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Kelly T.

Status: Beta reviewer - Video Reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Education - Entertainment - Games - Productivity

iDevices she/he owns: iPad1- iPad2

Description: I am a National Board Certified teacher in a 4th grade classroom. I use technology extensively as well as present at seminars, conventions, and trainings for teachers who want to use technology in their own classrooms. I seek out apps that can be used in a variety of ways to apply learning and assess understanding. I want apps that do more!

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 6-10

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-08-08

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

Total review Karma: + 3     ?

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

Animal Puzzle for Kids and Toddlers [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked It is extremely easy for little learning fingers to maneuver the puzzle options and choose which ones they want. The sound effects are nice and I like that kids don't have to be exactly on the outline for the puzzle piece to place it correctly. Once I made in in-app purchase the puzzle varierty was more interesting. The patterns repeat, but for little ones it is great and allows them to gain confidence. The balloons at the end of each completed puzzle are far more fun than the puzzles themselves. I liked on the multi animal puzzles that you could flip and spin them.
Improvements I would like the ability to flip and spin more of the characters in all of the puzzles. I continued to try on all the puzzles because it was so much fun on the first one. The text that directs you to close out of a puzzle by dragging the X across the screen is far to difficult for a non-reading toddler, but it is something they could pick up on with parent instruction.
General review I thought this app, with the purchase, is great. There is a variety if you pay for it. The puzzle patterns are just right, developmentally, for the pre-school ages. With a change to more flipping options, this app could be even more fun for the wee ones. I'm glad I have this to entertain my puzzle-loving 4 year old.

Fido's Treehouse Scavenger Hunt v1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I really like that any of the items you see on the screen can be manipulated. For ages 1-5 this is magnificent. My four year old is a bit more careful of what she touches, but my one year old would love the randomness of touching anywhere and getting a reaction. Music is soft and the sound effects used are nice. For the older kids, the treasure hunt is surprisingly fun. Some of the clue are well crafted, some are more obvious. I played twice and was pleasantly surprised with the new questions, despite some repeats.
Improvements Treasure hunt questions should be repeated less.If you only use the app twice, it isn't bad, but to be a favorite that is used over and over 5 of the 15 questions can't be repeats. While this version is nice, for $1.99 I would like to see more than just park, backyard, treehouse and attic. Perhaps expand the themes to cover rooms in a house, a school, or a zoo?
General review I like this app. I don't know if I would spend the $1.99 for the current version, but with more options I would really consider it for my girls. If the price were $.99 this would be an excellent app! With so much to touch on each screen it is really ideal for the littlest of ones (ages 2-4).

EdgeMates - US Capitals v1.3 [text] [video]

Link to the App Store

What I liked For students, or adults, who know their states and capitols this game would still be a challenge. Even though many of the tiles in the normal and hard games have repeated states and capitols, it is quite difficult to place them correctly without many restarts. It is nice to be able to rotate the tiles by twisting your fingers as opposed to tapping to rotate 90-degrees at a time.
Improvements I would like to be able to get back to info menu that appeared when first opening the app. I didn't carefully read the description and was left wondering if I had to match states and capitols only or if I could match state to state or city to city tiles. While playing the normal and hard games it would be nice to be able to shrink tile board and sort through the tiles. Within 10 minutes of using the normal and hard options and restarting multiple times I was ready to give up. A hint option that shows one or more squares in the correct place would encourage any player to continue on.
General review This would not be my first choice as an app for students studying states and capitols. Since the app offers very few options I don't believe it is worth the price and the difficulty level is much too high for students to persevere. Only those who know their states and capitols can play as it does not alert you to incorrect tile placement. It can't be used as a learning tool.
First 5 minutes video review
Video review once the app was mastered

SirMania - Play & Learn v1.1 [text] [video]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the kid-type drawings and certainly the funny voice with its little sayings. Being able to tap on many of the animals and items and get a response from them is certainly appealing to little kids. The pooping owl, chick, and bird are really funny. In the counting sheep I like that kids have the ability to tap the sheep and hear the numbers or tap the numbers to hear them and match them with the sheep. In matching colors it is beneficial to young readers to have the name of the color written on the color tile they are looking for.
Improvements As soon as I realized I could tap on extra characters on the first page I spent a lot of time on each new page looking for others I could tap. I was disappointed that every page didn't have this feature. It seems that each time you find the rat there are only 5 of them, the weasel is always 10, and the worm is always five. I would certainly like to see the number of animals you have to find varied.
General review For 3-4 year old kids this is fun, but maybe not a long time use app. As I said, more variety in the numbers and more characters you can tap on to get a funny response would improve it. For $1.99 it isn't bad. As a teacher I loved the color words on the tiles to begin teaching reading and I liked the ease with which kids can learn to count the sheep.
First 5 minutes video review
Video review once the app was mastered

Splash Money [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked As a teacher, I really liked that the tests seemed to be tailored to the skills displayed. As I missed more and more questions the concept was repeated. As I answered more questions correctly the problems became harder faster. At the end I really liked the progress on the report card as well as the date the test was completed. Easy to tell who is just flying through their work and who is taking their time. The variety of ways in which knowledge is expressed showed a lot of thought: when showing money amounts for $.30 I could choose between 3 dimes, dimes and nickels, or quarters and nickels. The multiple paths really allow for students to show if they truly understand money.
Improvements In adding and subtracting $ I found myself attempting to be able to write on the screen when it came to borrowing and carrying over amounts. The need for pencil and paper kind of stinks with such a great app. When answering incorrectly, I would like to hear the monkey say something more than just, "No, no." over and over. Perhaps a larger vocabulary? The voice in the lessons speaks far to slowly. I know it is meant to teach kids, but with such a low cadence it seems dumbed down and could turn off a lot of kids. I could foresee them just skipping ahead to the tests instead of listening to the lessons. As someone who has spent a lot of time learning about the common core standards, I think the claim that this app is common-core aligned is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps the common core standards could be specifically named in the app description (grade level and strand identified). I don't know what the fun rewards were. I only received coins, unless I missed some way to play with the rewards.
As for wishes...as I said the ability to write in the screen to aid in the +/- would really set this app apart, perhaps a toolbox that contains a whiteboard or go old school with a chalkboard. More ways to hear that answers are incorrect. A menu option where users choose items to buy, find the total and then pay with select amounts ($20, $35) or even choose money from inside a virtual wallet including bills and change.
General review Overall, I really like the variety of ways to experience and use money in this app. I can see many students finding ways to be challenged with the activities included. I like the progress reports and the ability to see the dates when the tests were taken. I would like to see the common-core standards named rather than just state it is "common core aligned." This is a great resource for math, which is unusual. It is more than just fluency. It is actual application and you can't beat that.