Category Archives: PreK – Kindergarten
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.
This 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.
- Advanced Shapes
- Animal Shapes
- Basic Shapes
- Nouns Only
- Descriptors Only
- Descriptors and Nouns Only
- Progressive Difficulty
This is a very basic counting app. (Although, it also exposes students to a variety of vocabulary words.) Students tap up to 20 random objects (see list below). The number for each object appears on the screen when it’s tapped. The app moves on to the next set of items to count after the last object has been tapped. In other words, the student does not input the correct number of objects shown on the screen.
In the Settings menu, you can select the minimum and maximum number of items to display (1 – 20) and choose to have the number of items be progressive or appear in random order. You can also turn on or off the device’s ability to state the number once it is tapped. But perhaps the most beneficial Settings modification is the ability to customize the items. You can add your own items or delete ones that initially came with the app. You can even record your own voice as the one that states the name of the items and the numbers! Finally, you can customize the Success Sounds (feedback) or turn that option off entirely.
This app is not free because of the ability to customize audio and add your own items to count. However, just make a note that this app is probably best for toddlers and preschoolers due to its extreme simplicity.
Items to Count: alligator, apple, ball, banana, bear, bird, carrot, cat, chair, clock, coin, cow, deer, dinosaur, dog, doll, dolphin, donkey, drum, duck, elephant, flower, fork, giraffe, goat, heart, horse, kiwi, koala, lamp, lion, monkey, orange, panda, pen, pig, pillow, pizza, plane, plant, pumpkin, rabbit, rectangle, robot, rooster, sheep, snake, sofa, spoon, square, squirrel, strawberry, stroller, teddy bear, tiger, tomato, toy, train, tree, triangle, truck, turtle, whale, and zebra
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.
Young students will enjoy counting and adding simple problems with this app. Students begin by selecting two numbers (1 – 9) to add (along with tapping the plus then equal signs). After selecting the numbers, apples appear on the screen along with three answer choices. Students can then either compute the mental math or tap the apples to count them. The apples first appear as red and green/yellow. They turn to a weird purple color once students tap them (or once the equals sign is tapped). Students then have to select an answer from one of the three choices.
Students earn coins and apples for correct answers. The app also tracks progress for more than one student: Correct answers, Incorrect answers, and Accuracy. The Settings tab allows for simple customization options such as turning off/on background music, selecting the highest numbers (up to 9), and checking and locking the correct answers.
I’d recommend this app if it were free. I think only young students would appreciate adding the apples. But there are more apps out there that do much more.
Think of this app as an educational electronic coloring book. The basic version comes with four activities: Numbers Learning, Colors Learning, Upper Case Letters Learning, and Lower Case Letters Learning. As many as 14 additional coloring books and learning guides are available as in-app purchases.
For each activity, the user has 6 choices of coloring books to access: Christmas Cartoons, Shapes, Cartoons Book 1, Cartoons Book 2, World Map, and Photo Painting.
The app supports the following languages: American English (man), American English (woman), Australian English, British English, French, German, and Spanish. The Settings menu also allows you to customize the Coloring Options, Artwork, Sound, and Maps.
Students will definitely enjoy using their finger (or a stylus) to ‘color’ pictures while also learning the names of shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and the locations of continents and oceans. Completed pictures can easily be shared via email, printed, or saved to the Photos app.
This app was designed with only one objective in mind – to provide practice for a young student who is learning how to count. A question appears on the bright and colorful screen, “How many animals do you see?”. Three stars float along the bottom of the screen with answer choices. After counting the animals, the student will select the star with the correct answer. Feedback is given once an answer is chosen; however, the student does not have the opportunity to redo a question if an incorrect answer is given. There isn’t a time limit during which to choose an answer. If the student taps on each animal, s/he will see and hear the app counting each sequentially for them.
The Settings menu provides a few choices for customization. However, none of the choices drastically impacts the activity. You can turn on/off the Background Music, Sound Effects, and Voice Guidance. You can also start from the beginning (Level 1) or at the level completed each time the app is opened. It also has an ‘Advanced’ option where questions are more challenging. However, I did not see a difference in the difficulty of questions when this option was turned on.
A prize – in the form of a virtual toy animal – is earned after each level is complete. (Each level has 10 questions.) In the Prizes section of the app, students are able to touch each earned toy animal and play with it by moving it across the screen. I don’t think the ability to ‘play’ with the toy animals is something that would interest students for too long.
In general, I’m not a fan of apps that only address one skill. At this price point, there are other apps that allow your student to practice counting and explore other mathematical tasks. A free version does exist; check that out first to see if this app would make a good fit for your student.
This is a very simple matching/puzzle app for young learners. After choosing one of eight categories (see list below), students listen as the app says an object – like “circle” – then drag the correct puzzle piece to the top in order to make a match. Incorrect responses are met with a ‘ding’, then bounce back down to join the other remaining pieces. Correct responses are given verbal feedback. The pieces are large enough for small fingers to be able to tap with ease.
Categories: Alphabets, Fruits, Vehicles, Shapes, Numbers, Vegetables, Animals, and Colors
Unfortunately there is not an option to turn ‘off’ the audio portion of the app. Doing so would make the app more challenging for those that are ready. Of course you could always just mute the sound of your mobile device.
The option does exist for you to record your own voice for each of the objects. This seems very time consuming and unnecessary, but make a note that the option is there. The settings tab also allows you to activate a ‘Learning Mode’, randomize the puzzle sequence, and reset the saved scores and earned stars.
A free ‘Lite’ version exists; use it to preview the app to see if it would make a good fit for your learner.
- Parts of the Body: Head, arm, chest, leg, foot, ankle, knee, elbow, hand
- Parts of the Face: Hair, eye, cheek, chin, neck, mouth, nose, ear, forehead
- The Senses: Nose (smell), eye (sight), tongue (taste), fingers (touch), ears (hearing)
- The Skeleton: Skull, backbone, ribs, pelvis
- Inner Organs of the Body: Brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, stomach
There are only two objectives for each of the five sections. First, students drag pictures of body parts on the right side of the screen onto a picture of a human body on the left part of the screen. The name of the body part is said aloud when it’s touched. The body part will bounce back to the right side of the screen if it’s placed in an incorrect location. Once all parts are properly placed, students have to then drag labels for each part from the right side of the screen to the picture of the body on the left side. Again, the app reads each label aloud and incorrect placements will bounce back.
The app has a built-in reports feature where you can view the total number of correct and incorrect attempts for both the objects and labels. It can easily be reset for a new user, but it’s not possible to save the data for retrieval after a reset has been done.
Other than muting the iPad’s sound entirely, there isn’t a way to prevent the app from reading aloud the body parts. The voice sounds like a computerized older British woman; I wish a voice that was more appealing to younger learners was used.
Despite it’s title – Naming Parts of the Body – I want more from this app, especially at this price point. I think there should be the ability to tap on each part and bring up more written information (similar to an encyclopedia entry) or even short video clips (of a real beating heart, for example).