Tag Archives: Educational Apps

Tap Tangram by PKCLsoft

16 Mar

taptangramsappiconPKCLsoft has come up with a new game combining trivia, Mathematics and tangrams that will appeal to teachers and parents.  The game is simple to use while being highly customisable to suit a wide range of ages and abilities.

Playing the game

Tap Tangram is very simple to use. Single player and Multiplayer games operate in much the same way:

  1. Select the number of tangram puzzles you wish to complete from options of 1, 3, 5 or 10 (depending on how long you wish the game to last.)
  2. Select a puzzle from the many options. Multiplayer contestants can choose different puzzles from each other if they wish.
  3. Tap Go to begin the game.
  4. Answer the question by either typing in the correct number or selecting the correct multiple choice answer.
  5. Correct answers result in a tan being added to your player scratch pad that can be used immediately or held until later.
  6. Drag tan pieces to the working area and move, flip and rotate them to create the tangram.

Multiplayer games also have a race element where players try to beat their opponents in completing their tangrams.

IMG_5245Multiplayer Games

You can play with two players on a single iPad or iPad 6+ in a beat-the-clock game, or up to six players over wifi.  If you answer 3 questions correctly in a row in the multiplayer game, you may request a tan from another player.  A player that assists another by giving them a tan will receive extra points.  As each player is playing at their own level, children operating at a higher level will not have an unfair advantage over other players. (Hmmmmmm.  This could be a good way to determine who picks tonight’s DVD or other little sibling squabbles.)

You can see Tap Tangram in action in the YouTube app trailer below.

Mathematics skills

Maths questions are presented as either  equations  or as sentences, and students answer by either typing in the number or selecting the correct answer from four multiple choice options.  Questions focus on the four operations:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Division
  • Multiplication

You can fine-tune Mathematics questions by selecting a difficulty level and adjusting the number range, making the app suitable for children aged from about 6 years to 12 or even older.

Trivia Questions

You can turn this option on or off, but I think it adds a little fun to the task.  So far I’ve been asked trivia questions related to popular culture, movies (such as Star Wars), Geography, literature, Sport, and Science and Nature, but the list seems quite extensive and I haven’t had the same question twice.  Each question has 4 answers to choose from.

IMG_5238Tangrams

Each correct answer gives you a tangram piece that you can then add to your tangram picture, or save to add later after you have earned a few more pieces.  (Personally, I find it easier to earn all my pieces first and then solve the puzzle, but you may differ.) You can tap on a piece to bring it to the work area, then tap to rotate, flip and move the piece to the desired spot, and even lock it into place.  You can also move the piece by dragging.  The information section on the main page, marked by a big question mark, has some detailed instructions that are illustrated and animated to help you if you have difficulties.

Most people are familiar with tangrams.  They originated in China, possibly during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and made their way to Europe in the 19th century.  Apart from the entertainment value that a puzzle brings, tangrams are also very useful in Mathematics.  They are useful in teaching geometry, logic, fractions ratio and more.  You can google “tangrams in mathematics” to come up with endless material on why this little puzzle game is a very good Mathematics, but I’ve just included a link below to an excellent article about the use of tangrams in Education that might be of interest.

Tangram in Mathematics for Lower Secondary School – Jaroslav Brincková, Miroslav Haviar and Iveta Dzúriková

Customising Tap Tangrams

User Profiles:  Tap Tangram has been designed with the classroom in mind, although the classroom-friendly features also work well with families who will have multiple children using the app at different levels of ability. Teachers can add unlimited individual student profiles, and for each profile can:

  • Set level of difficulty and number ranges
  • Select which operations they wish to concentrate on
  • Opt for multiple choice answers only.
  • Monitor who each child performs at their mathematics tasks as the app records:
    • total scores
    • accuracy of answers in each game
    • speed for answering each question.

Avatars:  Children can customise avatars via their profile page. Just tap the avatar to access the simple  controls.  You can change:

  • Skin tone
  • Eyes
  • Eyebrows
  • Nose
  • Hair style and colour (after you choose a style, you are the. Prompted to choose a colour)
  • Mouth
  • Accessories

 

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 Wish List

There is so much to love about this app that it is hard to come up with a wish list, but I’ll just put it out there that I’d love to be able to put in my list of trivia questions.  If I could do that, perhaps I could relate it to homework or get them to come up with their own questions.

Verdict

It is clear that PKCLsoft has designed this app with the classroom in mind and I think it fits really well.  I can see the app being used to reinforce content learned in class, building speed and accuracy with basic facts and mental arithmetic, and perhaps used as a motivational tool.  That is even before you get to the tangrams activity!


Developer: PKCLsoft
Universal. Requires iOS 7.0 or later
Price: $4.49

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Apps for Money Skills Part 3: Academy Coins

27 May

app iconThe third app in my Money App review series is Academy Coins by Wesley Dyson.  The app has currencies for Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and the Euro.  Unfortunately the app is limited to coins so children don’t get to work with notes.

Activities

Academy Coins has activities that range from very basic coin recognition to the more advanced addition  with currency.  The levels are unlocked as children progress through the levels, although you can unlock all levels via an in-App purchase for $1.29

  • What are Coins? Cheat Sheet – Identifying coins. The “tails” side of each coin appears with the amount written in words, in different currency forms (e.g. as dollars and as cents) and there is a description of the images on the coin.  (I love that Canadians Have Loonies and Toonies.  We have plenty of Loonies in Australia, but unfortunately you’ll find them running the country rather than in your wallet.)
  • Dollars or Cents? – A coin is displayed along with a numerical value, and you need to select whether the amount is shown in dollars or in cents.  5c may be displayed as 0.05 or as 5, and children will need to select the appropriate symbol. Although the title of the activity doesn’t change, the currency symbols change for the Euro and the Pound.
  • Matching with Numbers – Match the coin to it’s numerical value by dragging it into the appropriate slot.
  • Matching with Words – This is identical to Matching with Numbers, except the values are shown as words.
  • How Much Money? There are three levels to this activity, each getting progressively more difficult.  Level one begins with coins with lower value coins (less than a dollar) and larger value coins and amounts are added in levels 2 and 3.
  • Making Change Subtraction  – Show a given amount as coins.  I can’t really see where the subtraction is in this activity.  I would have imagined an activity in this category to be more of a shopping style activity, e.g. buy an item for $1.75, pay with a $2 coin and select the correct change. Instead, this activity is really an addition activity, and I like that children can use any combination of coins to make the correct amount. There are two levels of difficulty.
  • Sum it Up – This is a addition with regrouping using currency symbols.  Level 1 uses the cents symbol (or pence) and Level 2 uses the dollar/Euro/Pound symbol.  Some children may need a paper and pencil handy to work things out.

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Other Features

  • You can drag coins around the screen, which can help when adding or by sorting into value.
  • Reporting is  very basic and gives you a percentage figure for each activity and level.  (I had to turn notifications off on my iPad; it tends to nag you if you haven’t used the app for a while.)
  • The one app has 5 different currencies.  While you’ll probably only use one, it is fascinating for children to see the similarities and differences between the different international coins. This is one of the few apps I own that has currency for the United Kingdom.  The images of the coins are excellent quality.
  • Parent controls are protected by a password and allow you to turn off In-App purchases and sharing features, and reset progress reports.

Wish List

  • Feedback needs to be more supportive.  It would be great for children to have a clue as to why they have made errors, e.g. “that is too much” or “that is not enough money.”
  • Faster progression through questions – The app is a little slow to progress through questions as each successful answer results in fanfare and fireworks (or other visual display) and then a prompt to go on to the next question. My boys found it a bit frustrating, even with the positive affirmations. They actually found it faster to answer the question correctly, leave the activity and reenter it.
  • All levels should be able to unlock without the in-App purchase.  If teachers are to use this app in a classroom, they really need to know what the activities are like in advance.  At $3.75 Aus, I believe you’ve already paid enough.
  • I know the name is Academy Coins, but it isn’t really comprehensive without the notes.
  • Individual Profiles – for use in schools or families with more than one child, individual profiles are an advantage.
  • The Tutorial should be more comprehensive with information about each of the activities in the app, particularly if these are locked.  Currently it lets you choose your currency and has a single image telly you that you can collect stars, and you can tap to play. There is nothing about the different activities or their aims, how many questions you need to answer to progress, and what the progress reports mean.

Verdict

Academy Coins could be a useful app for basic money skills of coin recognition, recognising amounts in words or numbers, currency symbols, showing coins in different ways, and adding coins.  Unfortunately it lacks activities for giving change, and there are no notes in the app.  At $3.79 Aus, it isn’t as good value as iCan Count Money (cheaper) or the STAAPS Money apps (same price) that are  more comprehensive in both activities and in the use of both notes and coins.  If more features are added to future updates, I’ll happily look at this app again because it has great potential.


Publisher: Wesley Dyson
iPad only: requires iOS 8.0 or higher
Price: $3.79

Apps for Money Skills Part 2: iCan Count Money – international apps from Ahmed Tawakol

26 May

Today I’m reviewing iCAN Count Money by Ahmed Tawakol. Like yesterday’s app, this one has different iPad and iPhone versions for different countries, and currently you can get the app for Canada (iPhone only), New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Europe (Euro.  The one I have on my iPad is the Australian version, so the screen shots I am using come from that, but the activities are for each international version, the only difference being the currency used in the activities.

Activities

There are three activities in the iPhone version of the app:

  • I Know How To Pay! – Children select the exact change to pay for an item.
  • I Know How Much To Get Back! – Give the correct change for an item.
  • I Can Catch The Coins! – This is a coin recognition game.  Children are asked to find a number of a particular coin.  Coins fly across the screen, flipping from time to time so that children can see front and back of the coins.
  • Bonus activity – Both versions include a Money calculator which could be a useful aid for those learning to add their currency.

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An extra three activities are included with the iPad version. Continue reading

Apps for Money Skills Part 1: Counting Money from STAAPS Interactive

25 May

A friend on my Facebook group recently asked for some apps to help her son learn some money skills.  There are heaps of money apps out there, including general Mathematics apps that include some money activities, but many of them are specific to just one currency.  I have several apps on my iPad that use our Australian currency and others and I intend to write a review of each of them for you over the next week or so.

aussie kidsFirst cab off the rank is Aussie Kids Count Coins from from STAAPS Interactive. International readers, don’t let the name put you off, as there are three other versions available for the USA, New Zealand and Europe.  Each has a different name, but all use the same activities and all use both notes and coins.

Activities

There are six activities:

  • Pay for things – drag the exact amount of cash to a box to pay for an item.
  • Lemonade Stand – calculate the cost of a customer’s order by typing on the keyboard.  It is great for “mental Maths”calculations, but some children may need to have a pencil and paper handy to work things out.
  • Give Change – The customer pays for an item and you give them the correct change from the till. If you put too much change or don’t give enough, the customers will let you know and you can try again.
  • Piggy Bank – Smash the piggy bank and count the money inside.
  • Go Shopping – Spend an exact amount of money by dragging an exact number of items from a shelf. This is a pretty difficult task and requires a bit of logical thinking and problem solving.  The feedback for errors is supportive as it gives the child a clue as to why the answer is incorrect, e.g. “You haven’t spent enough money.”
  • Who Has More – Two creatures have different amounts of money. You need to tap the one with the most. Children can’t get off the hook by random choices, as they are then asked to add up the money for the creature they have chosen, and then both collections of money are totalled.

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Features

  • The app uses images of real currency.
  • The parent section show how many times your child has played each of the game modes.
  • You can change the difficulty level to restrict activities to coins only (parents section).
  • There is an incentive system that awards stars as children reach target in the activities.
  • The app is compatible with iOS 4.0 and above so will work on the original iPad.

Wish List

  • Individual profiles would be an advantage for families and for classrooms.
  • More feedback – The reporting system is only useful in that you can see if your child has been playing the game.  I’d like a little more feedback so that I could see if there were areas where they made lots of errors and needed more support.

Verdict

This is a great app for children who can already identify currency but need to practice the transactional skills involved with money, e.g. selecting change. The app is aimed at children aged 6 to 8 but some activities will be quite challenging even for children in upper primary.  Use of “real currency” images will help children translate these skills into real life.  The app is great value for the price.

As mentioned earlier, there are four international versions for this app. All of the apps are $2.49 Aus but prices will be different in other international stores. All apps are iPad only and require iOS 4.0 or higher.

Australia: Aussie Kids Count Coins

 

USA: Kids Count Money USA

New Zealand: Kids Count Money NZ

Kids Count Money: Europe

Understanding Math – Addition and Subtraction by appp media

2 Apr

understandingmath+-Understanding Math – Addition and Subtraction  is the latest Mathematics app from appp media and is the second in their Understanding Math series, based on  Jerome Bruner’s  Three Modes of Representation learning theory.  This app explores the concepts of addition and subtraction using different symbolic, visual and active representations.  As well as answering set problems, the app gives children tools to help solve their own addition and subtraction problems.

Each activity has been linked to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

Continue reading

Lasso Kid – Logical thinking games with a Christmas bonus

4 Dec

lasso kidLasso Kid is a free logical thinking puzzle game from Kidcore Network that is aimed at young children but that  older children and even adults will find entertaining and challenging. Today I’m reviewing the iPad version of the app, but there is an iPhone version as well that has all the same features.

Poor Lasso Kid!  While he was sleeping, his animals escaped and he needs to catch them and rope them together.  You need to tether similar animals to a peg, trying not to run the rope through obstacles, and making sure ropes don’t cross each other.  The first few levels are fairly simple and are designed to introduce the main concepts of the puzzle, but later they get a little more complex with more animals, different types of animals (only similar animals can be joined together), more obstacles and more tether pegs.

 

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Duckie Deck Cleans Up – Apps to help kids learn about hygiene

26 Nov

Duckie Deck specialises in apps for the very young that combine education and fun.  This week I’m reviewing several of their apps over a series of posts.  The two apps I’m reviewing today deal with personal hygiene skills involved with brushing teeth and going to the toilet.

ddggDuckie Deck Gotta Go

Features: Gotta Go  takes children through the process of using the toilet. First they feed a friendly monster assorted foods. After a short time, the monster stops eating. Tap the nappy (diaper) to take it off. Our little friend jumps on to the toilet with a big grin. Tap his tummy and he will grunt as a rather colourful deposit drops into the transparent toilet below. Toilet paper appears and you tap and drag it through to help the monster wipe. Pull the chain to flush and then guide what must be the cutest poo ever through a simple pipe maze, then finish with a high 5 to your monster friend. (Honestly, it is difficult to describe this app without laughing, and Mr 3 is enjoying it very much.)

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Things We Love: The monster loves going to the toilet. He has a great attitude and is really proud of himself, so hopefully this attitude might rub off on some of our more reluctant toilet-trainees. Duckie Deck Gotta Go is a great way of reinforcing the steps being taught in toilet training and it provides good opportunities for discussion. It does not cover the hand washing aspect, which would have been great, but since the hand washing has always been the easiest part of the process, I don’t have a problem with its not being included (although maybe they should wash before the High 5?).  Lastly, you have to love the app icon:  blue happy poo anyone?
Verdict: If you have a little person who is learning to use the toilet or potty, this app might be a great one for introducing the concept in a fun, non-threatening way.

Duckie Deck Gotta Go - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $3.79
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Hygiene Essentials Bundle (3 apps for $4.99)

ddwtDuckie Deck With Teeth

Features:  Duckie Deck With Teeth is very simple to use: tap on a mouth to add teeth (that come in different shapes, then feed different foods to the mouth. As the food is eaten, the teeth become progressively dirtier. At any time you can grab the toothbrush and clean the teeth. The activity then starts again.

What we Love: Most of the food is very healthy, such as vegetables, fruit and a salad sandwich;  the one “sometimes food” is a biscuit (cookie). The toothbrush is available at any time, and children have to spend a bit of time cleaning the teeth.  The teeth get really dirty in a kind of gross way, which adds to the appeal.  Brushing those teeth and making them clean gives Mr 3 a sense of satisfaction.  If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can hold it up in front of your face and pretend it is your mouth (which is hilarious for small fry, I can assure you.)

Verdict: Duckie Deck With Teeth is a great app for exploring the healthy habit of teeth cleaning. Playing this activity with your child can help them learn vocabulary involved, and gives an opportunity to discuss why we need to clean up our teeth, and how long we need to brush our teeth for before we are finished.

Duckie Deck With Teeth - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $2.49
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Hygiene Essentials Bundle (3 apps for $4.99)

Duckie Deck Hungry Clipper (Not reviewed)

Duckie Deck has a third hygiene app, Duckie Deck Hungry Clipper, that deals with hand hygiene, encouraging children to keep nails trim and tidy with the hungry nail clipper.  I don’t have that app to review, but here is a link to the YouTube trailer.

Duckie Deck Hungry Clipper - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $3.79
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Hygiene Essentials Bundle (3 apps for $4.99)

Duckie Deck Play Apps – Games to play with friends

25 Nov

Yesterday I reviewed three Duckie Deck creativity apps.  Today I’m having a look at two more of their apps, each with six different play activities.  Both games are aimed at the early childhood age group, but could be suitable for older children with special needs.  Look for more reviews in the coming days.

Duckie Deck collection app iconDuckie Deck Collection

Features: There are 6 activities in Duckie Deck Collection:

  • Food -Pick fruits or vegetables then tap on the items to eat them. There are many different fruits and vegetables, so children can play for some time without a repeat of the same food. This is a fun way to introduce some healthy food options. You could have fun counting aloud as the food is picked or eaten.
  • Feed the Animals – Feed animals with a choice of three food options, only one of which the animal wants. If you present the animal with the wrong food it will shake its head. Feed it the correct food and it chews nicely and smiles. Along with the animals there is also a flower and the Zoo Keeper to feed.
  • Lightbulb game – This is a peekaboo game where children see a silhouette then tap on the light to reveal a friendly animated monster. Tap on the light again to repeat the game with a different monster.
  • Magic Hat – Tap on the magic hat to reveal a funny animated character or item.
  • Mix Up – this is a version of those fun games where you change heads, bodies and legs to make an animal match (or mismatch.) Mr 3 enjoys making crazy animals and doesn’t always want to match up the correct body parts, but if you manage to align 3 matching body parts, the game quickly randomises them again.
  • Clean up – Children drag cleaning items around the screen to mop, sweep, or vacuum the floor to remove grime and mess. This activity doesn’t have as much variety as the others and Mr 3 kept accidentally tapping the Back button as he moved around the screen.

You can see the app in action in the YouTube trailer below:

What we Love – there is lots of variety and little repetition in the activities, so children can play for a long time before they get “bored.” The app is very easy and intuitive to navigate, and Mr 3 needed no help to get around.

Verdict – There is a lot of variety in most of the activities. I particularly like Food and Feed the Animals, and I think these could be a great way to introduce some concepts of health and natural science.  The games are great for a single child to play but are even better when you play with a friend or adult.  In fact, your child will get a lot more out of these activities if they play with you and get to explore the concepts and language associated with them more deeply.

Duckie Deck Collection - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $2.49
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Cuddly Creatures Bundle (5 apps for $9.99)

 

DDSDuckie Deck Sharing

Features: There are 6 different activities in this app.  These include:

  • Toy Joy (Rocket ship) – you and three friends each have a different toy to play with, including a rocket, xylophone, drawing tool and an animal noise toy. Play with your toy then tap another child’s toy to swap. As they swap with you, each child makes a sound that would translate to “yes, okay!”
  • Win Win – A simple memory game that can be played one or more children. There are 12 cards in each game, and there are several themes to keep things interesting. Great for turn taking.
  • Pie in the sky (Birthday cake) – Take turns to decorate a cake then share it between 3.
  • Gimme Gimmie (Doughnut) – Three friends are sitting on a couch and there are three items you can give to each. Each child has a thought bubble with two items they would like. Try to give each child one of their preferences. This activity has some logical thinking skills involved.
  • Food (apple) – Four children sit at a table with empty plates. A random piece of food appears and is quartered. You have to give each child a piece. You can put more than one piece on a single plate, but the child that misses out will be sad. Once everyone has an equal share, the children cheer, eat their food, and a new item appears.
  • Scribble Dribble (Pencils)- Guided picture drawing where children choose from a selection of items and are guided through the drawing process with dotted lines, then colour the picture. You don’t need to be too accurate when tracing the lines. Mr 3 discovered that a simple swipe just touching a line is enough to complete a section, so children with fine motor issues might find this easier to do than other similar activities/apps.

The slideshow below shows some of the activities.

 

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What we Love:  Although all the activities can be played by a single child, they are well set up for collaborative efforts between children. Some of the activities, for example Toy Joy or Gimmie Gimmie, could be used to explore social skill issues of sharing and preferences. The parent information section has valuable information about how these activities can be used to help children learn about sharing. There are some interactive environmental elements in some of the scenes that add a bit more fun to the activities.
Verdict: This is a beautiful app and the six activities have been well-planned with their objectives in mind. There is a lot of variety so children don’t get tired of the same old thing.  Again, these activities can be used by a child on their own, but they will gain much more from the experience by sharing with an adult or other child/ren.

Duckie Deck Sharing - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $3.79
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99)

 

 

 

Duckie Deck Creativity Apps – Bird Houses, Trash Toys and Sandwich Chef

24 Nov Duckie Deck Bird Houses

Duckie Deck has a range of entertaining educational  apps for children aged 2-5. I’ve owned most of them for a while and have put them through their paces with my children, and I’ve been meaning to write about them for at least a year.  Initially I was going to review the lot in one hit, but I’m going to break it into several posts over a few days. Today I’m starting with some of their creativity apps, including their latest app, Duckie Deck Bird Houses.  Look for reviews of other of their apps in coming days.

 

Duckie Deck Bird Houses App IconDuckie Deck Bird Houses

Features:  Create the bird house of your dreams.  Select a tree to build on, choose from a variety of house styles and materials, then decorate with paint and accessories before your little birdie moves in.

What we Love: The variety of design options means that children can create a different house every time. The graphics are delightful, with lots of different colours and textures and a real textured “collage” feel.  There are some quirky accessories to add to the house that add opportunities for discussion and story making.

Verdict: The app is really easy to use, with lots of variety and fun little quirks that will make Duckie Deck Bird Houses very popular with young children.

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Duckie Deck Bird Houses - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – Requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $2.49

 

Duckie Deck Trash Toys app iconDuckie Deck Trash Toys

Features: Children make toys out of virtual recyclables, such as containers, bags, CDs and more. Choose an item, paint it, then add more recyclables to create facial features and body parts.
What we Love: Unlike similar apps where two fingers are used to change orientation of an object or to resize, Duckie Deck Trash Toys uses one finger only. Tap and hold in the middle of an item to move it, then tap on an edge and drag to rotate. This is so much easier for Mr 3 to handle than similar apps. There are no resizing options, but this didn’t seem to worry Mr 3.Duckie Deck trash toys creation
Verdict: This is a great creativity app for young children who haven’t mastered the art of multi-touch commands. I can think of at least one similar app with a few more bells and whistles, but that one is a little more sophisticated and is better suited to slightly older children. Duckie Deck Trash Toys certainly nails the needs of the very young user and might also be fun for older children with special needs. Images of your creations can be saved and used in other apps (such as story making apps) or printed. Sometimes playing with this app might lead to some real-life creativity with the contents of your household recycle bin.

Duckie Deck Trash Toys - Duckie Deck Development

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Price: $3.79
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Inspirations for Real World Play Bundle (4 apps for $7.49)

 

Duckie Deck Sandwich ChefDuckie Deck Sandwich Chef

Features: Children pick a novelty sandwich (from ten options) then recreate the sandwich step by step. These are no ordinary sandwiches: children might create a clock, whale, boat, or clown sandwich, to name a few. They spread the butter on the bread then create the sandwich using healthy foods.

Sandwich chef choices

Lots of sandwich designs to choose from

What we Love: Each ingredient is presented as it is required, and targets appear on the sandwich to guide the child to correct placement. This is great for very young children as it helps to avoid confusion. Children don’t have to be super-accurate with placement either, as the items “snap” into place when they are near the target.
Verdict. The young children I’ve shown Duckie Deck Trash Toys to all love it. Mr 3 would be a little happier if there was a train option (although there is a clock and a car, so he is happy). We think it might be fun to have a free-play option where you get to design your own sandwich, but that might be better in a separate app, perhaps in a similar format to Duckie Deck Trash Toys. It is great that kids get to see all the different healthy food options, but we’d love to hear some of the names spoken aloud. Still, I see that as my job as I supervise Mr 3 as he plays. Not having any speech means that the app is suitable for all languages.

Universal – requires iOS 5.0 or higher
Duckie Deck Sandwich Chef  - Duckie Deck DevelopmentPrice: $2.49
This app is also available as part of the Ultimate Playtime Bundle (10 Duckie Deck apps for $16.99) and the Inspirations for Real World Play Bundle (4 apps for $7.49)

Appp Media’s New Math app: Understanding Math – Times Tables

13 Nov

understanding mathappp media have just released a new Mathematics app for multiplication and division, and I was fortunate to be given a copy to review.  The full name of the app is Understanding Math – Times Tables: Learn to fluently multiply and divide within 100, but that is a bit of a mouthful so I’m sure you won’t mind if I abbreviate it to Understanding Math – Times Tables for this review.

I have literally hundreds of Mathematic apps, and most of the multiplication and division apps are drill and practice, which is great for developing speed and accuracy, but Understanding Math: Times Tables offers something new.  The drill and practice element is there, but it is the understanding part that is a new and welcome feature.   The activities in Understanding Math – Times Tables are based  on Jerome Bruner’s  Three Modes of Representation learning theory and they explore the concepts of division and multiplication using different visual representations.

Each activity has been linked to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

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