Jungle Time, Jungle Coins & Jungle Fractions
– This is a trio of stellar apps, developed by Andrew Short, of Jungle Education, and former Microsoft program manager and software designer. Andrew’s also dad to two 2 children, ages 7 & 9. When we asked Andrew what got him started in the app world, he said, “When explaining concepts like telling time, fractions and coin math to my kids, I discovered a need for engaging, conceptual apps on these topics and decided to build them myself.” As his apps confirm, he is passionate about education and creating educational apps that make learning a fun, interactive experience. His choice of topics couldn’t be better. We still need to learn to tell time, utilize money, and understand fractions. These three essential concepts are not easy to teach and harder to learn. Lots of hands on practice is needed and Andrew has got the “lots of” covered. All three games have five levels, which start with the rudimentary concept and gradually progress over several grade levels.
The simple jungle theme, pleasing animations and lively sound effects are appreciated by children of all ages. Thankfully for the adult, the settings menu gives you options for listening to the sounds with four selections of on or off. Choose from Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Hippo, or Panda. All three apps have crisp, clear, easy to read clock & coins, as well as fractional illustrations. Manipulate the clock, coins or fractions to get your answer and then hit done. A correct answer will be rewarded with an elated smile from the animal of your choice and a roar. (Our only suggestion is that the animal roar needs to be different when a child gets the answer wrong, the visual of the face is not enough to signal that the answer is wrong.) Then shake your device, or tap “shake” for a new problem to tackle. “No multiple choice means no guesswork – kids have to know the correct answer“. This ensures learning. Some apps give you a limited set of problems – Jungle Education has fresh problems every time. With the settings option, problems will stay fresh as you progress through the more difficult levels. Get a jungle congratulation when you solve 5 in a row. Another great feature of all three apps is the tracking. Parents & teachers love to see how kids are doing – data, data, data…..!
In Jungle Time, we love that the talking clock confirms the time verbally when you set the clock. Wish the coins and fractions had this feature. Clock hands move like a real clock – the minute hand moves a full revolution for each hour, so you learn real clockwise movement. Learn Mode, in the settings menu, gives you an interactive tutorial using a special clock with hour and minute numbers. It explains the hour hand and minute hand, and lets you tap buttons to see how the hands change based on specific hours and minutes. Tutorials are provided for special times like “quarter past two” and “half past ten”. There is built in support for 12 and 24 hour clock notation – you can easily switch between them from within the app.
Jungle Coins features easy to read, large, photo-real coins which make learning a breeze. Flip coins to see both sides, and rearrange coins into groups just like you would with real coins. Animals come alive with smiles and roars as kids work through problems – identify and compare coins, count coin value, Reinforce coin skills by calculating correct change. Start as a beginner with Level 1 and work your way up to an expert level. Learn Mode gives you an interactive tutorial on understanding the coins, explaining who is on each coin, and again, lets you flip coins to see both sides. Jungle Coins comes with built-in support for the U.S. dollar coins, as well as Euro coins from 10 European countries. Jungle Coins makes it easy to switch to other coin sets instantly and challenges you with unfamiliar coins.
Jungle Fractions features fraction name, compare, convert and add fractions with up to eight parts. It teaches kids all about fractions using large, easy to read, pie wedges and jungle animals. Again, multiple learning levels and several different skills. Five learning levels cover fractions from halves (1/2) up to eighths (1/8) and each level builds on the next. For example, once your child masters Level 1 (halves, thirds and fourths) and moves onto Level 2 (fifths), questions will incorporate fractions from both Level 1 and 2. Learn Mode provides simple explanations and examples of a numerator, denominator, mixed and improper fractions which will help them master the skills in no time.