Category Archives: Learning Apps

A to Z Music Videos from ABCmouse.com

downloadYoung children will certainly enjoy the alphabet-based music videos found within this app. However, only three videos are unlocked after initially downloading the app. The other videos can be unlocked by redeeming tickets. 100 tickets come with the app and a few more are earned each time a music video is watched. Beware of in-app purchases that allow you to purchase additional tickets. The lyrics to each song can be found by tapping the Menu button.

Parent Tip (copied directly from the app)

These music videos offer many features that will help to develop essential reading knowledge and skills for young children. Their main purpose is to teach letter recognition, helping your child learn to correctly identify both the lowercase and uppercase versions of every letter of the alphabet. They also provide many examples of the sound or sounds that are represented by each letter, in words that are fun and interesting.

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Grammar Expert: English Grammar Beginner

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.01.57 PMThis app is ideal for English Language Learners. I wouldn’t recommend it, however, for native English speakers interested in improving or initially learning basic grammar skills.

Each topic – or chapter – consists of a brief lesson, followed by four mini quizzes and a chapter quiz. There’s also a final quiz that covers all of the chapters. The app recommends that the user score a 75% or higher on each mini quiz before proceeding to the chapter quiz. But it is possible to move on without obtaining a certain score. It is also possible to complete the chapters out of order. Each quiz consists of a series of sentences with a word missing; the user has to choose the correct word from three choices. On the mini quizzes, options are present to skip the question or to receive a hint. All quizzes have the option of accessing the study lesson.

Topics/Chapters

  • Articles
  • Count, Non-Count Nouns
  • Verbs
  • Demonstratives
  • Adjectives
  • Interrogatives
  • Possessive Adjectives
  • Question Tags
  • Adverbs
  • Prepositions
  • Auxiliaries
  • Modals
  • Tenses
  • Conditionals
  • Gerunds
  • Passives
  • Reported Speech
  • Numerals
  • Causatives
  • Comparitives

The settings tab allows you to turn sound effects on or off, reset the progress meter, and adjust the amount of time the user has to answer each quiz question. The developer – Golden Academy – has also created over ten more grammar and writing related apps.

Posted in 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Paid | Comments Off on Grammar Expert: English Grammar Beginner

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

Kidpedia

Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 3.27.58 PMThis 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)
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Animals
  • Fruit
  • Space
Posted in 1st - 2nd, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Kidpedia

Starlight – Mobile Planetarium

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 8.04.53 AMMake the solar system come alive for your child by the use of this app!  It uses the device’s internal navigation system to display which constellations, stars, and other parts of the solar system are currently in the sky above (the Location service must be on when using an Apple device).  It also lists the space objects that are currently below the horizon where you are.

Tapping a constellation, star, or other part of the solar system brings up a brief informative paragraph to read and an accompanying picture.

Note that there’s an in-app option to purchase the Planetary Sounds Pack to access sounds captured by several space crafts.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, Paid, Science | Comments Off on Starlight – Mobile Planetarium

Ace Kids Math Games

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 9.53.43 PMThis app gives young children a chance to practice counting, adding, and subtracting.  They are able to visually count the items that appear along with a simple equation.  After tapping one of three answer choices, they receive feedback on their answer.  Each correct answer moves the child one step closer to completing that particular level.  Each level completed earns a prize.

Here are the rules as found in the ‘Setup’ star:

  1. Solve the math question
  2. Touch the correct star answer
  3. Complete levels to unlock secret prizes

The ‘Setup’ star also allows you to turn on/off the background music and sound effects.  You also have options to start on the level completed (rather than the first level).  You can also turn on/off the skills of counting, addition, and subtraction.  Turning on the Advanced option enables the equations to become more challenging.

The ‘Prizes’ star houses the prizes that were earned by completing each level.  Children can touch the prize toys to play with them.  They can also play the game on the page to unlock even more secret prizes.

A free version of this app also exists.

 

Posted in iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, Math, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ace Kids Math Games

iLuv Drawing Animals

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 8.32.45 PMThis 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

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Fine Arts, iPad, Learning Apps, Paid | Tagged | Comments Off on iLuv Drawing Animals

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 on ABA – Problem Solving – What does not belong?

Graphs

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 2.06.21 PMThis is another impressive app by Tap to Learn.  I’ve also reviewed their Fractions and Tiny Chicken Learns Math apps.

Upon opening, the user has four choices:

Learn – First, select from one of four categories: Bar Graph; Line Graph; Pie Chart; or Mean, Median and Mode. Then tap through between 7 – 12 slides in each tutorial series.  Each series provides a thorough explanation of the topic.

Bar Graph – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about bar graphs that appear on the screen.

Line Graph – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about line graphs that appear on the screen.

Pie Charts – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about pie charts that appear on the screen.

The three Practice sections offer immediate feedback and keep track of the number correct and the number attempted.

It’s hard to complain about a free app, but I do wish Tap to Learn would also include a Practice section for mean, median and mode since the skills are included in the Learn section.  Regardless, the Learn section is quite beneficial and the Practice sections that are included make this app a great choice.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, Math | Comments Off on Graphs

Explain Everything

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 8.39.26 PMThe name says it all – Explain Everything.  This app is used for screencasting (screen recording).  It’s similar to recordable interactive whiteboard apps such as Show Me and Screen Chomp.  However, it’s much more complex.  I think it’s more like a recordable version of PowerPoint or KeyNote.  I actually think it’s more appropriate for teachers to use rather than students.  I can see this primarily being used by teachers for tasks such as recording instructional movies.  Although students could easily import existing PowerPoint/KeyNote presentations and turn them up a notch using this app.

Explain Everything is extremely robust – which perfectly justifies its price point.  Start with a blank slate or import almost any type of existing file.  I appreciate that you do not need to create an account; this makes it easier if you do decide to use this app with students.

If you get this app, or are even interested in reading more about it, download the FREE eBook from the iBookstore!  It’s jam-packed with tutorials, videos, and full explanations of the app’s tools.

Posted in 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, iPad, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on Explain Everything