Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Targeting Maths Grade 2 is Free for Limited Time

If you are in the need of a nice math app tailored to review math topics typically found for grade 2 mathematics, download the app Targeting Maths 2 while it's free for a limited time.  Regularly $6.99.

You enter the app by creating your account on the iPad. This enables this app to be a great resource for an iPad center, since multiple students can use one iPad and have their individual progress saved under this one app.

Entering the activities area, students can choose between Training exercises or Timed exercises. 

In training excersise there are 9 different topics including number sense, addition, subtraction, fractions, and more.  Under each topic include several sub-topics, including math vocabulary.

Students are asked a variety of questions, in which the goal is to answer as many in a row as possible.  To check of you have completed a subtopic mastery, the student must have answered 10 questions in a row correctly, and at that point they earn a badge. They can try to obtain higher levels under each topic by answering correctly 25 or 50 in a row.

Timed topics are similar to training topics, but are provided in either 30 second, 1 minute, 2 minute, or 5 minute timed test environments.  Each timed test has 3 badge levels to achieve as well.

Badges are rewards for completing the activities with proficiency, which can be used to play one of two games called Exploding  Mice or Acrobat Splat, both addicting and hard to master.  However, in order to keep playing these games one  must obtain mastery of math concepts.

On all questions students can pull up a workspace area before answering their questions.

There are also multiplayer opportunities with 2 player, 3 player, or 4 player activities.


Finally, each person that has created an account is provided with a progress report they can view at any time.  This makes for a great place a teacher can go into the app, check in as a student, and view their progress report.   Progress reports are not shared via the app, however if you wanted to share it an ipad screen shot works well.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Learn Addition Algorithm with Math Edge

Math Edge has a series of apps to help children develop their understanding of basic math fact algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Try out the MathEdge Addition Lite and determine if this app will work with your classroom environment.

There are two options to choose from when starting this app, to Play or Practice.  If you choose to play, you will be provided 25 single digit math fact problems to see how fast you can answer the entire set correctly.  While answering, if you choose incorrectly the answer you selected appears red and slowly fades out until you type in a correct answer, which appears green.

If you choose Practice, you then select which level of practice: Easy which is single digit addition, Medium which is double digit without carrying, and Hard which is double digit with carrying.  This last set is perfect for practicing problems that require you to carry.  The example below shows how the app carries the tens digit up to the top after typing in 16 as the answer to 7 + 9, and awaiting to the user to type in 10 as the answer to 1+3+6.

If you enable the volume, students will be prompted how to work through the problems in all practice environments.

Try out the app, and if it works for you, MathEdge Addition/Subtraction app is $2.99.  There are corresponding multiplication and division apps.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Alien Assignment from Fred Rogers Center - Great for PreK and Primary!

Apps that allow children to get up, move, and interact with their environment are great for the classroom. With Alien Assignment (Free)  children are sent around on a scavenger hunt to find items to help the alien family repair their spaceship.

App plays like a movie which then asks the students to find something that they ask for.  For example, the spaceship lost it's memory so they asked for a picture of something with words on it.

The app opens the camera inside the app for students to take the picture, then moves on to the next need.  This continues for 4 items.  Once the students have collected the four items they ask a grown up to review what they found.

Teachers or Parents can then look through what the students chose to take photos of and verify if they found the right item.  If they did not, it will have the students go back and continue looking until all four pieces have been found and fixed on the spaceship.

This free app allows students to interact with the storyline, find characteristics, problem solve, and practice their listening skills.  All instructions are given given aloud by one of the little alien characters.  Once one scavenger hunt is complete, it begins a new hunt with different characteristics.  I played the app three times by myself and with my own first grader and we didn't have repeat characteristics., though eventually they would probably repeat.  This app would make a great center activity in the classroom or walk the room activity near the beginning of the year.  

The Fred Rogers Center has other apps geared towards younger students as well.  Many are great for at home or in daycare settings.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Great Google Drive App Update!

The latest app update for the Google Drive iOS app has added multiple account log in! As someone who uses multiple google accounts, this makes my workflow on my iPad an even more important tool. 
In my account, I was immediately prompted with the question as to whether I would like to add multiple accounts the first time I logged in after the update.
To switch between the multiple accounts, choose your settings in the upper left corner of the screen.  This will show the account you are currently in. 

 To switch to a different account, choose your account name and it will show you a option to switch or add another account.
 And it is quick!  Finally, no more signing out and signing back in to access needed docs when I'm on the go.  


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Professor Garfield Digital Citizenship Apps

 Keeping the conversation going with your students about digital citizenship and teaching digital literacy is important.  The Infinite Learning Lab  has created free apps for the iPad that would be a great tool to add to your curriculum.

Each app contains a comic strip story which contains click and drag style questions as they move through based on what they are learning in the comic.  Because the comic strips do not read aloud, these would work best for independent readers, upper elementary through middle school.   

The most power would be to incorporate these apps into a discussion on the topic.  Some students may find it too easy to drag through the comic and then click and drag until they find the right answers.

Little Bird - An Internet Security Storybook for Kids

At what grade should you be addressing Internet Security and Digital Citizenship with your students?  As early as possible.

Here is a great story book written for elementary students called Little Bird, an Internet Security Adventure which runs as an iPad app.  Little Bird goes on an adventure and meets several characters, each with an Internet Security dilemma. Students can read the book themselves or have it read to them.  On each page touch the characters to have them say additional engaging statements.

With an emphasis being placed on non-fiction reading for younger students, this is a great resource to begin digital citizenship discussions with your students.

Talkboard - a Collaborative Drawing App

Talkboard is a simple to use drawing app providing the end user with a white background, three drawing tools, and many colors.

To begin using Talkboard, you must sign in so your work can be saved in cloud storage.  Most all our students have Google Accounts which makes this an easy to use option for our area classrooms.

One attraction I have with this app is the collaboration piece.  Talkboard allows you to share projects by email so others can work on a set of papers at the same time.  Students can brainstorm on an idea adding their own thoughts simultaneously.  Students from different schools can give each other math problems to solve, and watch how each other solves the problem.

Easy to see who are all currently editing this page

Inside a project are a series of papers, each paper containing content.  Easy recognizable icons show users if they are working collaboratively with someone else.

Try out Talkboard, an intuitive shared whiteboard space.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Word Families with Kindergarten and Kids Doodle

It's always fun spending a morning with Kindergarteners!  Ms. Evans has been using the Kids Doodle app with her 5 and 6 year olds to practice their word families and I was hearing great results about it so I went to check it out.   

Kids Doodle records the drawing as they create, allowing them to replay their drawing.  In this activity, students are practicing their word family words for the day and drawing an image for that word.   For the teacher it allows for her to have conversations about letter formation as she circulates and they are sharing their videos with her.  Students are saving their image in the built in gallery, though the app does have the ability to save as a movie to the camera roll on the ipod or to send images via email.  

Ms. Evans uses the free version of the app, note that it does contain banner ads across the top of the screen.  App free is available for $0.99.
As with any behavior in the classroom by utilizing repetitive practice, clear expectations and consequences, the ads cause few issues.    She manages her iPod time by having pictures of the apps on her chart by the rug, this way students know which app they need to go to and what it looks like.  It also will show any apps they are allowed to go to after they are finished.  With kindergarten, it's also important to use picture prompts for students to learn which buttons they need to push in the app. 

The engagement and creativity of this app activity and the ability to watch their drawing allows for Ms. Evans to take a worksheet activity and make it more interactive and along with giving her feedback on their letter formation.  Students revisiting their old movies in the gallery were reviewing past lists and practicing their word families.   Additional skills from this activity that students were practicing include letter formation,  cvc word families, relating words to everyday objects, and following multi-step directions.  And they did great!