Category Archives: 1st – 2nd
This is the app version of Ed Emberley’s book of the same title. The big, green monster comes to life in a not-so-scary way. The monster’s features appear as the book is read (see options below). But the user also is able to touch and tap the features to make them become even more animated.
There are four options for the reading of this book:
- Read Along with a Friend
- Sing Along
- Read Myself
- Read Along with Ed Emberley
Despite this app actually being an animated book, I still recommend it as a fun way to infuse literacy with technology.
This app provides students with a way to explore the names of a variety of objects not only in English, but also in Spanish and French. In each category, students can tap on an object that appears across the bottom of the screen. The app will state its name in the language selected from the Settings menu (only one language can be selected at a time). After tapping an object, students can drag it across the screen to begin a simple animated sequence. The graphics are very visually-appealing and the voiceover is pleasant (and can be made as loud or soft – or even muted – as necessary).
The categories are:
- Alphabet (with an example word for each letter)
- Numbers (0 – 9)
This apps walks students step-by-step through the process of drawing many different animals. Students use a finger or stylus to trace the lines for each step. Mistakes can easily be erased and they have access to the ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ tools. The traceable lines can be removed and students can then color the animal and add more details. Backgrounds and stickers can also be easily added. Drawings can be saved to the app’s Drawing Book or to the device’s Camera Roll. They can also be emailed or printed. It also comes with two blank pages for free drawing.
Animals: bear, beaver, camel, cat, cow, crab, crocodile, dog, dolphin, donkey, duck, elephant, fish, frog, giraffe, hippo, horse, jellyfish, kangaroo, koala, lion, monkey, mouse, owl, panda, parrot, penguin, pig, porcupine, rabbit, rhinoceros, rooster, shark, sheep, skunk, snake, tiger, tortoise, toucan, whale
This simple art app responds to a student’s touch on the device. Depending on what they do (tap, swipe, lay down a palm, etc.), the app responds in various ways and leaves behind colorful lines. The app seems like it’s alive as millions of tiny particles move and respond. The particles (and subsequent designs) change color on their own. The ‘Sticky Fingers’ option causes the design effect to linger, rather than disappear as soon as the device is no longer touched.
The app comes with the option to take a picture of created designs; the pictures are automatically saved on the device.
This delightfully fun app introduces young students to more challenging vocabulary words such as ‘tangle’, ‘alarm’, and ‘handy’. After selecting a vocabulary word, the app states and displays it on the screen. It then spreads the letters across the screen, but keeps the word displayed in the middle. Students then have to drag each letter to the correct spot in the word. As they tap and hold down each letter, it says a sound that the letter can make. Although, the app does not account for the fact that some letters make more than one sound depending on where it falls within a word. As they let go after dragging it to its proper place, it says the letter’s name. After all of the letters are in the correct place, the app presents a short and cute animation of the word’s meaning. Finally, it states a kid-friendly definition of the word. This feature is arguably the app’s greatest strength. The animation combined with the kid-friendly definition allows students to better comprehend the meaning of each presented vocabulary word.
Unlike many apps, this one does not require students to earn points or experience time constraints. This allows for them to work through the vocabulary words in any order and at their own pace. Words can be revisited at any time and you also have the option to only access new words that have been recently added to the app.
In this app, students are able to ‘drop’ missing numbers down onto a number line. The number line has different animals at various points. The missing number remains stationary, but students are able to use a finger to move the number line. They then tap the missing number – which is contained in a bubble – to drop it in place.
A star is earned each time a number is ‘popped’ (or dropped) into its correct spot. If students do so quickly, they earn 2 stars. For even more of a challenge, students can earn a third star by turning on the needle. When on, the needle pops the missing number after so many seconds.
The free version unlocks six levels, but the paid version allows access to all 24 levels. More difficult levels are unlocked as students successfully complete the lower levels.
- Numbers: 1 – 1,000
- Decimals: Tenths
- Decimals: Hundredths
- Decimals: Thousandths
In general, I am not a fan of learning apps that are disguised as arcade 3-D type games. This app requires students to navigate around meteors and asteroids in order to solve addition or subtraction problems.
I still chose to review this app because the developers included several details that make it more appropriate for use in an educational setting. First, there isn’t a consequence for an incorrect answer; students simply have the chance to answer the problem again. Also, it is not actually necessary to navigate the objects that are flying through space. Finally, the app encourages mental math – even for more complex problems. It is not possible to stop progress – only speed up or slow down. Therefore, the use of scratch paper is discouraged.
After selecting from one of three characters, students have to also select the operation (addition or subtraction) and a level (beginning, medium, advanced, or tutorial). Once the game begins, they must tilt the device forward to speed up or back to slow down. They will also need to tilt it left or right to steer. Although it is not necessary, they can tap the screen to fire at the space objects. As they navigate through ‘space’, they randomly encounter math problems along with a selection of answer choices.
This app is best for kinesthetic learners and for those that prefer arcade-style games.
This app should be called ‘Draw, Color, and Tell’ – then its title would completely explain what students can do with it. Upon opening the app, select from ‘Blank Paper’ or ‘Coloring’. Although, you can also access your saved drawings/recordings from the main home screen.
Blank Paper – Choose from almost 3 dozen background pages for your drawing. Two ‘sheets’ of writing paper (primary and notebook-style) are included, as is graph paper. You can even select an image found on your device’s Camera Roll as the background!
Coloring – Almost two dozen simple, yet cute coloring pages are available for students to select. Think of this section as a modern day coloring book!
Despite the chosen option, the tools remain the same. Students can choose to color or draw with a crayon, colored pencil, or paintbrush of over 30 colors. There are also two different sized erasers. Students also have access to a plethora of stickers and even more patterns (that can be applied to as much or as little of the page as they’d like). Stencils are available in the Blank Paper option only.
‘Tell’ is included in the title because students have the option of attaching an audio recording to their drawing. They are also able to manually move any stickers placed in order to ‘animate’ their recording.
Completed drawings can be saved to Photos and shared from there.
I do wish the option of including typed text was available. Regardless, I still recommend this art app for use with younger students.