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.

Mathomatix Measurement

Mathomatix Measurement
 by EMANTRAS Inc.

Interested in an educational app that develops a child’s mathematical and critical thinking skills in a variety of ways?  If you happen to have a kindergartener at home or in the classroom then Mathomatix Measurement by EMANTRAS, Inc. is certainly worth the .99¢ download.  It has been on the market since December of 2010 and can be viewed on any Apple device running iOS 3.1 or later.  When EMANTRAS, Inc. says they are going to give their viewers something, they mean it! This mathematical application provides the user five very interactive ways to develop their academic skills in the facts of measurement through coverage of weight, time, volume and length. In the information section, Applicable2U learned that this app has been aligned with the National and California State Standards.  Knowing this information as both a parent and a teacher, we feel confident that the time spent “playing” has been valuable time from both a learning and fun aspect.

The design that EMANTRAS, Inc. chose to use is very kid friendly, repetitive and graphically appealing as children play “real life” mathematical experiments in order to enhance the math curriculum.  Those ages 5-6 will feel independent as they follow very clear directions during which they are both positively and negatively reinforced in some manner. However, if users need support, one to one interaction with either a parent or teacher is certainly a choice as well.  The mathematical thinking that will be occurring will overwhelm those watching.  Visually users will hear and see directions at the top of each window.  In addition, choices may be provided through graphical cards or interaction with various objects in order to answer each games main question(s).

Upon entering, users will immediately notice an adorable giraffe that talks, animation spinning and moving across the page and three player options. The most important option is to establish the user within the application.  Simply click on the “settings” button in order to add your child’s name. Unfortunately, only one account can be set up.  This design is wonderful for families that have one child, however, the potential that this app can provide could benefit so much more if the option to add multiple users could be made available.  Although more and more school districts are purchasing large quantities of Apple devices, some classrooms do not have this luxury.  By setting up centers around the room, teachers could have previously set each student up to a particular device thus tracking each users success rate.  Success rate can be viewed by looking within the “My Stuff” section from the main the screen.  It is here that users will collect random objects along the way as they play: Crazy Clock, Scale Tale, Fill Me Up, Long & Short, and Action Month.

Crazy Clock: With a flower like clock, users will be presented a time scenario (morning, day or night) such as “I play with my puppy at 6 in the evening.”  Depending on the time of day, players will notice when moving the minute hand that the background scenery changes.  The number that is showing within the scenario will be highlighted on the clock.   Once there, a quick chime of the clock will occur and users will be positively reinforced. Oddly enough, this particular activity does not allow for incorrect answers.

Scale Tale: With a one eyed monster that has really long arms and happens to look like Mike Wazowski, players will explore the concept of heavier and lighter.  As two objects are magically dropped from the sky, our one eyed monster will swing his arms up and down like a real scale.  It is important to note that objects are announced to avoid any confusion.  With every correct answer, our little green friend will begin to fill his belly, while incorrect answers are thrown into the air and a quirky sound is made.

Fill Me Up: With a simple drag and drop users are in control of how this activity will go.  Although they should take note of the objects possible destination below (sand pail, dinner plate) as there is a difference.  Once objects have been dragged and dropped a new question will appear – which is less or which is more.  It is here that players will be introduced to the concept of volume.  With every correct answer, players are verbally rewarded and given a green checkmark.  With a sweet little oopsie, users will know they did something wrong as they will receive a red “x” in the middle of the screen.

Long & Short: Here users are given two choices and are expected to answer such questions like which is longer or shorter.  This activity will set the stage for understanding length. Numerically they will not know each length, but visually users will be able to answer the above two questions.

Action Month: In this activity, users will manipulate letters in order to spell the months of the year.  Letters do not need to be dragged or dropped in any particular order.  No need to worry if you drop it exactly over each matching letter.  If the colored letter is near its match, it will pop into place. Simply fill in the blanks and see the month go wild.  It might be interesting to add in a future update, objects that relate to each month when it goes wild.  For example, a shamrock for March or a pumpkin for October.  In addition, once all months have been spelled, it might be interesting to see each month laid out side by side either as a storyboard window or a scrolling window.

Since having downloaded this application, my soon to be kindergartener has been actively developing his measurement skills.  Like most children, he enjoys seeing his rewards in “his stuff” area.  Although he may have been verbally rewarded throughout, viewing his stuff just extends the smiles that much longer.  Overall, Applicable2U was very pleased with our download of Mathomatix Measurement.  If directions are unclear, users are provided a brief tutorial by simply clicking the “i” button in the lower left hand corner.  However, we would suggestion providing users the ability to tap individual words/sentences in case questions were misunderstood or repetition is required.  Regardless of what your role may be, this educational app is an excellent addition to any whole group or individual instruction. If you would like to learn more about EMANTRAS, Inc. and other curricular apps that they have to offer, please visit their website here.  To begin downloading Mathomatix Measurement to your iTunes library, simply click here.