Yesterday I was taking a closer look at some of the apps I loaded onto the iPad and thought I would mention a few I really like. Two of them are by McGraw-Hill, a company that has been in the education field for years. The first is called, “Everyday Mathematics Monster Squeeze.” You play alone or up to four players to practice “greater than” and “less than” to guess a secret number. The game involves guessing which number is the “secret number”. Players are told that the secret number is greater or less than the one they have chosen. An octopus makes the game more fun by moving two of his tentacles closes and closer to narrow down the numbers. The other one we use by the same company is called, “Top it.” You basically compete against an opponent doing double digit subtraction. Kids get to deal out cards which they think is fun and the winner is the one whose answer happens to be largest. Most of the McGraw-Hill apps seem to be going for $1.99 for younger students and range from early school age math to US history and the MCAT. There is one called, “Beat the Computer” that I’d like to try. Who wouldn’t want to beat a computer?
Another Math app that I really love is called, “Park Math.” It’s made by one of my favorite app makers, Duck Duck Moose. Everything they do is so visually appealing and well thought out. A little blue bear on skates moves from page to page when you touch him bringing him to the next activity. What a genius and simple way to move from page to page! Little ones can work on counting, addition, subtraction, sorting by size and following simple directions. I think this app is very creatively done and gives great visual support to little ones. Check it out! Buy it!
The last math app I am going to talk about today before I move on to do my laundry is called, “Sam Phibian,” by 3Cd. I would by this app just to look at it. The colors are brilliant and there is wonderful texture and depth to the artwork. To play children must feed a little frog called Sam the correct number and color bugs that fly over him. If you feed him the wrong things he will get bigger and bigger until he falls off his pad. At first my son didn’t get what to do, he just wanted to feed Sam any old thing that went by….. flying saucers, underwear, etc. The funny sound effects and visuals you get by feeding Sam something wrong were cool to him but not as cool as winning the game. Finally he understood that he needed to look and see how many of each bug needed to be eaten. (I kinda liked watching him do this after five minutes of ignoring my advice. He finally tired of losing and looked at the bottom of the screen to figure out what to do.) Sometimes the best apps out there are for the simplest of ideas.