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!

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.

Move the Turtle

Move the Turtle

by Next is Great

Are you a computer geek that loves programming or are you a classroom teacher instructing on such skills as angles, measurement and two dimensional geometry? If you answered yes to either these, then you have come to the right educational app review. We are no stranger to educational app developers, Next is Great and we are pleased to add to our collection of reviews their latest addition, Move the Turtle. Regardless of which mathematical program your school district is using, we are quite certain that it is a program that builds understanding over a period of time. This understanding comes as informal and formal exposure while also integrating direction instruction. Move the Turtle is a mathematical app for students in their early to late elementary years. Recently it was featured in the App Store in the New and Noteworthy for Education. It is compatible for all Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later. As your child(ren) works alongside an adult or independently with a ruler, various directions and a pencil, they will soon become a coding guru.

With many school districts moving towards the Common Core State Standards and implementing mobile devices, the purchasing of educational apps is certainly under debate. When educational apps come at a cost, both educators and parents want to feel confident that their child(ren) and/or students will be gaming for a reason. A purchased app needs to not only engage the user, but it also needs to introduce, reinforce and/or challenge the target population. Technology is an essential tool that should be used strategically in any mathematics curriculum. Next is Great and Move the Turtle is certainly making this happen. Move the Turtle is based on the mathematical idea of Logo. Logo was created in 1967 by a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm. Logo gives students the opportunity to be introduced to basic programming or coding skills. Through a few simple step by step commands your “turtle cursor” will be able to draw geometric shapes and patterns, while also reinforcing angles. When looking at the standards for children as young as kindergarten they are expected to “identify and describe shapes, as well as to analyze, compare, create and compose shapes.” Over a student’s elementary years, this same curriculum expectation is expanded upon for a deeper understanding.

With the ability to create what appears to be an unlimited number of accounts, users will be able to unlock a multitude of rewards as they play and learn within three chapters: Let’s Move, A Little Bit of Magic, and Professor Turtle. Chapters are broken into tasks which teaches and builds upon various commands such as: move, turn, pen, color, repeat, sound, position and conditions. It is important to note that there are no audio directions, just verbal/pictorial pop up menus which can support the user as moves are made. As you keep this in mind, this will determine if adult supervision will be necessary. Once it is time to “move the turtle”, the users screen will be divided into two areas. The first being the chalkboard building area which is equipped with a ruler along each X and Y axis. The left side is designated for reviewing and selecting specific commands in order to complete individual tasks. In order to put your commands/steps to the test, simply click the play button underneath your chalkboard. If tasks are considered incomplete, additional opportunities to succeed will be provided. When tasks are completed, young coders will earn 1-3 stars within each level. As rewards are earned, additional levels are revealed. As you progress through levels, tasks become more complicated, but build on previous tasks for further reinforcement. As most people know, turtles are very slow moving, but in this educational app, your turtle can move in three different ways: slow, medium and super fast. Come see what happens when these options are altered.

Once commands are learned compose and save your own creations to your devices library. In addition, developers have also included a nice library of pre-made lessons. A note to the developers – is it possible to share newly made creations with other Move the Turtle followers? It would be greatly if your website had the option to upload and share projects in order to see how others are using this educational app.

Overall, we love this educational app and plan to install it on our new iPads arriving this summer. For only $2.99, it is an educational app worth purchasing. Put your thinking skills to the test and become a coding geek. If you would like to learn more Next is Great, please visit their website here. To get your turtle moving today, simply click here to download Move the Turtle to your iTunes library.

This review is also featured on Fun Educational Apps site along with many other detailed reviews.

Murky Reef Educational App Series

Murky Reef Educational App Series

by Frolyc

There are a number of educational app series currently in the App Store that are just amazing.  As a parent and an educator, I want to know that those apps that are installed on my personal and educational equipment will make an impact on my children.  Education is shifting on a daily basis and many schools are moving towards a 1:1 program with tablets, particularly iPad devices.  Some schools however are questioning is it worth the money?  What will the impact be on our students as it relates to the all important state test scores.  Some teachers are wondering how technology fits into the new standards, particularly those of the Common Core State Standards coming their way.  Amazingly those from Frolyc development group are taking these questions very seriously.  Through a variety of different multimedia formats, Murky Reef educational app series guides young learners in first and second grade through a cross curricular learning adventure.

Back in February of this year we reviewed Murky Reef: Think and Play.  Our review was based on the Lite version, however, with an in-app purchase of $4.99, curriculum connections and engagement are taken to the next level of learning.  It’s critical thinking at its best as children navigate through the murky seas learning to be a scientist, mathematician and a reader.  In any of their educational app series – Math 1, Math 2, Language Arts 1, Language Arts 2 or Science, parents and educators will be astonished at the levels of learning and engagement that is going on while frolicking the depths of the ocean floor.  The Murky Reef educational series app design was built with the intent to make our children think in a variety of ways. Their educational games have students moving through hierarchical levels of learning based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. When applying these educational apps in your classroom or home, students will be building their knowledge and comprehension as they apply, analyze, synthesis and evaluate their learning.

As Applicable2U explored with their recent download of Murky Reef: Science, we had a sense of having a textbook in our hands.  Information is shared interactively through narrated reading passages, YouTube videos and manipulation of items on each screen.  Content could be presented in a variety of ways: large/small group or individually.  Presentation would be dependent on the number of devices available.  Regardless, once information is learned or reinforced, put it to the “Puffer test”. Puff, is Murky Reef’s superhero and needs your help to stop Ogee the ravenous eating shark. If your school is equipped with multiple devices, teachers could set up student accounts, allowing students one to one time to move through a quiz like format of questions to share what they have learned.  Through an individual performance report, all concerned parties (parents, educators and yes, even students) will be provided a break down of skills learned and needs of improvement.

With classrooms jam packed with content to cover and uncover in 10 months, learning should be presented in a cross curricular manner and Frolyc educational apps are making this happen. Whether you download one or all of the apps within this series, parents and educators of all learning styles will be pleased.  If you would like to learn more about Frolyc apps, please visit their website here.

Happi 123

Happi 123 HD – A Math Game for Kids

by Serendipity

Do you have children or students between the ages of 4-7?  As a parent or educator are you wondering how you can make learning math fun?  Then you will want to check out recently updated Happi 123 HD – A Math Game for Kids.  It is designed for your iPad device running iOS 3.2 or later and makes your children or students feel as though they are participating in a game show.  At this time the game can be experienced in four languages: English, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian.  Additional languages will be added as a free update soon.  Come up on stage with their host, an adorable tiger and be rewarded with various types of badges.  At an early age, counting is instinctually done on one’s hands.  Many try to disway children from counting in this format, however, developmentally it is very appropriate.  Happy 123 HD encourages this “natural way” of learning math as it  reinforces various mathematical skills from basic counting to number series, pattern recognition, and addition/subtraction.

Through our exploration we found that Happi 123 HD has so much to offer.  Upon entering the educational app, contestants will notice two gaming options.  We like to call them “finger play” and “let there be light dominos”.  For first time players, contestants might find it useful to begin with finger play as they learn to recognize and count to 10.  As they manipulate numbers through pictures and fingers, players have the ability to earn up to 50 badges.  While in finger play, educators and parents will be pleased to see a number of educational accommodations in place.  Each particular round has a designated badge that will be earned as it will become apart of the game.  To encourage one to one correspondence, contestants will be able to tap each badge as it swings back and forth while players mentally count.  The objective is to count out and match that number on the devices fingers.  Players must answer six questions before that rounds badge can be earned.  Through visual support users will see that number in two ways: on their hand and as an actual number.  If the contestant thinks they have the answer right they are to pull down the lever on the right hand side.  If correct, contestants will be reinforced with a two thumbs up, confetti and a shining light bulb.  Numbers can be counted out on the devices fingers in any way the user chooses.  Once all light bulbs are bright, players may replay and earn addition badges or move onto the next game.

The next round of play is what we call the “Let There Be Light Domino” round.  Here users must drag and drop numbered plugs in a domino like format.  On one end of the plug is the actual number and users must find and plug in its coordinating dice number.  Plugs will rotate in either direction, vertical or horizontal.  A note to the developers – might it be possible that players could rotate plugs on their own?  Thus working on fine motor skills at the same time.  Or even have certain plugs going in the wrong direction, making players use their thinking skills to align the matched numbers.  Once the puzzle has been plugged in correctly, turn the light switch on and see a bulb light up.  See how your adorable tiger host begins to disguise himself.  As you plug in correct matches, contestants have the ability to earn 24 playful disguises.

The game continues to get better as it also incorporates what developers call a timed streak level. During this bonus round users are expected to answer a combination of mathematical concepts until the time runs out. With every correct answer the streak continues.  Applicable2U and our little contestant haven’t reached this round as of yet, but look forward to the challenge.  If in a school or home setting, Happi 123 HD app settings can be manipulated through the devices Settings app.  Here parents or educators can reset badges or disable the Audio Help option.  With 50 badges and 24 disguises to collect, your child or students number sense will certainly advance.  We wonder if after collecting all these items, will our contestant have another opportunity to game for a reason.

If you would like to learn more about HappiPapi and the other educational apps that they have, please visit their website here.  Become the next contestant for puppet master or host, Papi the Tiger by downloading Happi 123 HD to your iPad device today by clicking here.