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  Lvl 4 - Expert

Samantha M.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2- iPhone4

Description: I am a mother to an adventurous two year old! I am always on the lookout for educational and creative apps for him. I am also a Kindergarten teacher looking for great apps for my all of my students whether it be for students with special needs, English language learners, or even struggling readers.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages 0-2 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Gamer

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-07-14

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 7     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!


Her/His app reviews

Felt Board 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I loved the variety of scenes/backgrounds that children can work with to create their stories. I also liked the diversity in the characters that can be dressed, played with, etc. Also there are many more categories in this app compare to other scene making apps.
Improvements I wish the options/menu were displayed along the bottom of the screen rather than on the left side of the screen. If it were on the bottom, it would be easier to see. Since it is on the side, some of the scene gets cut off. Also, I wish that there was an easier way to erase the whole screen rather than taking each item off at a time.
General review This is a great app and unlike any other of its kind. I love the app as both a parent and a teacher. My son (2) was able to easily make scenes to tell stories. I was also able to re-create scenes from stories to retell to my students. This is a great app and makes a great alternative to a traditional felt board.

Heidi story collection - 3 in 1, Version 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really loved reminiscing with these classic tales. I absolutely loved the two different versions for both the younger and older readers. I think that in itself makes this a very versatile app that is great for all ages. Also, I loved the quiz at the end! There are few apps that actually ask the reader to critically think about or even follow the text.
Improvements I did think that the amount of text on the page for the younger readers was a bit much, especially if it is aimed towards a three year old. However, with the help of an adult and the highlighted text, it is manageable. I also wish that there was some more interaction between the book and the reader such as hidden picture or something to keep their interest since the text is quite lengthy.
General review Overall, I really enjoyed reminiscing and reading these books with my students. Most students were very engaged and loved the stories. Again, I liked the two different versions catering to both the older and younger crowd. It is a hit among my students and it will be with most primary to intermediate students.

Puss in Boots : Interactive 3D Pop-up Fairy Tale v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I LOVED the idea of the pop up book! I also liked the idea of matching the characters up to the objects, putting items in a basket, and dressing up the characters. This app was perfect at keeping the attention of both my two year old and my kindergarten class.
Improvements On the first interactive page, it is difficult to match the three men up to their objects. Also, I wish that the text would have been highlighted as the narrator read the story. It would have helped my students tremendously to be able to follow along with words they didn't know.
General review I really enjoyed reviewing this app! I love how such a classic tale was turned into a fun, engaging, and interactive story. I also appreciate the pacing of the interaction. It was perfectly timed and just when the audience would begin to get antsy, an interactive scene would appear.

Blendamaze [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a very addicting app! I love the concept of combining a maze with color mixing. The progression of the levels is very appropriate and well suited for the app. This app is well worth hours of endless play! I also love all of the levels, there is enough variety for the whole family to play!
Improvements I wish that you could just go to the next level without having to complete the prior level such as starting with the secondaries rather than completing all of the primaries first. I finished ten levels of the primaries and was ready to move on to something more challenging, however it was not allowed.
General review Overall, this is a very fun an addicting app! It is great for the whole family (once all levels have been completed). I have not seen any other app like this and it is definitely a great purchase! I can see many uses for this app within education and not just for play!

Find them all: looking for animals [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I absolutely loved that you were able to turn the dial on the animal to hear it in multiple languages. I also liked that once the animal was found, it was enlarged to show a real picture of the animal rather than another animation. I also enjoyed the book at the end!
Improvements While I liked the idea of scrolling back and forth to find the animals, I think there are too many options. Since the app is geared for children aged 2-8, I see the need to have multiple screens. Perhaps there could be two different levels of difficulty. It was a bit too much for my two year old to scroll back and forth and he became easily frustrated.
General review I think that this is a great app! I wish that there weren't so many in app purchases with it. I understand that the app is free, but I don't want to spend a ton of money to purchase all of the scenes. I do however, like how the parent section is protected by a math fact and cannot be accessed by two year olds.

Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I loved that this app was very interactive! My son(and I) loved finding items to interact with throughout the book. This helped keep his attention for a very long time when he would normally become distracted very easily! I also loved collecting the keys throughout the story. They were a little difficult for my son(2), but I had fun helping him out!
Improvements There's not much that needs to be improved in this app. The only suggestion that I can think of would be to highlight only one word at a time while reading instead of three or four words. It would help my younger students track the print much easier. Although not a major complaint, it would be nice for the younger audience.
General review Again, Treasure Kai is not to disappoint. I loved this app just as much if not more than the first! Once again, this app did a great job engaging the reader and even helped develop reading comprehension as well as spelling. This is a great app from both a parent and a teacher's perspective!

Playground HD1 - 12 games for kids aged 2-6 in 1 App v3.0.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really liked that there are so many different options for kids in this app AND the toddler mode. Unlike other apps in this category, this app allows children to chose from 12 games! Each game is educational and keeps my son's attention for quite a long time! They are very creative and offer a nice variety of games ranging from drawing to playing music. I also loved the timer and the three second hold for settings!
Improvements There is not much that I would improve in this app! The only thing that I would suggest would be to add a hint on the "Search" game. Instead of just giving away the answer, perhaps a flashing circle to steer the younger kids in the right direction would be helpful. Otherwise, no other improvements :)
General review Overall, this app is a great investment. At $4.99 it seems a bit pricey, but considering you are getting 12 apps for this price, it makes it a great deal! Some of the games are very unique and are a first for us and can be easily adapted for different ages. My son loved this app and has played it ever since I downloaded it a week ago! My kindergarten students have yet to use it, but I know that they will love it!

Jolly Jingle 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked What a fun app! I like that you could chose between a kids choice, a female solo, instrumental, a piano solo. I also liked all of the interaction that goes on during the song. My son enjoyed taping the bubbles and the creatures that were floating around. Finally, I liked that you had the option to turn the lyrics on and off.
Improvements It was somewhat difficult for my son to exit from a song. He had a hard time catching Santa before he went away. Also, it would be great if the words in the song could be highlighted as they are sung. In addition, I wish that "Deck the Halls" was on this app! It would be so fun!
General review Overall, this is a very fun app to sing and listen to classic Christmas carols. The interaction with each song keeps my 2 year old very entertained! I even found myself listening to it on the way to work with the instrumental playing. I would highly recommend this app! My favorite songs were "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells"!

Wubbzy's Train Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a great app! I love the options on the main page "Read & Play", "Read to Me" and "Just a Book". This is the first ebook that I have seen with those choices. Really creative! I love the option to just read the book with no distractions! There are times when the interactions are helpful, and then there are times when they are not. I like having the control of such interactions.
Improvements I'm not a fan of apps that send children to the app store. Within 5 minutes of exploring this app, I found my son on a link to purchase other Wubbzy apps! Although I love the app, I am not ready to purchase a new one. Also, in the section for "Just a Book", while it is nice not to have all of the distractions, it would be helpful to have assistance with words. Just like in the other sections, if you click on a word it is highlighted and read aloud. I think it could be helpful to readers.
General review Overall, this is a great app for kids who love Wubbzy! My son and my kindergarten students both really enjoyed this app! There are so many things to do with this app from reading the book to watching videos and playing games! It is sure to keep a child's attention for the duration of the book.

Animal Planet Hide & Seek Pets [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the images and bright colors of this app! I also like that the text is highlighted word for word as it is read aloud. Additionally, there are SO many activities within the app, it will keep kids entertained for hours! My son's favorite part is playing hide and seek with the animals! It is a huge hit!
Improvements This is a great app, but if I could improve one thing I would add more animals! While my son loved all of the animals on the app, we would love to see more pets! Perhaps some snakes, lizards, a mouse, or even an hamster (My son was excited to see the hamster at the beginning, but sad to see that there was not a page for him). Also, it would be neat to see a new picture each time of the animal. Ex: different breeds of dogs, more fish, etc.
General review Overall, I think this is a great app for toddlers and preschoolers! With the wide variety of activities, the possibilities are endless for fun! Also as a bonus to parents and teachers, the link to common core standards is great! This not only helps parents understand which skills their children are working on, but also shows you what a great app this is to have included this information!