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  Lvl 3 - Advanced

Amellia 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: iPad1- iPad2- iPad3- iPhone4- iPhone5

Description: I am a very busy first grade teacher and mom of three. I serve as our school technology coordinator among MANY other roles and duties. I am a self proclaimed nerd and proud to be hard working and forever busy.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Educational Technology specialist

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-02

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

Total review Karma: + 4     ?

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

metronome [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I really like that it is simple and clean. I liked the various time settings and the different tones that it uses. I feel that it would be very useful for those involved with music or any task where you need to keep time. I enjoyed it and found it to be relaxing and with adaptations could be useful for young children.
Improvements This app is too simple. It is too expensive for what little it does. It is geared to too narrow of a market. There is nothing visually appealing about it. It needs a help section for users with tips and suggestions. It needs a better description in the app store so that it is more clear exactly who it is intended for. It could be made useful to smaller children just learning music or in a classroom setting by making it more appealing to younger users. Children just learning music or learning to keep time, beat, rhythm, etc. could enjoying using a metronome like this one with additions.
General review I probably wouldn't spend that much typically for such an app. It is very simple and only allows you to change the time and background color. The description given for it isn't very specific. I wish this app could be made enjoyable for a larger audience and the price is too high.

Wubbzy's Train Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked In the read to me mode, I love how the words light up as it reads. This is important for beginning reading readiness. I also like that the pages are interactive. I really like the option to lower or raise the volume of the music, sounds, and voice in the options section. The option to start from current page or start over when switching modes is a big plus also. I like how the games come in during the story and then proceeds with the story. I love the "Grown-Ups Corner" giving parents tools to help children and to get involved with the text along with the child.
Improvements There is too much text on each page for this age range. More pages and less text per page would be more age appropriate. I would like to see more coloring pages, and more games. Also, different skill levels for the games as well. The "Just a Book" mode was not necessary for me. I'd rather have more stories or games. There was a problem with the videos on my ipad 3 device. They wouldn't show properly (only the top corner was visible and only a few of the words were visible) and it caused the app to complete lock up. I had to restart the device after each video.
General review This would be a good app for very young children (preschool) with parental guidance. It wouldn't be one that children would spend a lot of time with. I would expect this app to be free or 99 cents for the amount of content on this app. The interactivity is good but not what I would expect from a paid app.

iTooch Middle School [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the type of text that were chosen for the reading passages. I like the progress bar on the side to show a continual visual of progress. I like that there is an option to reset the app so that you can start from scratch. I like the ability to switch between test and practice modes on each screen. The lesson explanations are very helpful. I LOVE that there is a link within the app that describes the opportunity to write content for the app.
Improvements Please check the grammar and spelling on the introduction and help pages. I noticed a lot of mistakes. I would like to see the reading text be on the same screen along with the questions rather than having to tap the character. I would like to see the questions not repeat themselves. Several came back up very close together in practice mode. I would like to see the app take the student to a review of the lesson after missing a question.
General review This app is a good tool for students to use to practice and develop skills. It is very appropriate for the age range and is appealing through its way of sharing progress on leader boards. It provides a wide range of questions, skills, and subject matter. It incorporates social studies and history facts into the reading content adding another layer of learning.

Meet the Insects: Village Edition (1.0.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The pictures are very high quality and there are a good number and variety. The observation journal fits very well with the the new Common Core Standards that are expected of children. It is great that pictures can be taken and added to the observation journal. The details given about each insect are very informative and educational and make the topic interesting for kids. The app is smooth and easy to navigate. It is not too crowded with too many options. I love the quiz section!
Improvements I would like to see a tutorial added that would appear when first opening the app explaining a little about the components of the app. Maybe something similar to a help section just to introduce it or a place to go if not sure what to do. I found it a little confusing when there was more that one page of items in a section. The flashing arrow made me think that I needed to tap it rather than swipe. After a few minutes of playing I figured it out though.
General review I thing that this app is wonderful and would be very valuable in a classroom setting especially. I think that many children would love this app in or outside of a classroom. It is very educational and fun for kids. The vocabulary and terms would be somewhat difficult for children under eight or nine years old but the app has many features that even younger children could use and enjoy. I found very little about this app that I didn't like.

Weather and Clock for Kids [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I love that kids can see what the time, temperature, and weather is like in other places and countries. This made it more interesting for my students. I like that there are interactive aspects to the objects in the setting. The voice and character are very kid friendly and add to the attractiveness to children.
Improvements I would prefer that there be an option or that the time be stated in a different way when tapping on the clock. i.e. "five thirty two pm" rather than "five hours and thirty two minutes". Ideally, I would like to have the option of either or to have it stated both ways. I would love to see more interactive things in the setting and some info for kids about time and weather. An interactive book in the setting about weather possibly. Maybe even a little game or two.
General review This is a simple app that is very easy to use. Not a lot of options but cute and attractive to young children. It has interactive aspects that help keep children interested. It would be more inviting if there were more interactive options in the setting.

Tic Toc Time: Break down the day to learn how to tell time [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I really like the concept of taking the skill of telling time as far back as using the compass. I like the progression that this app uses to help the learner have a deeper understanding of the concept. The simplicity and ease of use makes this app very appealing for young users. The necessity to have to get up and move around to make the compass work is a plus. I like that when moving objects in order to answer a question it doesn't respond to incorrect answers, only correct ones.
Improvements I would like a better explanation of what the prizes are for. I think that some kind of in-app reward would be better. When the father character is in space his character seems too large. It tends to cover too much of the screen. I would like to seem him be smaller. I experienced a few issues with the sound when moving on before one audio stops. The next audio begins while the last one is still going. I would also like to see a different progression when working with the clock. The app moves from hours to quarter hours. I would like to see it go to half hour before quarter hour.
General review This is a great app for young learners to learn how the use of clocks has developed over time. I think that I gives them a more in-depth understanding of its history. I wish that there were more activities that involved manipulating the clock and actually using it to tell time. As far as matching the title of the app, I think it is on the mark.

Math Mathews : Mental Math 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the fast pace of this app. I like that in order to get to "play" you have to answer problems. It has a good look and feel. There are multiple levels of difficulty which make it nice for multiple children to use or to allow a child to use this app for a longer time. It is helpful that it will track and monitor progress. The "hints" option is a plus.
Improvements The reading level is too difficult for younger children. It would be much better if the text was read aloud to the user. The reading level in the text of this app is too difficult for a young child. In order to use this app an adult would have to assist them. The speed of the moving graphics was hard to follow and a little painful on the eyes.
General review I like the idea of this app. It is a very appealing way to get kids to practice their mental math facts. If there were an option for the text to be read to the user it would be much better and more age appropriate. The speed is a little too fast but would encourage quick thinking for the user. The need for this type app is huge and I would love to see it with just a few tweaks.

Jack and the Beanstalk a Mathematical Adventure - HD V1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The fact that the text is read to the child is good. Changing the problem each time the child arrives at a page requiring him or her to work with a problem is great. It is also a plus that so many different math skills are integrated into the story allowing not only math skills to be covered but also includes language arts skills.
Improvements The navigation arrows are confusing. It would be great to be able to step back one page or have the option to have the text reread. When I clicked on what I thought would allow this nothing happened. When finishing a task, it isn't very clear for a child what to do next. The audio was a little choppy. The amulets cover up the words when matching the shapes making it hard to see the name of the shape. As a 1st grade teacher, I don't feel that the skill levels and concepts are age appropriate for Kindergarten and first grade students. I would find this more appropriate for third graders.
General review In general, I don't find this to be age appropriate for the age range specified for this app. The concept for it is great. If the difficulty of the problems were adjusted I would be able to rate this app higher. I would be good for classroom use however I don't see that it would maintain a child's interest over an expanded period of time.

Lola's ABC Party 2 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I love the way the sounds are segmented and blended when words are built and read. Most of the activities are very good, age appropriate, and fun for kids. The variety of activities and the length of them are good for the targeted age group. There is a need for this type app for this group especially giving them very good examples of how these individual sounds are pronounced and blended. It is very common for children to not hear proper pronunciation.
Improvements The activity where kids pop balloons with words on them based on categories the words would fit into doesn't seem to fit the app. It is a much more difficult skill to be able to read those words, understand their meaning, and be able to eliminate a word based on it's meaning. That is a vocabulary skill rather than a phonics or phonemic awareness skill. I would like to see this activity turn into letters on the balloons and the child be given a sound and pop the balloon with the letter responsible for making that sound.
General review I really like this app and will use it with my first grade class and will recommend it to parents. If the activity with the balloons being changed, I would certainly give this one a five. My students enjoyed this and I find it to be very helpful in helping kids learn needed skills.

Monsieur Bear's ABC [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like that there are multiple examples of words that begin with the sound of the letter being represented. The animations are cute and entertaining for young children. It is simple and easy for young users to navigate. I like that the directions are read aloud so that reading skills aren't required.
Improvements One of my concerns with this app is letters that represent more than one sound. For example, with the letter "c". There is no representation for for the sound "c" makes in the word circus. There is an example on the "c" page for digraph "ch" (chair). This may seem unimportant to some but as an early childhood educator it is important for children to see and recognize these details.
General review I feel the idea of this app is great but might need some edits and reconsiderations especially with word choices. Letters that represent more than one sound may need examples of each sound it represents. I think that for this targeted audience that diagraph sounds be either left out or represented seperatly.