need some kind of tidying-up incentive? Toca Boca to the rescue. I’ve been downloading Toca Boca games for my children as they earn them by good behaviour, extra jobs around the house, and as the odd treat for sick children. We don’t have all of them, but it is only a matter of time until we do get them. I’ve invited some guest reviewers, my children, to give their opinions. [Comments in square brackets – like these – are mine.] Before they do, let me just a few things that I find great about these Apps:

  • The Apps are intuitive and easy to use. You don’t need to be able to read or speak any particular language, so every the activities are accessible for everyone.
  • Even though they have no spoken or written language, the Toca Boca Apps give rise to a lot of oral language opportunities. To take advantage of these opportunities, play the Apps with your child, and encourage siblings and friends to play with them too.
  • The Apps focus on everyday experiences, such as housework, meals and haircuts. They are familiar to children, and yet still manage to offer little surprises.  They may be good for helping to prepare children for such things as trips to the hair dresser.
  • It is easy to make the links between the App and activities in the real world.
  • The graphics are just beautiful.
  • Although designed for young children, the characters still appeal to my older pre-teen children and may be helpful for older children with special needs developing language and turn-taking skills. Some, such as the kitchen, hair cut and housework apps, might relate to social situations that the child is learning to deal with.
  • The price for each app is more than reasonable. You’d be amazed at how motivated my children will be if I hold up one of these apps as a carrot.
  • No in-app purchases.  There is some discreet advertising (in the form of icons promoting other Toca Boca Apps) that appears on the home screen, but you can turn that off. Continue reading

Tasty Math – Subtracting Sardines

15 Jul

Subtracting Sardines is the second title in Operatio’s Tasty Math Series.  As with Adding Apples, children are presented with a large calculator-like screen with a friendly character, in this case a penguin,  inviting them to choose a number.

Children select a number and see that number represented by blue sardines that tumble on to the screen.  They then select a number to subtract and watch as the number of subtracted sardines turn into skeletons. Children count the remaining sardines, each of which is frozen in a block of ice as they are tapped, while the skeletons disappear in a puff of smoke.  Sardines can be dragged, ice and all, around the screen.  Operatio has come up with a good way to show a difficult concept is a great way to show that something has been taken away, and it works well when the child has selected a number to subtract that is equal or lesser than the first number, but then things become……confusing. Continue reading

Tasty Math – Adding Apples

13 Jul

Adding Apples is the first in a series of three Tasty Math Apps by Operatio, the others being Subtracting Sardines and Multiplying Acorns.  Versions are available for both iPhone and iPad (see links below).   I intend to post reviews of all three Apps in the series, but I’m starting with what I think is the best in the series. Continue reading

4 Jul

There are several versions of Speech with Milo on the App store. This review by Andrea Flynn of the Speech ‘N Teach Apps blog might be useful for those of you who have students or children with special needs.

Price: $2.99

Seller: Poorani Doonan

Tablet: iPad

Educational Aspect(s):

  • Sequencing
  • Storytelling and/or retelling
  • Time concept (first, next, last)
  • Increasing utterance length
  • Developing complex sentences
  • Improving grammatical skills

Description:

35 sequencing exercises using animation to keep children engaged. Created by a licensed Speech- Language Pathologist to help children develop sequencing and storytelling skills.

Review:

The Speech with Milo: Sequencing app available on the App Store is a fun and innovative way for children to learn.  The app is simple to navigate, user friendly, easy to manipulate, and is laid out in a logical manner.  From a therapist’s perspective, it allows us to target many speech and language goals all while playing on the iPad.  A feature Speech with Milo: Sequencing would benefit from would be introducing a “Levels” feature.  This app is great for beginners starting out with simple three-step sequencing. However, for kids who need more of a challenge this…

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School Writing – the Must-Have App for all schools

2 Jul School Writing screen shot featuring "Sarah's iPad" in beginner script

School Writing App iconSchool Writing by Demografix is an App I’ve meant to review for some time.  It has handwriting fonts for Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.  You might be mistaken for thinking it is only a handwriting App, when it is really a versatile App that can be used across the curriculum and is suitable for all ages. This App is for iPad only, but iPhone and iPod Touch users should still keep reading as there Demografix has an iPhone App, School Fonts, that is very similar, lacking only one of the major activities. Continue reading

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