Summer Slide or Learning Loss is the lessening of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. This loss can vary greatly and varies across grade level, subject matter, and family income. Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning shows without ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills, kids can fall behind as much as 22% on academic achievement over the summer months. How do we combat this? Maintain what has been learned by participating in summer learning opportunities either at home or in your community. Here are some GREAT Apps to Avert Summer Slide for the summer of '17!
Endless Numbers by Originator uses touch math to teach number recognition, sequences, quantity, numerical patterns, and simple addition to kids. All the numbers are adorable characters with eyes that kids can tap on to count. When the number are tapped and dragged, the audio says that number endlessly to remind the kids which number they have tapped. Each number also has a short animation that gives an explanation of that number.
DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow is an app that brings numbers to life through the characters called Nooms. These Nooms can be stacked, sliced, and combined in multiple ways to bring concepts to life. By using such interactions, kids can understand concepts like adding and subtracting numbers. Nooms have different colors, which makes it easier to differentiate them while playing puzzles that involve slicing and combining the Nooms to make specific numbers.
DragonBox Big Numbers by WeWantToKnow teaches different concepts of addition and subtraction that a child needs to learn at a young age and is made to follow Dragon Box Numbers. There are different worlds to explore that contain different resources like apples, rocks, and fish among many others. Each of these words teach concepts like simple addition and subtraction, along with place value and carry over (regrouping) by using resources like apples and rocks as concrete quantities that kids can count.
Twelve a Dozen by Touch Press is an app in which the players have to save a crumbling world of Dozenopolis, and the only number that can help save it is the number 12. Players have to solve math puzzles by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing numbers to and from the number 12. There are multiple locations where a certain number is required to move forward, and players have to use their math skills to unlock those paths.
Tiggly Chef Addition by Tiggly teaches addition through cooking. The app has a chef that directly talks to the players and helps them with cooking interesting recipes. Kids can then tap on the food they made to eat it. There is also a talking component to the game in which they can express how they felt about the food they cooked. This gives addition a nice touch by completing the loop of cooking from ingredients to eating the cooked food. Tiggly Chef Subtraction is a similar app by Tiggly, which teaches subtraction. See all of the TWA reviews of Tiggly and their wonderful manipulatives.
French developer Marbotic came up with an ingenious combination of wooden toys to pair with their series of six apps. These classy wooden letter and number toys interact like magic when children touch them to the tablet. When stamped against the screen, the apps respond accordingly with spoken words as well as animation, sound effects, and music. They have an alphabet, smart letters and 10 digits, smart numbers as well as the smart kit which includes both the alphabet and the numbers. Marbotic is based on the foundations of the Montessori method, which is evident in their apps and products.
Endless Reader by Originator has a similar word building mechanic as Endless Alphabet, where kids have to place the letters in respective positions to build a word. The exciting change is that once the word is built a sentence appears and kids have to place words in respective positions to build that sentence. This app takes reading to the next step by first building words from letters and then building sentences from those words.
Endless Wordplay by Originator is all about building rhyming words. Kids can first build words that rhyme with each other, and then place them in one sentence. Having multiple rhyming words in a sentence helps kids understand their meaning better. This app is best once kids have an understanding of certain words, and would like to get a deeper understanding of them through sentences.
ABC Ride by Avokiddo Learning letters, sight words, and problem-solving skills are literally set in motion, as you take Beck and Bo, (characters from Avokiddo’s build and play app of the same name) on a bike ride through the letters of the alphabet and interact with activities associated with each letter. Gameplay begins with choosing Beck or Bo to ride the bike. Great how the child controls the speed of the bike, and it is interesting to see how they handle getting from one place to another.
Little Fox Music Box by Fox and Sheep is an app in which kids can sing-along while interacting with many different interactive elements. All the elements make interesting sounds when tapped and kids can record their own music as well! This gives kids the opportunity to use their imaginations and make music from objects and animals like pans, bottles, drums, frogs, and birds.
Toca Doctor by Toca Boca teaches about the human body through mini games. The app has multiple puzzles to solve for different parts of the body. By having interactions like removing bacteria from teeth, or putting a broken bone together, kids can learn about the different body parts by interacting with them.
Highlights Everyday is an app that is packed full of fun. Based on the classic Highlights Magazine, this subscription-based app, delivers DAILY new content. Filled with stories, news, games, puzzles, and original videos – Did we mention the classic hidden pictures…the jokes, or the “Ask Highlight Kids” section? The app’s renditions of the tried and true favorites are outstanding. For over 70 years, Highlights have entertained, educated, and delighted children everywhere, and the app does not disappoint.
Skoolbo, by Skoolbo Limited offers personalized game-based skill practice for numeracy, literacy and English language learning allowing both teachers and parents to monitor and track a child’s progress. It’s also FREE!!! It is compatible with a variety of platforms including PC, Mac, and iPad (iOS) and Android devices a web version is available for older machines and Chromebooks. The skills covered in Skoolbo range from number and letter recognition, to calculating percentages and reading comprehension. This wide variety of skills (60,000 questions and 200 learning outcomes) make this app appropriate for a wide range of children.
Quiver by Puteko Limited is one of the best coloring apps. This app brings 2D pictures on coloring pages to life by not only turning them 3D but also animating and enabling kids to interact with them. Kids love coloring and by bringing their colored pictures to life makes coloring even more exciting and engaging. Every animation of the characters and objects is unique, which make the kids want to keep coloring!
Hopscotch by Hopscotch Technologies is a great coding app in which kids can build anything they want through coding! They have tutorials to get kids started with coding, in which they can follow along with a video that teaches them how to code different mini games. Once the kids are familiar with coding, then can build their own games and interactions, and publish them for others to play their creations.
The Foos by codeSpark teaches kids the basics of programming through different activities. Kids can easily understand concepts like if statements, booleans, loops, stacks, and so on through different interactive puzzles in which characters come to life. Once kids understand the basics of programming, they can enhance their learning by making their own games and sharing them with players all over the world!
StoryBots Learning Videos by JibJab Media has educational videos of cute and lively characters that have different personalities. The videos include learning about letters, time, human body, vehicles, animals, outer space, emotions, and so on. Kids can have a lot of fun watching these musical videos with funny characters that teach important lessons.
Epic! is the preeminent all-you-can-read eBook library for children which allows access to over 20,000 high-quality children’s books, now including thousands of read-to-me, Audiobooks, and educational videos. Epic!’s service starts out with a free trial for one month and includes an assortment of both fiction and non-fiction books from prominent publishers such as Scholastic, National Geographic, HarperCollins, and more.
Weirdwood Manor by All Play, No Work Inc. is a brilliant interactive book series for older kids 9-11. Follow young Oliver and his other 2 companions throughout the world of Arthur Weirdwood. This series has everything a child could want or imagine: mythical beasts, a haunted mansion, and strange denizens both human and non-human who roam the grounds and mansion. There are plenty of clues and puzzlers spread throughout the series that help Oliver find his true power and place in the world. Tip: Make sure to locate the Findling to help you identify when to search further for clues, or to just sit back and enjoy the story.
Griva Patel is a currently pursuing Master of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. With a team of 5 students, she is working on a project making an app that focuses on a rapid practice of addition and subtraction operators. This app involves fixing robots while doing math exercises. Griva is passionate about designing educational games and is an Intern for Teachers With Apps.