Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New & Notables: Educational Apps Vol. 1 (iPhone /iPod Touch)

Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch (use them in 2x mode on your iPad as well):

Learning Games:

State Bingo and Geography Crossword by Niyaa (iPhone) NEW

excerpt from iTunes:
2 fun geography games State Bingo and Geography Crossword, specially designed for the iPhone and iPod touch.  Learn to navigate a map, build extensive geography skills all while playing engaging and creative games. Earn rewards as you win games and learn a bit of history.

Based on the iPad version, this special iPhone version has an additional crossword game to play. The player earns rewards by answering facts about states accurately.  Auditory cues let the child know when an answer is correct or not in both the crossword and bingo games.  This app requires reading- My six year old can read it by himself with some occasional help to decipher more difficult words.

Starfall All About Me by Starfall Education (iPhone / iPad; Amazon; Google Play)

excerpt from iTunes:
Your child will love creating and interacting with his or her Me Character. Players learn essential vocabulary while making choices about everyday objects, body parts, pets, and household environments. This app is excellent for emerging readers and English language learners.

My 6 year old was already familiar with Starfall when I showed him this app- his classroom uses it on the computer.  All About Me allows your child to build themselves as a character in the app. The child picks elements that represent him/herself including facial features, clothing, and things in his/her home. The child can  pick silly options like a crown to put on his head, or a kangaroo as his pet. The app introduces reading skills with tap to read words and cloze sentences i.e. Ï am a ______ (boy /girl). There is also a word puzzle activity where the child drags vocabulary words to the correct spot in a scene.

Montessori Rhyme Time Learning Games for Kids  by Innovative Mobile Apps (iPhone / iPad) FREE

 excerpt from iTunes:
Rhyming activities provide the first steps in identifying the different sounds that make up a word and are a critical skill to master on the path towards becoming a good reader and a confident speaker.

The goal of this application is to give parents and teachers a new interactive tool that helps children further develop these critically important skills in a fun and engaging new way.

Our "Rhyme Time" app was created using hundreds of gorgeous illustrations that are sure to keep kids interested and engaged. In this application, children will be presented with a variety of different rhyming activities and games. The best way to play this game with a child is to sit down with them and have them explain to you the reason / thinking of why two items should go together. This way, the game can act as a wonderful interactive tool to develop both language and critical thinking skills.

The application also includes great audio reinforcements by congratulating the child each time they successfully match a pair that rhymes. 

 This is an interactive app that allows the child to actually match up rhyming words by drawing on the screen with their finger.  I am not a Montessori expert, so cannot confirm whether this follows Montessori practices, but it appears to be an educationally sound way to practice early rhyming skills. Plenty to do for free (Basic Levels come unlocked); You can unlock the Intermediate Levels via In- App purchases. 

Reference Tools

Sesame Street:Divorce by Sesame Street(iPhone/iPad)  FREE

Sesame Street: Divorce is a resource for parents to refer to when going through a divorce. It has tips on how to talk to your children about what is happening, to help them (and you) through difficult feelings.

National Fragile X Foundation (iPhone) FREE

Learn more about Fragile X through the National Fragile X Foundation app.  Links to local events, conferences, research articles and more. There is also a podcast to subscribe to here.



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