Mystery Math Town


   Mystery Math Town

   by Artgig Apps

Some might be wondering where did Applicable2U go since the summer time.  Yes, I have been “ed app missing in action” but have made a brief return for my friends at Artgig Apps.  Over the last few months, Artgig Apps has been busy and certainly making their mark in the app world.  If you aren’t familiar with Artgig Apps, they are known for Shake-A-Phrase, Alien Buddies, Marble Math and Marble Math Jr.  Recently, Common Sense Media and CTR (Children’s Technology Review) awarded Marble Math and Marble Math Jr. for excellence in design and “must have” apps on your device.  Today the celebration continues as they launch in the App Store, Mystery Math Town.   Mystery Math Town is intended to be used with children ages 6-12 years old.  In order to visit this mysterious town, users must have an iPad device running iOS 5 or later.  It’s perfect for home and school usage as it allows for multiple accounts and customization of user skills while meeting grade level Common Core State Standards.  While on this island, players will use their mathematical knowledge of addition, subtraction and multiplication in order to unlock rooms, windows and secret passage ways. Your child(ren) will be completely engaged from the very beginning as they create their own quirky avatar.   If any of my readers have been to Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom lately, you may have noticed a new technical integration of talking paintings that guide you through the park in order to solve a mystery.  While exploring Mystery Math Town on my device this memory of Magic Kingdom came to mind as I opened doors, zipped down stairs and interacted with talking paintings or animated objects within each room while doing math.   Learn to build numerical sentences and fact families with numbers, dice, and tally marks.  With a clean and easy to navigate design, users will be developing strategies and building their critical thinking skills along the way.

Before your mystery can begin, users will not want to miss the chance to design their own avatar, swipe through a variety choices. What type of hat/hair, eyes or mouth will your child(ren) choose? Once created, no avatar is set in stone, it can be altered at anytime.  Differentiate a players experience by selecting those skills that will be incorporated during their mystery.

  • Addition: 0-10, 11-20, or 21-50
  • Subtraction: 0-10, 11-20, or 21-50
  • Multiplication: x1, x2, x5, x10 or x1-x10
  • Types of numbers to include dice and tallies

Off the shores of this island are 8 homes and your goal is to help an adorable ghost find a total of 50 firefly friends that have been trapped in jars. Homes provide users with a large library of mathematical questions.  Once through the front door, the direction you go next will depend on the numbers you store.  Users will need to keep in mind that their storage meter will only hold 8 numbers, this is where strategy comes in.  Use the numbers collected to build fluency of addition, subtraction and multiplication as you go through windows, up/down stairs or through doorways.  If along the way your child is unsure of how to solve, use a lifeline, but use them wisely, they are only given three.  Mystery Math Town is equipped with a number of bonus features or positive reinforcements, a collection of talking paintings (ie. Ms. Maps, Shirley MacStroodle and FlapJack) and a treasure chest of coins.  Applicable2U actually found themselves going around in circles at times, had I made good numerical choices?  If not, how should I solve.  With some many schools talking about Common Core State Standards, a number of standards came to mind through exploration.  For example,

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.8 Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.
     Yes, Mystery Math Town has been added to a large list of educational math apps.  However, this truly is unlike any other math app that I have experienced.  It is so much more than clicking the sum, difference or product.  It’s about understanding properties of math, working with equations, and building fluency.  Recently, I had a fourth grade student visit this mysterious town, at the end I asked him what he thought.  He said, “This is an AWESOME app.”  In addition, his classroom teacher was very impressed at how it meets the needs of students at grade level and those needing additional support within an inclusionary educational model.  Take the time to download Mystery Math Town TODAY by simply clicking here. You won’t regret it!



by LLC “Kinderbook”

As summer nears, parents and educators will find readily available a list of recommended “summer reading” on school district and library webpages. Although it may be summer and school is out, ones love of reading should not disappear. Whether you are in school or out, reading should be apart of your daily routine. The way society reads has certainly changed over the years. Several years ago, in order to get access to the latest collection of books, individuals had to visit their local bookstore or library. Today’s bookstore or library has a very different feel, as you can visit it virtually now as an app on your mobile device or from your home computer via a web browser. Whether you are a MAC or PC person, everyone is familiar with Apples virtual library, iBooks. It is equipped with a large collection to choose from ranging in Arts & Entertainment, Parenting, Textbooks, and Science & Nature books. You might be wondering, what category do children’s literature fall under? Well wonder no more! As of late, we were introduced to the developers from LLC “Kinderbook”. Kinderbook apps is a team of unusual elves – a Commander, Librarian, Protector, and a Software Engineer. Together they launched back in April of this year KiddoBook. KiddoBook is the child’s version of a virtual/downloadable library much like iBook is for adults. It is compatible with your iPad device running iOS 3.2 or later. Currently, the Kiddobook central library app can be downloaded to your iPad in six different languages. Encourage your child ages 3-8 to love all types of books from fantasy, educational books and both classical and new stories with this free download.

Come turn the pages of this very kid friendly application today! Their logo is an adorable, waving book named Kinderbook. His manual, Kinderbook: The Manual, is the first book on your new bookshelf. As a parent or an educator, if questions or problems arise, be sure to visit this eye catching manual. Their clever “manual” is the help or information button as seen in other applications. Once the virtual library, Kiddobook app has been downloaded for free, users will then be able to build their library. Start your library off with two free books, Marlene: Just Another Princess and Two Frogs. Additional ebooks can be stacked as in-app purchases for only .99¢. If unsure if your son/daughter will enjoy a particular title, simply click on the book jacket and preview a brief description and sampling of pages. By applying this preview feature, it avoids the “oops, I didn’t mean to buy that or I didn’t know what it was going to be about” scenarios. With regular updates and more titles arriving soon, developers are “making sure young readers are having fun while learning to appreciate traditional human values.”

Books can be experienced in a variety of formats. Depending on your child’s reading level, they can be subtitled and read by professional actors, read by a parent or the child themselves. Each page is filled with beautiful illustrations, a variety of colorful details and vocabulary and lessons to be learned. It is important to note that those books viewed on your Kiddobook app are only interactive with the turn of every page. Navigate the story from beginning to end at your own pace as you stop to discussion various types of questions or predictions. Unlike other books read via your mobile device, Kiddobooks does not offer the option of highlighting words as they are read, however, it would certainly be a suggestion we would love to see added in a future update.  For this review we downloaded both free ebooks, however, one book was on the top shelf, while the other was at the bottom.  Is there anyway that all downloaded books could be organized together on one’s shelf?  A great interactive idea to get the readers involved with organizing their own bookshelf would be to allow users to drag and drop books into place.  An interesting way to make your bookshelf your own. Users could simply drag and drop books according to their favorites titles or story lines.

Overall, we loved exploring KiddoBook for our  iPad device.  It is not unusual that a child will model what they see their parent(s) doing as they explore their mobile device.  There is no need to stuff your travel bag, book bag or tote with tons of heavy books anymore.  Instead, stuff your KiddoBook app virtual bookshelf with a variety of genre.  Your back will thank you!   If you would like to learn more about LLC “Kinderbook”, please visit their support page here.  If the adults get access to iBooks, then why not add a similar, kid friendly version called KiddoBook to your iPad device today for free!  To begin downloading, simply click here.

This review will also be featured on Fun Educational Apps site along with several other detailed app reviews.

Marble Math and Marble Math Jr.


  Marble Math and Marble Math Jr.

by Artgigs

On a daily basis I am amazed at how many things from my childhood are coming back into style. From the clothing and hair styles that my students wear to the games that they are playing with. Games come in all formats and the most popular are those found on your mobile device. If you are familiar with Applicable2U, then you know my students and child game for a reason. Educational apps need to meet curriculum needs as it applies to those grade level standards and of course their exposure needs to also keep my audience engaged while having fun! Today’s review brings back marbles, mazes which move, a hint of pinball and math all in one. Artgig Apps are no stranger to the app world with such app titles as Being Benny, Shake A Phrase, Alien Buddies and now two math applications, Marble Math and Marble Math Jr. Each with a similar design but targets two age level populations. Marble Math focuses on core math concepts for those ages 9-12. While Marble Math Jr. focuses on those core math skills for ages 5-8. Both are designed for your iPad and iPhone device running iOS 4.0 or later. Navigate yourself through leveled mazes as you collect mathematical answers and hidden treasures but be sure to stay away from a few unwanted hiccups.

Both versions of Marble Math are equipped with a clean, easy to navigate design. Very quickly you can individualize your child’s experience from the main menu by selecting the cogwheel and wrench icons. Developers have included two ways to “play”. Depending on your child’s learning needs, they can roll a colorful marble with the touch of their finger or the motion of their iPad. Turn stumbling blocks like a boxing glove, banana peel or blob of goo on or off. Each application is pre-installed with a large collection of marbles, however, only one is unlocked. Unlock additional marbles by simply collecting correct answers and finding the end to each maze board. Experience math in a playful way over the course of three levels; easy, medium or hard. Not sure which level your child or student may fall into? Not to worry! Get an educational map of concepts by clicking on the wrench icon from the main menu. Customize your child’s learning experience by selecting those areas in need of reinforcement or mastery. Each educational app is equipped with academically appropriate skills.

Marble Math Jr.













Marble Math

At the completion of games, your child’s scores are recorded for each level in a table format. As levels or skills are repeated, see how your child’s score increases over time. A note to the developers – in a future update, might it be possible to provide parents and/or educators a more detailed report. This would inform future instruction and reinforcement. In addition, have you thought to provide multiple user accounts for those homes which have only one device but multiple children or schools with a limited number of devices in a classroom environment. Regardless of which version of Marble Math you download, marble manipulation and screen view is similar. At the top of the screen users will find the question. Most of the screen is devoted to the maze. As answers are collected, they will be dropped to the blank strip at the bottom, acting like a “show work” area. In addition, users will be able to keep an eye on the number of lives they have left, 3 is the norm, but additional lives can be collected. A note to the developers – when exploring in Marble Math Jr. might it be possible to include a question reading option if working independently and reading has not been mastered. Whether you use your finger tip to roll your marble around the maze or the motion of your iPad, if an incorrect answer is selected a pop up window will appear. Here users will be able to “try again, show me, or move onto the next question.” It appears that your collected score will not be effected when incorrect answers are chosen. If a user chooses to try again, they will be given another chance at the same question which caused them problems. Repetition of skills is the key to ones success! To support all learning styles, developers have chosen not to include a timing feature. While playing online or mobile device games, some students find a countdown clock frustrating and distracting. However, in order to challenge some students, those “high flyers”, a timing option might be just what they are looking for in the later elementary years.

Overall, Applicable2U would give Marble Math and Marble Math Jr. two thumbs up! Although we have provided some suggestions, it is still very engaging, interactive and academically appropriate for your child ages 5-12. How many free rides, crowns, or magic wands will your son or daughter collect while recognizing numbers, exploring operations, and building their awareness of time, fractions and money? If you would like to learn more about Artgig Apps, please visit their website here. To begin building your academic marble collection, download Marble Math TODAY for only $1.99 by simply clicking here.   Marble Math Jr. can be downloaded by clicking here.

Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs

Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs

by Cognitive Kid

Like most parents or educators we want to share and explore the world with our children, but it may not necessarily be to places that we can easily get too. Instead of getting on an airplane or driving a car, children can now take part in a virtual field trip to just about anywhere. Has your early elementary student had a chance to explore the Africa desert with virtual friends, Ansel and Clair? Around this time last year, Cognitive Kid launched Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa for your iPad device but as of late has added the ability to explore and visit Africa via your iPhone device as well. We were impressed with this series then and are excited to share that a new virtual experience has been added to their collection list, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs for your iPad device. This is the first in a trilogy series of Ansel and Clair Adventures which focuses on exploring different dinosaur periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Come visit an official dig site, ask questions of a paleontologist as your son or daughter interacts with their mobile device. As your child or student explores the cretaceous period they will travel back in time with adorable characters and a “zippy” spaceship to broaden their knowledge and build their vocabulary while having a ton of fun!

This educational app could not have come at a more appropriate time in our household. My 6 year old son had library today and what type of book did he come home with…an encyclopedia of dinosaurs. A book which has 127 pages, he worried that we might not be able to finish the book in time before having to return it to his school library. His worry was quickly put to ease when I mentioned our recent download, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs to my iPad device. It is an educational app which puts your child at the center of it all. Simply borrow a fossil from Dr. Lindy Bones in order to get your spaceship moving around the world. While spinning the globe, see what the world looked like before it was broken into the continents that we know today. As your child embarks on this imaginative and educational adventure, join Ansel and Clair as they go beneath the ground to find more fossils of the cretaceous period while reinforcing various fine motor skills. Tap with one or two fingers or swipe from side to side in order to explore and play. In doing so, your child(ren) or students will feel as though they have a chisel, hammer or brush at their finger tips. Once all the tools have been used and the fossil is revealed, piece the dinosaur back together like a puzzle and see the environment where such dinosaurs as: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, Kosmoceratops and Oviraptor lived billions of years ago. Hold on tight, because here we go!

As your child(ren) or student(s) go on this adventure they will become critical thinkers with the help of Ansel and Clair. Your elementary students earth science unit or textbook just stepped into the 21st century. Developers have included a great deal of support through both visual and verbal directions. Those items on a page which provide factual information are clearly marked with a magnifying play button or checkmark. In addition, many of the dinosaur names are challenging for our target audience or even an adult to say, so developers have also included a syllable break down just underneath each reptiles name. Since this is like no other journey, your child will be equipped with a backpack which has all the essentials, a camera and a journal. Take as many pictures as you would like, however, your journal does have certain requirements. A note to the developers – might it be possible at the completion of ones journal to be able to tap on pictures within those pages, as a way to share new information or even a recall quiz like question(s) for comprehension. Ansel and Clair do an amazing job at sharing new information and building your child’s vocabulary, the opportunities for extended conversations and further investigation are amazing. As they learn and develop their filing system of knowledge, your child will also be interacting with those from the cretaceous period as they collect stickers, see a volcano erupt, watch a meteor show and care for Maiasaura’s eggs.

Overall, we loved this first in the series dinosaur application, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs and look forward to learning more about the Jurassic and Triassic periods in the coming months. Whether you have a little paleontologist on your hands or need to spruce up your earth science unit, the educational apps that Cognitive Kid have to offer are worth the download. With all the information that is shared however, we would love to see in a future update the incorporation of speech bubble that highlight as each character reads. With this differentiation, Ansel and Clair’s Dinosaur Adventure scientific application will be able to support all learning styles along their travels.

If you would like to learn more about Cognitive Kid, please visit their website here. To start digging on your first archeological adventure, simply click here to download Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs to your iTunes library for $1.99 today!

This review will be featured on Fun Educational Apps site along with many other detailed reviews.

iLearn With – Planet Boing HD

iLearn With – Planet Boing! HD

by Tribal Nova

As we near our 200th educational app review, we are pleased to share with our readers the latest and greatest things that development group, Tribal Nova has to offer your preschooler to kindergartener. Tribal Nova is no stranger to the app world, with several iLearn With educational series already on the market: Seasons, Counting & Addition, and Mighty Jungle Animals. In each, users play and learn alongside kid friendly characters, Poko, Bibi, Babu and Mr. Murphy. As of late, this friend list is growing as your child visits the Planet Boing. Planet Boing HD is like the “hub station” that connects all the educational series in one central location as it tracks and reports your child’s progress. As your child builds essential skills in math, science, language and literacy to name a few, they will be encouraged and rewarded through a variety of game break type activities. As our own resident expert explored, all we could hear were “hoops, hollers and oh ya’s”. Planet Boing HD is a free download to your iPad device and runs on those devices with an iOS of 4.0 or later.

Upon entering Planet Boing HD, parents or educators will want to establish an account, a total of four can be created. Each account is associated with an avatar or icon and that child’s birthday. Depending on the number of devices in a school or home environment, the ability to switch accounts is very easy. Planet Boing HD was designed to meet the academic needs of children ages 3-6, but it also meets the “gaming for a reason” requirements of both parents and educators. From the main menu of Planet Boing HD, children are able to see not only their avatar but a colored tracking bar. This indicates their success based on those academic skills experienced. In addition, a new reporting feature is now associated with most iLearn With educational app series. An adorable eye winking bumble bee indicates that a particular series is connected to Planet Boing HD. Parents and educators can now see how their child(ren) are virtually growing while they play with Poko, Bibi, Mr. Murphy and their friends from Ice Land Adventures, a new literacy application now available. See what is “buzzing” around as your child games for a reason. The iLearn With “academic trees” are currently broken into four categories: Math, Literacy, Science and Language. Branches of each of these trees indicates which games will reinforce specific skills. By simply selecting a section of a branch, additional information is provided of those skills played/not played and the user’s level of success. If an educator or parent feels that a particular skill needs reinforcing, users can immediately access it by clicking the play button.

Whether your child is developing their understanding of phonics, letters, days of the week, weather, numbers or operations, a little “down time” is always a nice reward. Such down time would be to design your very own alien within Planet Boing HD. Aliens can be customized in a variety of ways through a roller deck of options. Such options include: altering their aliens hands, feet, eyes, nose, and accessories. Initially this roller deck is pre-installed with items, but to increase those options, users must play within the iLearn With educational app series. At an early age, they will be learning that you can’t get something for nothing! By simply tapping a needed item, users are then connected to a particular iLearn With app series. Through leveled progress activities in science, math and literacy, users will earn or unlock new customizations. Once items are earned, users can then go on a psychedelic like ride as they zip along the planet’s floor to unknown places in the sky.

At this time, Planet Boing HD is linked in with reporting features to the following iLearn With series:

iLearn With Poko: Seasons is an application which develops ones vocabulary as your child learns the essentials to the seasons and weather. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Weather conditions – Learn to distinguish seasons and weather conditions by comparing different pictures.
✔ Game 2: What to wear – Find Poko and Bibi’s clothes and objects that do not fit weather conditions.
✔ Game 3: Days and activities – Explore week days and match the right activities to the weather conditions.

iLearn With Poko: Addition is an application which encompasses both numbers and early addition facts. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Bowling – Count and add up to 6 bowling pins by playing with Poko and Minus.
✔ Game 2: Building blocks – Help Poko, Bibi and Minus group sets of blocks and learn to add up to 10.
✔ Game 3: Poko’s toys – Find all the objects Poko is looking for in his room and learn to add up to 15.

iLearn With Ice Land Adventures is the newest addition to the iLearn With series and builds your child’s knowledge of letters, phonics and words.

✔ Game 1: Letters – Learn upper-case and lower-case letters as well as their names.
✔ Game 2: Phonics – Compose syllables by combining vowels and consonants.
✔ Game 3: Words – Spell words by placing letters in the correct order.

As you can see Tribal Nova has been hard at work to make their educational apps meet the needs of our school age children. Through vibrant graphics, familiar characters as seen on TV, clear and concise directions, a great deal of repetition and reinforcements, your child will be saying “iLearned With” and had fun while do so. Overall, we love the recent updates and additions that Tribal Nova has offered to our iPad device. In the coming weeks, see additional branches of learning that will be offered on Planet Boing HD. The three iLearn With series briefly mentioned above can be downloaded to your iTunes library for $2.99, however, keep your eyes open for future sale prices. To learn more about Tribal Nova, please visit their website here. If you are interested in making a full educational connection and management system for your child’s learning, then be sure to add Planet Boing HD to your device today by simply clicking here.

A disclaimer that should be shared with my readers is that Applicable2U was a part of the pedagogical design of iLearn With – Ice Land Adventures HD and Planet Boing HD.