Category Archives: 3rd – 5th

Bible for Kids

61dDnRpgBcLRather than being a kids version of the Holy Bible, this (free!) app presents stories from the bible in an engaging way. The app is quite simple to navigate through and includes vivid illustrations, animations, and simple comprehension exercises. The app comes with the option to have the text read aloud and even printed on the screen. Background music can also be turned on or off. The voice that presents each story is appropriately jovial.

Stories

  • In the Beginning – Creation of the world (Genesis)
  • The First Sin – The Fall (Genesis)
  • Two by Two – Noah and the flood (Genesis)
  • God’s Amazing Promise – Abraham is called by God (Genesis)
  • Abraham’s Big Test – Abraham and Isaac (Genesis)
  • The Dreamer – Joseph is sold into slavery (Genesis)
  • Dreams Come True – Joseph’s rise to power (Genesis)
  • A Baby and a Bush – Birth of Moses and the burning bush (Exodus)
  • Let My People Go! – The Plagues and the Passover (Exodus)
  • God Makes a Way – The parting of the Red Sea and the 10 Commandments (Exodus)
  • Waters Part and Walls Fall – Entering The Promised Land (Numbers, Joshua)
  • A Hairy Tale – Samson (Judges)
  • The First Christmas Gift – Jesus is born (Luke, Matthew)
  • The Beloved Son – Jesus is baptized (Matthew, Luke)
  • A Test in the Desert – Jesus is tempted (Matthew)
  • The King and the Kingdom – The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew)
  • Through the Roof – Jesus heals a paralyzed man (Luke)
  • The Big Picnic – Jesus feeds 5,000 (Mark)
  • It is Finished! – The cross (John, Luke)
  • A Happy Sunday – The empty tomb (Mark, Matthew, John, Luke)
  • God’s Wonderful Gift – The Holy Spirit comes (Acts)
  • A Forever Promise – The new heaven and new earth (Revelation)
  • God’s Good News – Be Part of the Story

 

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Social Studies | Tagged | Comments Off on Bible for Kids

MoMA Art Lab

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 10.25.28 AMThere are many art apps available and this is a decent option from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) due to its connection to the Museum and included activities.

A description from the app itself: “The MoMA Art Lab app explores how artists use shape and line in art through creative explorations of the Museum collection, interactive learning activities, and prompts for creativity. Using the Art Lab at home or in the Museum, children, artists, and designers can find inspiration and new ways of connecting with MoMA’s collection.”

Of course students are easily able to use shapes, colors, and other tools to create a masterpiece. However, the app also comes with a bank of ideas such as, “Design a house or building using shapes. Can you create a whole city?” Another is, “Draw for ten seconds without lifting your finger. Color in any shapes that were created.” Little learners can even press the speaker button to have the idea (and the activities listed below) read to them!

Nine activities are also included within the app. Each is based on the work of a MoMA artist.

  • Create a mobile (Alexander Calder)
  • Experiment with paint (Arshile Gorky)
  • Draw from instructions (Sol LeWitt)
  • Create a sound composition (Elizabeth Murray)
  • Create a chance collage (Jean (Hans) Arp)
  • Draw with scissors (Henri Matisse)
  • Create a line design (Jim Lambie)
  • Create an “exquisite corpse” (Breton, Morise, Tanguy, Naville, Peret, Tanguy, Prevert)
  • Create a shape poem (Brice Marden)

Once a piece of artwork is complete, your child must use the camera tool to take a picture of it and then it will be stored in the included gallery. From there, artwork can be saved to the device’s photo album, sent to MoMA, or shared with others via email or Twitter. Note: These sharing options must be enabled via the tablet’s main setting menu. 

Posted in 3rd - 5th, Fine Arts, iPad, Paid | Comments Off on MoMA Art Lab

Geography Drive Arcade

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.02.10 PMStudents will enjoy strengthening their skills related to United States geography by playing the four games included in this app. I appreciate how the app also includes a study map of the country. In addition, an abundance of detailed information is included for each state via the study map. This information includes: capital, size, statehood, time zone, nickname, postal abbreviation, state tree, state bird, and highest point. You’ll also find a few paragraphs full of other information and a ‘Did you know?’ tidbit about each state. The study map certainly justifies this being a paid app! It makes an excellent resource for research.

State Shape Challenge – Match every state with its shape

Flagstaff State Flag Game – Match each flag with its state

State Capital Challenge – Connect every state with its capital

Honolulu Spelling Bee – Spell all 50 states

Posted in 3rd - 5th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Paid, Social Studies | Comments Off on Geography Drive Arcade

USA Illustrated Atlas

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 9.44.16 PMNot only does this app provide an illustrated atlas of the United States, it also provides an impressive amount of interaction.  Upon opening, students have a choice between two sections – maps and games.

Maps – Scroll between and interact with six different maps of the country.  Some highlight over 200 attractions across the country.  After tapping each illustration, an ‘Info Box’ appears and gives 3 – 5 sentences about each attraction.   I live near Stone Mountain in Georgia.  The Info Box states, “Stone Mountain is a rock hill in Georgia, standing on its own and rising 825 ft (250 m) above the surrounding area.  It is well-known for the enormous carving on its north face, the largest stone carving in the world.  It shows three important figures from the Confederacy: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis.”  Other maps highlight mountain ranges, rivers, and large cities.  A ‘Fact Box’ for each state appears on some of the maps.  Each Fact Box contains three sections – Basics (name, nickname, motto, abbreviation, admission to Union, capital, largest cities, and origin of name), Numbers (total area, width, length, highest point, lowest point, and total population), and Symbols (flag, seal, state flower, state tree, state bird, state animal, state fish, state insect, state song, and state mineral).  Simply put, the maps provide a plethora of information about this country!

Games – Each of the four choices (Match the Pair, States & Capitals, Trivia, and Find on a Map) allows students to apply knowledge of the states in a game-like format.  The difficulty level can be altered in some of the games.  Stars can be earned and eventually be used to collect badges.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, iPad, Paid, Social Studies | Tagged , | Comments Off on USA Illustrated Atlas

Sight Words Games & Flash Cards for Reading and Spelling Success at School

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.42.40 PMApps that focus on sight words are extremely important for beginning readers.  This one has a simple game-like format that will appeal to young students.

The free version offers just the following two activities:

Word Machine – The machine verbally announces a sight word.  Choices appear and the child has to tap the correct one.  Points are earned for each correct answer.  More points are earned if students select the correct sight word on the first attempt.  Words increase in difficulty as students work through the levels.  With each new level, more answer choices appear.  The machine repeats each round’s word every few seconds.

Gears – Tap a spot on the screen to hear a sight word.  Then students need to drag the written sight word (and its gear) to that spot.  Correct answers will make the gear spin.

The paid version opens up all of the grade levels (Pre-K to 3rd) and all of the activities.  The others are: BINGO, Memory Games, Spelling, and Flash Cards.

Download the free version to see if it fits the needs of your child, then upgrade to the paid version.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten | Tagged | Comments Off on Sight Words Games & Flash Cards for Reading and Spelling Success at School

Hopscotch

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.20.02 PMThis app provides even young students with an introduction to coding – or computer programming.  The Hopscotch computer programming language is derived from Scratch by those at MIT.  It provides students with a choice of building blocks in 6 categories.  The blocks control the movement and actions of chosen characters.  Not only do students learn the fundamentals of coding, but they also have the opportunity to hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

The Hopscotch website has a link to their ‘Hour of Code’ tutorial and to 7 lessons that can be used in a classroom or small group setting.  The app itself has links to existing projects and a community section where projects can be shared and remixed.

Block Categories

  • Movement: move, rotate, change y by, change x by, set rotation, set position, set speed
  • Drawing: move with trail, set line width, set line color, clear
  • Control Flow: repeat/end, wait
  • Appearance: grow, shrink, set invisibility, change pose, bring to front, send to back
  • Values: set value, change value
  • Calculator: random
Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Critical Thinking, Free, iPad, Math | Tagged , | Comments Off on Hopscotch

Numbers League

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 1.43.57 PMThis app successfully sneaks a lot of learning into a game-like format.  The app is based off a card game with the same name.  The ‘game’ takes place in Infinity City.  Each villain that students encounter has a specific weakness in the form of a number.  The heroes  – who form the Numbers League – must work individually or in collaboration to add up to the total of each villain’s weakness.  Instead of  spinning to create a new hero (called ‘Hero Up’), students can occasionally ‘Gear Up’ to spin for powerful ‘Devices’ (such as +10 or x3).

Games

  • Minion – Mini Game: Simple heroes and villains
  • Sidekick – Mini Game: Simple heroes and villains, plus simple devices
  • Hero – Base Game: Basic heroes and villains, plus positive and negative devices
  • Hero Plus – Base Game Plus Variants: Add negative heroes and villains and/or multiplication devices
  • Superhero – Advanced Game: Positive and negative heroes, random villains and multiplication devices

At this price point, I expect for an app to come with plenty of options for customization.  This app certainly delivers!

Customization Options

  • Game Play – Dynamic, Fast, or Simple
  • Audio – Turn off/on Music, Sounds, and Voices
  • Hints – Each can be Free or cost 1 or 2 Points (Or entirely eliminate the option)
  • Timer – 40, 80, or 160 seconds (Or entirely eliminate the option)

This is one of the best math apps I have encountered.  It allows students to have an abundance of fun while gaining valuable mental math strategies.  (Or students can certainly have paper and pencil close by.)  I also appreciate how it is appropriate for a broad level of students.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, iPad, Math, Paid | Comments Off on Numbers League

HOPE Poster Photo Filter

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 5.54.33 PMThis app pulls photographs from the device’s library (Camera Roll on an Apple device) and places a soft filter over them.  The filter mimics the one used in the iconic Hope poster from President Obama’s 2008 campaign.  Photographs can be moved, scaled, and rotated.  After importing a photograph, students can choose from one of 9 filters (each black with one additional color).  They can then add a word or short message that appears at the bottom of the poster.  Most students can create attractive posters in Easy mode.  But there is also an Expert mode that allows for adjustments in three tonal regions – shadows, midtones, and highlights.  Completed posters can be saved to the device’s library and shared via email, Facebook, and Twitter (as poster or avatar).

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Paid | Comments Off on HOPE Poster Photo Filter

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.35.50 PMI am a big fan of Brain Pop movies.  This app is geared towards students in grades Kindergarten – third.  Another version is available for older students.  Good ‘ole Moby (the robot) appears in all BrainPOP Jr. movies with his dear friend Annie.

This app does allow all students to watch one ‘free’ movie each week.  However, students with access to a subscription can log in to access part of or the entire collection of BrainPOP Jr. movies!  Bonus features (such as quizzes and activities) are included for each movie.

There are two different mobile-device based subscriptions.

  • Explorer – $1.99/month.  Provides access to the free ‘Movie of the Week’ and its bonus features plus 3 related movies (per week) and their bonus features
  • Full Access – $5.99/month.  Provides unlimited access to all movies and their bonus features

Note: Login credentials for the web-based BrainPOP sites also work on mobile devices via the BrainPOP apps.

Subjects and Categories

Science – animals, plants, habitats, conservation, land, matter, forces, energy, weather, space, science skills

Health – be well, be safe, relationships, be responsible, bodies, teeth, food, drugs

Reading & Writing – authors, reading skills, story elements, comprehension, phonics, word, sentence, communication, writing

Social Studies – American history, ancient history, biographies, holidays, communities, Native Americans, government, economics, citizenship, geography

Math – number sense, addition and subtraction, measurement, geometry, time, money, data and probability, fractions, multiplication and division

Arts & Technology – art, music, technology

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Fine Arts, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Math, PreK - Kindergarten, Science, Social Studies | Tagged | Comments Off on BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

Learn Spanish for Kids – Ottercall

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 2.59.34 PMThis app has an interesting concept behind it, but overall – it fails to fully deliver.  From the ‘About’ section of the app: “Ottercall helps you practice your pronunciation and learn to speak a new language.  We use speech recognition to help judge your pronunciation and give useful feedback.”

Unfortunately, the speech recognition component of the app is in need of improvement.  It often gives negative feedback when words are actually correctly pronounced.

To begin, the user selects from the list of lessons.  They also choose for the language to be English or Spanish.  Then they tap the picture to listen as the device reads the word aloud.  This feature is the best in the app!  Although the voice sounds very ‘computer like’, it is still beneficial to have the app read each vocabulary word aloud.  But I do not recommend using the speech recognition component of the app until the developers greatly improve that feature.

Unlocked Lessons

  • Animals
  • School
  • Beach
  • Bedroom
  • Breakfast
  • Clothing

Locked Lessons (Unlocked via an in-app purchase)

  • Fast food
  • Fruits
  • Holiday
  • Music
  • Kitchen
  • Appliances
  • Seasons
  • Sports
  • Tools
  • Vehicles
  • Vegetables
  • Weather
Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Paid | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn Spanish for Kids – Ottercall