Tuesday, August 10, 2010

App Review: 123 World Geography HD

What I really love about the iPad is that it’s not only fun, it’s educational, too. Why not take advantage of this feature by not only entertaining your children, but educating them as well. 123 World Geography HD can help you do just that.
123 World entertains your children by providing “coloring book” fun as well as exotic music from places like Cuba, Ireland, Asia, and Japan. And, while your children are “coloring” and enjoying these cultural sounds from around the world, they’re also practicing color, number, and letter recognition.
They can also practice foreign language skills. With a simple change in the settings, you can modify the voice-over language to speak English, Spanish, French, or German. Now, instead of one, two, three, it can say uno, dos, tres or un, deux, trios.
Your children can learn world geography, too. They will practice identifying the continents, the oceans, the states of the U.S., and the countries of the world. The app includes 10 different maps from around the globe on which to practice.
And when they have completed a picture, they can save it or e-mail it to a friend.
123 World Geography HD is a winning combination of fun and learning. Check it out today!  
Works with iPad and iPhone. $1.99 in app store.

Link to YouTube Video.

Teach your kids about the Constitution!

Are you looking for a way to teach your children about the Constitution? Check out the U.S. Constitution app available from MultiEducator, Inc. It's free! For the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

On the same note, if you'd like to explain the Constitution to your children, I've found a workbook that I recommend to educators that will help - Our Living Constitution, Then and Now. It breaks the Constitution down point by point and "interprets" it in everyday language (the Founders of our country spoke a bit differently than we do today!). These two items are great resources to use to learn more about our Constitution and government.

App Review: Preschool Memory Match

Preschool Memory Match might be for preschoolers, but I had fun with it, too!
Preschool Memory Match is colorful, fun and educational. Your kids will enjoy delightful sound effects as they successfully find the pairs of animals, instruments, and other symbols. When they complete the game, they are rewarded with three wacky buttons that spin, whirl, pop, and fizz. What I like most about this app - kids will have fun and learn at the same time!
Choose from the Settings menu whether you want sound or not, which symbols you want to use, whether or not you want to show the words or hear the words. A super duper hard category uses all the symbols! 
  • Over 220 different pairs to match in 5 categories! (Transportation, Musical Instruments, Animals/Bugs, Food, and Objects)
  • Brilliant graphics  
  • Amazing Sound Effects  
  • Studio voice recording of a speech therapist who specializes in Early Childhood Development!
  • Unique reward system with 64 weird and wacky buttons!
  • iOS4 Multitasking enabled for devices running iOS4 who can take a phone call or leave the app which automatically will pause the game!
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
$1.99 in the app store

App Review: Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet

Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet is bound to be a favorite with young and old alike.
Are you looking for a way to entertain your preschooler? Teach him or her the letters of the alphabet? Either way, here’s an app to do it, and you’ll discover that you’ll be entertained as well!
You can view the app by proceeding through the alphabet from A to Z or you can select one from the icons that represent each animal. The animations and sound effects are awesome!
My favorites were the elephant with an attitude – I loved his expression! The Hyena has an adorable face and a hysterical laugh that will put a smile on anyone’s face! And I loved the lovey-dovey fish that burps in front on his new girlfriend! (By the way, you’ll never guess what x is. It’s very innovative, and I haven’t seen this before. You’ll have to buy the app to see!)
There is also a quiz. Personally, I think the quiz is too hard for preschoolers. For instance, the jaguar is a black square with the imprint of a paw in white. That this was the letter "j" was hard for me to figure out, but then I'm not a preschooler! Some are easier than others, and I assume that if you play it enough, you’ll soon learn which picture represents which letter. I also had several crashes while using the game, so this part was frustrating for me.
However, I’m sure they will fix the crashes in a future update. In the meantime, it’s a fun way to reinforce the letters of the alphabet while having a good time with your child or grandchild. Highly recommended!
Can be used on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
$2.99 in the app store.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Teacher's Big Book of Graphic Organizers

As a visual learner, I depend on strong visual pictures to help me process information. Consequently, I have learned the value of graphic organizers. A graphic organizer is a visual learner's best friend in that it helps us organize data, remember facts, and explain concepts.  

If you have a student who learns best from reading charts and graphs, I highly recommend The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers published by Jossey-Bass. Included are 100 reproducible organizers for all subject areas.

For instance, the Carousel Brainstorm organizer helps students create a book report by filling in boxes of information. After the boxes are complete, they can take this information and easily write their final report. The report can be on the book itself or the topic discussed in the book, whether it be literature, history, science, or any other subject.

The Hypothesis Guide helps students visualize the scientific method. Students are directed step-by-step through the process from asking a question, writing down what they know, proposing a hypothesis, documenting the lab process and results, and preparing a conclusion.

The Six Column Vocabulary Organizer is a great tool to help students learn new vocabulary words. The student charts the definition, part of speech, synonym, antonym, and even draws a picture or icon to represent the word.

I love the writing organizers, which include a writer’s checklist, sensory starter (helps them add sensory details to their writing), character creator, and story map (helps with plotting). There’s also an organizer that focuses on persuasive writing.

Students of all learning styles benefit from graphic organizers because of their strong visual elements. So, whether you teach in a classroom or at home, The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers is a tool you should not do without.