Middle School Math 7th Grade

  Middle School Math 7th Grade

by Monkey in the Middle Apps, LLC

If you are familiar with what is available in the App Store as it relates to educational math games, many of them are focused towards the pre-school to late elementary years.  If however you are a parent, an educator or both, that has middle school students or children then maybe you are in need of something more appropriate for your Apple device.  Currently on the market is Middle School Math 7th Grade by new developers Monkey in the Middle Apps.  As you travel through various locations around the world with an animated monkey, the object of the game is to guide him sideways, up and down ladders with the tilting magic of your Apple device.  In order to get him safely down, it is your goal to answer a variety of algebraic expressions.  Through your middle schoolers exploration, they might make a real world connection as Middle School Math 7th Grade bares a slight resemblance to  the video game version of Donkey Kong.

Upon entering the application, you will notice that the main menu options are basic and to the point.  There is not a great deal of flashiness that needs to attract the audience.  In addition, when opening Middle School Math 7th Grade you will also notice that your Game Center app is queued up.  Your achievements and leader board stats will be stored in your Game Center account as it relates to your individual mobile device.  The initial download of Middle School Math 7th Grade is free and provides users with four mathematical topics to review: negative numbers as it relates to all operations (+,-, x, and /), absolute value and the orders of operation.  Within each academic level there are also three levels of difficulty.  Your achievements are presented numerically in banana icons within your Overall Ratings window.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to store such things as: About, Leaders, Achievements and such as a separate icon that users could tap on as an “on needed” basis.  By doing this, it would open the main screen a bit to present the Overall Ratings window a bit bigger. If over time, your middle school feels that they would like additional topics/questions to their Middle School Math 7th Grade application, there is an in-app purchase option of .99¢.

Middle Schoolers will be very quick to pick up on how to manipulate.  Simply choose a mathematical concept from your ratings window and the game will begin. It is important to note that players are timed, as the clock appears in the upper right hand corner of your screen. With a tilt to the left or right of your Apple device, navigate the monkey to the ladder.  As your jungle friend approaches the ladder, it will automatically slide down. Randomly while tilting and sliding down ladders, math boxes will suddenly appear with a numeric expression and four possible answers.  Simply tap the correct answer, answers that turn green are correct and those that turn red are incorrect.  With every correct answer, users will earn a banana token.  A final grade report is then generated, sharing your time and the number of bananas earned out of the total questions attempted.  If necessary, parents and/or educators can have grade reports emailed to them to explain where successes or difficulties may have occurred.  This report is also important as it can guide classroom teachers for future follow up instruction for a small or large group. From the point of view of both an educator and a parent, Applicable2U does have some suggestions that we would love to see in a future update:

1) When an incorrect answer has been chosen, students should see some kind of consequence.  If sending the monkey back up levels, then it is important to be consistent.  An alternative consequence could be adding a particular block of time to your final score as a penalty.

2) When problems appear, students are not pressured to complete in a particular amount of time, however, some students may require a scrap pad to solve.  It might be interesting to offer a notebook like icon which students could use as a calculator or to follow through with their step by step procedures in answering.  Their finger or even an appropriate mobile device stylus could be used as a pencil.  This would accommodate students of all learning modalities.

3) This is an educational math application, however, it might be interesting to add some level of challenges.  Such challenges may include obstacles that the monkey would need to jump over, swing across or things to collect along the way.  Although Middle School Math 7th Grade may be for young adults 12+, they still require some challenges along the way as they game for a reason.  The goal is to keep the player engaged and challenged academically.  With every wrong answer, supplemental questions of similarity should be presented.  For those consistently getting correct answers, problems should increase in difficulty.

Overall, Applicable2u believes that Middle School Math 7th Grade has potential.  Currently, they are reviewing suggestions by both parents and teachers on ways to improve their educational app.  A component that we have yet to see by other developers is the ability to build and load your own question sets via HTML code that Monkey in the Middle Apps provides via their website.  If you would like to learn more about Monkey in the Middle Apps, simply click here.  To begin climbing down your ladders of algebraic expressions,  simply click here to access Middle School Math 7th Grade  as a FREE download from your iTunes library today!

Splash Math

  Splash Math
     by StudyPad, Inc.

Have you splashed into Math for Grade 3 yet on your iPad device?  If not, then you will want to take the leap today by jumping into their mathematical aquarium.  StudyPad released Splash Math Grade 3 at the beginning of the school year. It is a wonderful addition to the Educational App Store. It is quite obvious that curriculum standards were at the forefront of creating this educational app.  The models and usage of mathematical vocabulary are very well done.  When visiting StudyPad’s website, a particular quote struck me, “Your time is important, and so is the time you spend with the child. You will no longer be spending time correcting and evaluating hundred of sheets. Instead you will focus on real teaching. Splash Math is designed to provide deep insight into the student’s performance.”  This is an app that will support teachers, guide parents and their struggling third grader(s) in a non-threatening environment. Of the educational apps that I have reviewed, it is a more expensive application, however, the capabilities and skills that your child(ren) will  master will be well worth your money!!

Upon entering this application, I was immediately struck by the life like graphics coming alive as origami characters.  In addition, I was stunned at the number of mathematical skills that will be reinforced within three levels of play: Easy, Medium and Hard.  Splash Math Grade 3 truly encompasses an entire years worth of content in one download.  Chapters range from place value, to the four operations, time, measurement, geometry, data/probability, fractions/decimals and money.  When playing, a total of 5 users can be established on one device.  Initially, the only level of play open is easy.  As a user plays and succeeds, additional levels are then unlocked.  Having so many mathematical options, StudyPad has provided the teacher or parent the ability to set up the type of play mode that will occur with each experience.  Skills can be set to on or off depending on each users ability level.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to lock the skills page, allowing only a parent or teacher the ability to access via a password protection.  It is also important to note that along the way, the number of questions to be answered can also change.  The number of questions range from 10 to 100.  Now that is a lot of math!  It is an application that can be used throughout the school year.

As mentioned earlier, StudyPad chose to design Splash Math with the intent of saving time for a parent or teacher.  This is done with the help of progress reports designed as a report card or activity log.  To support the classroom teacher or a parent, those report cards can be emailed directly to them as a way to see the progress or lack of progress that their child(ren) are making as it relates to the third grade curriculum. Having such a report is very important as it informs further instruction.  Through our exploration, we did notice that there are very clear differences between the  “Play” and “Practice” mode.  Play mode will encompass all those skills that were set to on.  As they swim along, they will notice that questions/topics are chosen at random. The layout of the play mode screen is very clear.  However, I wonder if it might be possible to include a reading option of questions that users might be unclear of.  With very clear visual models and 4 bubble choices, users will be rewarded with up to 2 points which can be “cashed” in for prizes to add to your own aquarium.  At the top of the screen is a bar graph indicating how many questions have been answered and what level a user is currently working in.  A note to the developer – might it be possible to remove from the “play” mode, the curriculum topic/percentage indicator at the top.  If I understand it correctly, this same information is stored in the “practice” menu screen.  If however, they are two separate indicators, then it would be important to keep.  When incorporating the “practice” mode, here users can pick one particular area of need.  When that topic is chosen it is then narrowed down even further.  For example, Applicable2U happened to choose Addition.  That topic is then broken into 6 choices: properties of addition, two digit addition, three digit addition, four digit addition, estimate sums and a mixed review.  WOW!!!  By offering this option it allows the user(s) to choose the area that has the least percentage correct, thus indicating further reinforcement or teaching.

Overall, Applicable2U was very impressed by Splash Math for Grade 3.  In our opinion, we feel that the cost of this educational app should not stop you from downloading it to your iTunes library.  You will be amazed at how your child will progress in math as they will be encouraged to try more challenging mathematical subjects in a fun way.  By the end of the school year, what will your aquarium look like?  If you would like to learn more about StudyPad, Inc. and their other grade level specific apps, please visit their website here.  Is your elementary student feeling a little crabby about math?  Do you happen to be in 3rd grade?  Then begin downloading Splash Math Grade 3 to your iTunes library here.

Motion Math

Motion Math

First word that comes to mind – AMAZING!!! Motion Math had me from the moment that I clicked on the application icons start button.  This application works on fractions, percents and decimals.  What really “wowed” me was that it meets the needs of students at all academic levels as well as those with various learning styles.  These developers really knew their audience when creating this application.

When you play this game, you are expected to move the iTouch from side to side causing the comet, that hosts the fraction/decimal/percent or pie chart, to the correct location on the number line.  If dropped incorrectly, then an arrow pops up and indicates to the player which direction they should move the comet.  If the problem persists, then the number line will be divided into the correct parts.  As you progress through the game, the comet will become more challenging or even increase speed depending on your students success.  Even your score is shown as a fraction!  Motion Math meets the learning standards on a number of levels.

Do you have a student/child that is struggling in any of these areas?  Then download Motion Math and your struggling or frustrated learning will become an encouraged learner.  To learn more  just click here.  You can also read more by visiting their website.