By: Katie D
I used A+ interactive math for my second grade daughter. I tried it with my kindergartner too but she didn't even make it through the initial evaluation before she was frustrated. This program is great for a child who wants to work independently, and who can read well enough to do so. I like the evaluation it did in the beginning to figure out what concepts your child needs to work on. There are videos that teach the lesson and then online worksheets to do. The child can even check their own answers. It's easy to keep track of progress because it saves all the worksheets and provides a summary report of how the student is doing. My second grader learns better actually writing problems out and solving them so don't know if we will exclusively use A+ math. I definitely recommend it if independent online learning is what you're looking for.
Kids Academy - ABC alphabet Fun for my Four Year Old! I was looking for an app to help my little one improve her letter recognition when I came upon this great app. It has fun mazes that reward her with cute animations and letter tracing to aid in recognition and writing. In the free version only uppercase letters are included but for 2.99 you can add lower case or for 9.99 you can get that and a ton of awesome add ons that make the app a tremendous learning tool. The music and instructional voice is calm and helpful and my kiddo returns to this app again and again despite having other options on the phone. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/preschool-kindergarten-learning/id603393402?mt=8
Kids Academy - Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Games Works to improve Number & Letter recognition
This has been great for both my 4 & 6 year old. They are able to work at their own ability level thanks to the option to create separate profiles. My older girl likes to “teach” the little one and she often does it with this app, so cute! We’ve started using a stylus to make it easier to write the letters and numbers and that made it much easier to use (we had a hard time getting it right with just our fingers), this also better mimics using a pencil which is great! This has a great section that connects letters to words and that really helped my little one start connecting the letters themselves to the sounds she’s hearing around her. Numbers have also been tough for her, so this review has been great!
Kids Academy – Best Kids Songs: Bingo
Love this musical learning app This is one of my daughter’s favorite songs so when I saw the app, I knew she would it and she does! I was expecting simply some fun music time with my little one, but it provides even more than that! it is very interactive and helps teach her letters and animal sounds while singing her favorite song. She claps her hands and sings along. The graphics were cute and she loves exploring the farm and seeing what happens when you touch different areas of the screen. She enjoyed this one so much, we are going to try the other Kids Academy song apps now too!
By: Melinda Lancaster
One of the challenges I feel I face while trying to teach my daughter how to read is correlation and her attention span. One of the apps that I use that addresses both of these issues is Educreations Interactive Whiteboard by Educreations, Inc. And it’s FREE!!
When I first downloaded Educreations, I had no idea what it could really do. Shame on me! I went back to it a couple of months later and started to play and now I LOVE it.
I felt the best way to demonstrate its potential was to make this short video. While I am sure there are some limits to what you can do, I have not been stymied by it yet.
Here are some real positives about this app-
Lessons are recorded in the parent’s voice
There is no limit to how short or involved you want to make the lesson
But, the two I like the most are 1. The ability to show correlation in the way you feel suits your child best and 2. Since it is much like a video it holds her attention. And knowing her attention span limitations, I am guided as to how long and involved to make the plans.
There are many videos on YouTube that can help you reach this app’s full potential.
Parents, educators and children have multiple options ranging from font color and using your finger, stylus or text to using your own photos to images from the Web. Lessons can be multiple pages or just one.
From blank white page, choosing a color, then a picture and you get THIS-
In addition to what you and your child can create, Educreations has a website where educators and other parents have shared their lessons as well. And, as you can see, there is a large selection of study areas, and each of those has multiple lessons at every different age level and ability.
This is a fantastic app. The price can’t be beat. And your child can create his or her own videos as well- a real motivator if they have the ability.
Happy Spring and a good day to all.
By: Melinda Lancaster
Good day to all.
As I have been thinking about what to write about in my first real blog post the “Sound of Music” came to mind and the song “Do, Re, Mi” and the lyrics, “start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A,B,C…..” so there you go! A,B,C it is!
Of course, reading is the number one way to get kids interested in reading. Dr. Seuss is my all-time favorite for this. The crazy antics of his characters and the ridiculous situations are appealing to children and rhyme is
one of the best ways for young children to hear words and how they sound alike, but mean different things. Dr. Seuss’ ABC book is a classic. I have read that so many times to Katelin that I have it memorized and use it while we talk about the ABC’s in almost every context. (Mind you she is 20, so having it memorized is not as weird as it sounds!)
So, the next few blog posts will be about the ABC’s, not so much how to teach them (because I can only speak for what works for Katelin and I) but some of the aids, manipulatives and apps we use to facilitate the learning of the ABC’s.
One of the more prominent tools that I use for Katelin is her iPad. The “Yes and No” app is one of the few ways she can communicate with the general population, but we use it mainly for education. So, today I am going to compare two Apps-both “Magnetic ABCs”
I downloaded tons of “lite” versions of apps and the following two were the best that suited our needs. I found many of the other selections to be so limited or annoying, with too much going on, music, animation etc. I find
that for Katelin, when teaching the basics, basic apps are better.
The first is ABC-Magnetic Alphabet by Dot Next.
This app has many good things going for it, but the lite version is totally useless as it only offers the capital letters. There are two other versions, one which I purchased (I think is one $1.99, but in app-purchases are
available) and a new one for $8.99. If the $8.99 had been offered when I first purchased I would have gotten that, it comes will all the in-app purchases and future updates/additions.
What I really like about the version I have (with the in-app purchases) is the variety. Let me show you what I
This app comes with Capital and small letters , numbers and a variety of things that can be used to make
scenes or to spell out. It also offers a variety of backgrounds for the kids to make comprehensive scenes, there’s a Halloween background and Halloween magnets, a winter background and Christmas magnets, a spring background and Easter magnets. The biggest plus to me though is the small letters.
This app also comes with all sorts of collections including underwater, vehicles, construction, outer space (as in-app purchases).
It has a lot of potential. The biggest downside for our situation is that it doesn’t talk, but this may not matter to most of you. However, for Katelin, who needs reinforcement at every level, having at least the letters “say” out their name would be very helpful, especially on the rare occasion she makes her own choice.
For that we use Abby’s Magnetic Toys by 22learn LLC. This has a Lite (free) version that may fit your needs but it only allows you so many items on the screen at one time and there will be popups asking if you want the full version. What I LOVE about this app is that every letter and every object, when placed on the screen, speaks its name.
Here’s an example
We use this app in a lot of ways. Katelin can pick an object then I’ll switch to the letters option and spell it out, or I will spell out a word say, “CAT” then put up the picture of the cat. Another way it can be used is initial sounds. I will put the letter “B” on the screen and then go through the selections and put “b” words on the
screen and she will hear the word and the initial sound being repeated. It also offers “blocks” and some background patterns to place the blocks on, but instead of saying the shape it says the color of the block
This app does have a couple of downsides. First and foremost it does not have small letters; it doesn’t even
offer them as an in-app purchase. Secondly, it doesn’t repeat the sound after it’s been placed on the board. Thirdly, the selection of items is limited, but it does offer contextual backgrounds that the other app doesn’t, mainly inside homes, however the “children” are not very ethnically diverse.
Between these two apps, I am able to teach Katelin a LOT, not only her ABC’s, but how to spell, teach contextual scenes that make sense, ie: Santa’s not in the Halloween scene and give her the ability to tell me, through eye gaze or pointing what she wants to add into a scene, or even, very rarely, what letter things start with!
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