Category Archives: Free

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

Sentence Reading Magic

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 1.56.07 PMThis app is designed for early readers.  It has two modes – Sentence Building and Sentence Reading.  Each has the option of using either 2 words or 3.

Here are summarizations of the instructions for each mode.

Sentence Building – The purpose is “To lay the foundations and to strengthen the ability to read sentences.”  It demonstrates how we pair verbal words with written words to form sentences that can be read or said aloud.  As each new sentence (and accompanying picture) appears on screen, the mobile device reads it aloud.  Then the child needs to drag the words in the proper order.  When done correctly, the tiles will join together and play a brief musical number.

Sentence Reading - The purpose is “To give lots of practice reading short, simple sentences and to prepare children to read books.”  To eliminate the reliance on visual clues, the picture does not appear.  The words also appear in the correct order.  Therefore, the objective is for students to read the sentences orally and then tap the blank picture box to hear each sentence read aloud and watch as the accompanying picture appears.

This review is for the free version.  It comes with just two categories in Sentence Reading (15 two-word sentences and 25 three-word sentences).

The Deluxe version comes with four categories in Sentence Reading (72 two-word sentences, 84 three-word sentences, 84 four-word sentences, and 84 five and six-word sentences).  It also comes with several sound and font options that are not available in the free version.

As always, I encourage you to try the free version before committing to the Deluxe version.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten | Comments Off

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

Neo Maths +

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 9.12.28 PMWhile this app is initially free, take note that in-app purchases (ranging from 99 cents to $99.99 – that’s not a typo) unlock higher levels and the final test.  But the free version allows students to practice addition facts up to 50 + 1.  Unfortunately, all of the levels are +1.

The reason why I decided to post a review of this app is because of the option to ‘turn on’ computation.  While on, students are presented problems such as _____ + 1 = 45.  This causes even advanced students to think about the problem in a different way.  You can ‘turn on’ a maximum of two of the following options: computation, vertical, horizontal, random, and normal.  I also appreciate how the app reviews incorrect answers at the end of each round.

Levels Included in the Free Version

  • A1 = 1 – 10 + 1
  • A2 = 1 – 20 + 1
  • A3 = 11 – 30 + 1
  • A4 = 21 – 50 + 1
Posted in 1st - 2nd, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math | Tagged | Comments Off

Math vs. Zombies

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 12.06.29 PMI highly recommend math apps that cover all four major operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  This app does just that.

Students can select from one of four zombie-themed ‘worlds’:

  • The Addition of Evil
  • The Subtraction of Hope
  • The Undead Multiply
  • Divided We Fall

Each world has 6 levels that are unlocked as each previous level is mastered.  In addition, users can select Easy, Medium, or Hard from the Settings gear.  The mastered levels can also be reset there.

To play, students must answer the math problems appearing above each zombie’s head.  The animated and detailed zombies are walking towards the student on the screen.  The object is to input the correct answer before the zombie reaches the bottom of the screen.  More than one zombie can appear at the same time!  The digits 0 – 9 appear at the bottom of the screen.  Students simply tap the digits to input each answer.  A correct answer ‘saves’ each zombie and that is how points are earned in this app.

Even though the app has a zombie theme, the content does not come across as frightening in any way.  This apps makes a great choice for students looking to practice those basic arithmetic skills.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Draw a Stickman

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.54.46 PMWhat this app lacks in academic content, it makes up for in creativity!  It is a fun and simple app and can serve as a welcome break from more rigorous work.  To begin, students draw a stick man.  He (or she) can be as simple or as complex as they’d like.  From there, the app acts out an adventure and occasionally pauses to have students draw props for the stick figure and other additions to the scene.

There are no points to be earned and no levels to pass.  The app just provides a simple way to express creativity and imagination!

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone | Tagged | Comments Off

Math.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 10.24.41 AMThis app reminds me of Khan Academy, but it only contains lessons from four mathematics courses – Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.  Also, it is a lot more costly than Khan Academy – more on that below.

Students can either search for a lesson or choose one from the listed courses.  Each course contains between 9 – 13 chapters (read chapter titles below).  Each chapter has at least a dozen lessons/concepts.  Each lesson/concept provides an extensive opportunity to view examples, practice, be challenged, complete a self-test, and have access to worksheets and notes.  Many of the examples link to video clips that explain each concept.

Although this app is free to obtain, only the first five lessons completed are complimentary.  After that, courses can be purchased in-app for $9.99 each or all of them for a total of $39.99.  Proceed cautiously; the price of this app can quickly become steep.  Khan Academy may be a better fit for your situation.

Also, please note that a wifi connection (or 3G) is required to access the bulk of each lesson’s content.

Pre-Algebra Chapters

  1. Whole Numbers
  2. Integers
  3. Fractions
  4. Decimals
  5. Algebraic Thinking
  6. Ratio, Proportion, & Percent
  7. Geometry
  8. Measurement
  9. Probability & Statistics

Algebra 1 Chapters

  1. Simplifying
  2. Equations
  3. Word Problems
  4. Inequalities, Absolute Value, Functions, Graphing
  5. Linear Equations
  6. Systems of Equations
  7. Exponents & Polynomials
  8. Factoring
  9. Rational Expressions & Equations
  10. Radicals
  11. Quadratics
  12. Additional NCTM Concepts

Geometry Chapters

  1. Introduction
  2. Angle Pairs & Perpendicular Lines
  3. Parallel Lines & Polygons
  4. Triangles
  5. Quadrilaterals
  6. Similarity
  7. Right Triangles
  8. Circles
  9. Area
  10. Volume

Algebra 2 Chapters

  1. Simplifying
  2. Equations
  3. Word Problems
  4. Inequalities, Absolute Value, Functions, Graphing
  5. Linear Equations
  6. Systems of Equations
  7. Exponents & Polynomials
  8. Factoring
  9. Rational Expressions & Equations
  10. Radicals
  11. Quadratics
  12. Imaginary & Complex Numbers
  13. Quadratic Equations & Function

 

 

Posted in 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math, Paid | Tagged , | Comments Off

Educreations

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 7.07.46 AMThis is another interactive whiteboard type of app.  It is similar to Show Me and Screen Chomp.  But it is even more closely related to Explain Everything due to its ability to move through more than one slide (or page) during a single recording.  Students can also scroll on the same slide/page if they need more room.

After hitting the record button, everything that is said in close proximity to the device is recorded – along, of course, with everything that is done on the screen.  Students have a choice of 10 ink colors – black, blue, red, green, purple, white, gray, brown, orange, and yellow.  The eraser and undo tools are also readily available.  Text can also be added.  It is quite simple to add an image to a slide/page.  Students can take a picture from the device’s camera or import one from the Camera Roll, DropBox, or the Internet.  Once imported, images can be moved, rotated, and resized.

Sharing is easily done by email, Facebook, or Twitter.  Students can access ‘Featured Lessons’ created by other users from within the app.  The Featured Lessons are grouped into the following categories: Computer Technology, Creative Arts, Health/P.E., Language Arts, Mathematics, Professional Development, Science, Social Studies, Special Education, Vocational Studies, World Languages, and Other.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies | Tagged , | Comments Off

ABA – Problem Solving – What does not belong?

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 7.26.27 PMThis app introduces young students to simple concepts such as colors and directions.  It displays four images at a time and requires students to choose the one item that is different than the others.  The difference could deal with color, name, type, or concept.

Students do not earn points.  But feedback concerning accuracy is given each time a student selects an answer.

Although the app is for young students, there are several customization options that enhance the experience and make it more difficult.  You can also add additional pictures, concepts, and game sounds.

Picture List

  • Advanced Shapes
  • Animal Shapes
  • Basic Shapes
  • Concepts

Play Modes

  • Nouns Only
  • Descriptors Only
  • Descriptors and Nouns Only
  • Progressive Difficulty
Posted in Critical Thinking, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, PreK - Kindergarten | Comments Off

Motion Math Zoom

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 1.21.23 PMIn 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.

Levels

  • Intro
  • Numbers: 1 – 1,000
  • Zooming
  • Negatives
  • Decimals: Tenths
  • Decimals: Hundredths
  • Decimals: Thousandths
  • Challenge
Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math | Tagged | Comments Off