Educational App Talk Weighs In. This post features FREE App recommendations from the Ed App Talk community. Last week's post, Even More Fabulous Free Apps, was a great segue into Ed App Talk's Thursday evening discussion about what free apps our members were using and would highly recommend. We felt it only fair to share! Here is the short list: Rocket Speller, by Little Big Thinkers, was given a thumbs up by Carissa Kluver of Digital Storytime. This free app is a fun and engaging spelling app for 3-7-year-olds. Educators, occupational therapists, special education teachers, and parents agree that kids are engaged and learning with this app. Kids join Zip, the alien, on an out-of-this-world spelling adventure to build a fancy new rocket. With 4 levels of difficulty, kids spell words to fuel his spaceship and help him choose the rocket pieces he needs. Correctly place letters to spell words and move through the game. Choose a rocket nose, body, and boosters. Once Zip has collected all the pieces, launch it from the launch pad and watch it soar into space! As a special surprise (and to invoke a giggle), touch Zip on the spelling pages and see what he does! LEARNING OBJECTIVES - Learn to spell words in a way that is fun, interactive and promotes self-initiated skill progression - Develop awareness of how letters combine to form words - Develop awareness of left to right order - Promote letter recognition - Reinforce knowledge of letter names - Enhance vocabulary Leafsnap, by Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution, was recommended by Christine Munro. Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of the Northeast and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States. London ABC brought to you by thisisliteracy.ca (for our Canadian viewers), was recommended by Alison Rumball. This app aims to help children learn the alphabet in a playful manner while also learning about London, Ontario, through voice commentary and visuals. Thisisliteracy.ca is an online portal with helpful resources, tips, reviews and suggestions on promoting and improving literacy for parents, children, teenagers, and adults. Pearl Diver and Lobster Diver, by Learning Game Labs, were recommended by Cassie Marie. Pearl Diver helps put your approximation skills to the test in Sushi Round! The deadly eel has been caught and he is on your cutting board. Chop him into equal sections to get the most out of your catch. Approximate the location of each number: the closer you are to the mark the more money you earn. Pearl Diver addresses number and operations standards - such as number line sense, whole numbers, decimals, mixed numbers, and fractions. Lobster Diver - Throw on your diving helmet overboard, and head into the depths of the sea! Dive off the coast of Maine for lobster traps - you might even snatch the elusive blue lobster. But watch out for that pesky electric eel!* Ideal for middle school and upper elementary students, grades 3-8. * Both apps address number and operations standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), including => Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, and number systems * Developed as part of the "Math Snacks" initiative and Maine Cooperative Extension. Other free animations, activities, and games are available through the Math Snacks web site at http://mathsnacks.org.* Counting Coins, from K-12 Inc - Another recommendation from Cassie Marie, lets you practice working with U.S. pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. You can play in four modes: (1) Match the Value: Try to make the same value as the coins showed using a different combination of coins.(2) Make the Total: Use coins to make the total shown.(3) How Many Cents?: Type the value of the coins shown.(4) Show Values: Drag any amount of coins and show or hide the value. Counting Coins was created by K12 Inc. as part of its comprehensive math curriculum. Cassie Marie also graciously shared the following FREE apps. Thank you, Cassie! MyHomework, by Rodrigo Neri - With MyHomework you can easily know what's due and when so you will never forget a homework assignment again. The free app includes: - Track your classes, homework, tests, assignments - Time & Block based class schedules - Beautiful calendar display - iPhone Retina display support - Multitasking support - Universal (Both iPhone and iPad) Tracks your classes, homework, and projects so you never forget an assignment again. Math Drills Lite, by Instant Interactive, has more drills, but these are drills with a difference. Solutions to the problems are revealed with a variety of on-screen manipulatives like number lines, the nine times tables on your fingers, or wooden blocks. There are also problems with missing operation signs, or greater than and less than signs, so it could be a useful way to introduce students to basic algebra problems. An on-screen graphic keeps track of the number of right and wrong answers. TWA reviewed the full version here of Math Skills back in December 2010, we can say this one is FABULOUS! MathTappers: Clockmaster, by Heavy Lifters, is a game to help children make the connection between hours and minutes and to help them become fluent in both reading and setting the time on digital and analog clocks. Time is a topic that many children struggle to understand. It is something that we measure but it is also something that we cannot touch or feel. Although some aspects of time may be mastered incidentally as children experience circumstances where elapsed time and time of day are used to compare or plan, this type understanding is generally incomplete. Children need explicit opportunities to work with clocks to discover how the system we use to tell and record time works. Aesop's Quest, by NCCGames - Help Aesop the Ant read through the stories. Be sure to pay close attention while reading because there are clues in the stories that will help him along his quest. I bet you can do it! Good Luck! Aesop's Quest, based on Aesop's Fables, is a learning game where the player must remember elements of a story to complete a level. The game uses reading comprehension to develop cognitive reading skills. The touch mechanic of the game engages children in a hands-on learning process, implementing kinesthetic learning. The game incorporates reading comprehension attuned to the particular grade level, based on excerpts from grade-appropriate reading materials. Fraction Basics, by Wei Chong - Included are 12 instructional presentations on fractions. Topics include understanding fractions, improper and mixed fractions, equivalent fractions, adding fractions, adding fraction examples, subtracting fractions, multiplying fractions, multiplying fraction examples, dividing fractions, dividing fraction examples, convert fraction to percent, and convert decimal to fraction. The presentations are enjoyable to watch and provide fantastic information. Best of all, this app is free. Appadvice added Fraction Basics to their Essential Apps list. Pizza Fractions: Beginning With Simple Fractions, by Brian West - Pizza Fractions is a fantastic app that makes fractions understandable. There are three versions available depending on what difficulty level you want. The first one is free and the other two are $0.99. The app is fun to use and the way it approaches the subject is authentic and real. Relaxing Sounds of Nature Lite, by Red Hammer software - Do you wish to get away from the everyday distractions and feel free from the problems that surround you? Then Relaxing Sounds of Nature Lite is for you. Great way to calm the class after recess or get them prepared to begin an activity. Sounds of Nature Lite is a 2 in 1 application. They've put together two components in one app. It's an audio experience with 20 beautiful nature sounds and a soundboard with 35 sounds where you can mix a number of soundtracks to have a peaceful experience.