Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket – Review



screen mathemagics

What we love…

An effortless approach to learning the times tables using fun stories.

What we’d love to see…

Include the narrative text in the stories and a story quiz in the training mode to help students better recall the details of the stories before attempting the multiplication questions to ensure greater success.

Summary

Mathemagics Multiplication offers an unconventional but effective story mnemonics technique for memorizing the times tables of 1 to 10.

Our Rating

How do children learn the multiplication tables? First, they learn how to multiply, then they need to memorize the multiplication tables so that they can quickly solve math problems. This usually means lots of practice through boring drills and repetitive exercises. But what if we present you with an approach that can help speed up the memorization process while being fun at the same time? Will you give it a try even if the approach is unconventional or untested?

Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket is a new app that aims to help students memorize the multiplication tables in a whole new way using stories. While memory techniques using songs and stories are not new, it is still uncommon to have students use stories in memorizing the times tables.

But even if you are skeptical, it’s still worth your time to download Mathemagics Multiplication’s free lite version app to read the parents’ guide and let your child have a go at the trial.

Before getting to the stories, students are introduced to the characters in the stories. These are actually the numbers 1 to 10, each with its own name and a personality that helps define how they interact with other characters (numbers). The first section of the app ‘I discover’ is devoted to this character association using a character quiz. This is easy as each character is shaped like its number counterpart.

Once the student has successfully completed the quiz for a character, he can then proceed to watch the multiplication stories for that number in the ‘I learn’ section. Each story is a short cartoon animation and works on the child’s visual memory of what the story is about. There is no explanation for how the times table work, students just need to watch and learn the story. The unique stories help students to form a memorable association between the characters/numbers in a multiplication fact so that when they see the numbers, they remember the stories and then the multiplication facts that they represent.

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What I like in this section is the ’trick’ to help students remember only half of the tables. Your child (or even yourself) may not be aware of this because this is often not highlighted. This trick works well in this app because students don’t need to work through each table by repeatedly adding the same number. They just need to learn the stories and the stories for half of the tables are the same, for example the story for 2 X 4 is the same as that for 4 X 2.

After the students have gone through all the stories from a times table, they can then move on to the levelled exercises in the ‘I play’ section where their memory of the stories is tested. Here, they can choose between the training or game mode, the difference is that points for correct answers are only given in the game mode. The multiplication questions in the ‘I play’ section are first presented in the form of the characters and then the mnemonics are gradually phased out as the students progress.

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After completing the tests in the ‘I play’ section, students can go on to do even more practice in “My challenges’ and earn rewards. Besides the mnemonic training, this app packs in lots of levelled quizzes and challenges to help your child master their times tables in the shortest time possible.

To keep students motivated to complete more quizzes and challenges, points collected from the game mode can be used to buy a house and the furniture for each character in ‘My rewards’ section.

For parents and teachers, you can track up to 3 students’ progress in the full version app ($4.99) while the school version app ($7.99) allows you to create up to 40 profiles.

For children, memorizing a silly story is definitely easier than a multiplication fact. This app takes advantage of children’s innate ability to retain information that has been presented to them visually. It does not take away the importance of understanding the concept of multiplication. It just provides students with a quick and easy way to memorize the tables which in turn speeds up problem solving and reduce frustrations.

You may not be comfortable with this non-traditional method of mastering the times tables, but do keep an open mind and let your child try it out. The free trial version of the app allows your child to learn some of multiplication facts from the 4 times table. My youngest hasn’t gone through all the stories yet but for those that he did, he gave faster and more accurate answers after using the app. This app is definitely worth a try and you may be surprised at how well it works for your child.

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Mathemagics Multiplication
Mathemagics Multiplication-School Edition

Mathemagics Multiplication Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket

Price: $FREE

The FUN way to learn MULTIPLICATION TABLES!!!

With this free version, kids can try out multiplication tables for the number 4. The full version of the app can be unlocked with an in-app purchase.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids by Lapisly -Review




iPad Screenshot 5

What we love…

beautiful illustrations & beautiful original music, fun, original ways to interact with the artwork, appeals to a variety of ages. All the extra information hidden within the app.

What we’d love to see…

addition of word highlighting as it is read, and  a resource section  with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects at home.

Summary

ExplorArt Klee is a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !

Our Rating

ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for KidsExplorArt Klee is an interactive art appbook from Lapisly that is designed to introduce children to Paul Klee and his work. Paul Klee was a prolific  20th Century Swiss- German artist who combined influences from many different artistic movements, including Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He greatly admired children’s artwork and  tried to achieve a child-like simplicity in his own work.

The app takes children to PK planet, a special place that came to life thanks to Paul Klee’s art. Their guides are Cicero (Cice) and his cat Ku, Cice tells how he was inspired by Klee’s famous portrait of Senecio. Cice and Ku explain that their planet is enormous because it is inspired by Klee’s work. Klee created almost 10,000 works of art, and as people create new art inspired by him the planet grows bigger. This shows children how an artist’s legacy can continue after their death, and how your own creative accomplishments can inspire others to create too.

iPad Screenshot 4

Cice and Ku introduce four themes that inspired Klee:-nature, music, cities and puppets. The reader gets to explore interactive, animated versions of six of Klee’s famous works of art: “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers”, “Landscape with Yellow Birds”, “Castle and Sun”, “Dream Town”, “Fugue in Red” and “Twittering Machine”, they can also play with the recycled art puppets Klee created for his son. The app is designed to allow the child to explore it their own way, they can spend as little or as much time as they like interacting with each piece of art. When they are ready to move on they stroke Ku, and he brings them to the next artwork.

Each piece of art has different ways to interact with it. In “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers” touching the flowers makes blossoms open or close, sets stems swaying in time to the music, and sends the bird swooping around the page.

iPad Screenshot 2In “Landscape with Yellow Birds” touching the birds brings them to life- pulling up worms, laying eggs, chirping and flying. As you move around the Landscape you can see the picture from different perspectives, giving a simplistic 3D type effect.

iPad Screenshot 1The “Castle and Sun” falls apart when you touch it, creating a puzzle. You have to put the pieces back in the right places by matching the various shapes to recreate the picture.

iPad Screenshot 3

“Dream Town” is made up of layers of superimposed shapes that you can deconstruct stretching them out like a paper accordion.

“Fugue in Red” starts as an almost bare screen with just a few scattered shapes, touching the shapes not only plays musical notes but also works to create the art work as each shape is replicated into multiple similar shapes that form the layers of the artwork.

“Twittering Machine” is my personal favorite – turning the handle of the machine moves the automaton back and forth opening and closing the birds beaks, and playing music at the same time. If you stop turning the handle the movement stops and if you remove your finger from the screen the music stops instantly, so it really feels like you are controlling the machine.

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The puppets are inspired by the puppets Paul Klee made for his son from recycled materials. Cice and Ku introduce the 5 puppets in a theatre, and touching each puppet brings them to life with animation, special effects and a poem about each one.

One thing I really like about the app is that it is designed to appeal to a variety of ages, they can enjoy it on different levels whilst being introduced to a great artist and his work. Early elementary school age children can listen to the pages being narrated, and slightly older ones can read it by themselves. A red balloon appears at the bottom of each page, touching it brings up a navigation bar where they can change languages, switch narration and music on or off, return to the home screen or to a favorite page or artwork. It also has a glasses symbol- tapping this will bring up more information relating to the current page. This might be a Paul Klee quote, information about the artwork, a historical photograph or more information about the artist. This is a great way to make the app appeal to a wider age range, younger children can enjoy the app as is and older ones can use this feature to learn more about the artist and his art, keeping them engaged and learning.

Paul Klee played the violin throughout his life and his mother was a professional musician, so music was very important to him. This importance is reflected in the app, with original music throughout and music integrated into the interactive artwork. ExplorArt Klee is an app that has lots of hidden surprises, and like all the best kids apps it inspires kids to keep coming back and exploring. It took me several runs through find everything hidden within it- from fun interactive elements hidden within the scenes to all the extra information available about the artist and his art.

ExplorArt Klee can be enjoyed in 5 languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. It has optional narration and background music which can be switched off independently.  It is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.  The developer recommends the app for ages 6-8, I would recommend it for ages 5-10.

Whether you (and your child) are a fan of Paul Klee, or totally new to his work, ExplorArt Klee is a great app for getting children excited about art. It gets them exploring and interacting with great works of art and can inspire them to create their own.  Paul Klee wanted to “make the invisible visible” and  felt that art shows us that the world we see is “not the only one possible”, so I’m sure he would have hoped his artwork would inspire future generations to use their imagination to create their own works of art. ExplorArt Klee is very well done with beautiful illustrations, beautiful original music and fun, original, ways to interact with the artwork. I love all the extra information hidden within the app. In terms of improvements, it would be nice to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read to help emerging readers and I’d love to see a resource section at the end with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects.

Overall, a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !

A free lite version of the app has just been released and is a great way to sample the app before purchasing the full version.

iTunes Link to Full Version

ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids ExplorArt Klee – The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids by Lapisly S.C.P.

Price: $4.99 USD

Jump into the mind of Paul Klee with ExplorArt Klee!
This beautifully designed interactive picture book introduces kids to the dreamlike works of the 20th century Swiss-German master. Paul Klee’s.

iTunes Link to Free Lite Version


ExplorArt Klee LITE - The Art of Klee, for Kids ExplorArt Klee LITE - The Art of Klee, for Kids by Lapisly S.C.P.

Price: $FREE

Jump into the mind of Paul Klee with ExplorArt Klee!
This beautifully designed interactive picture book introduces kids to the dreamlike works of the 20th century Swiss-German master. Paul Klee’s.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Comics Head – Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia Inc – Review and Giveaway



screen comics head

What we love…

Lots of options and editable details to help you create your own comics.

What we’d love to see…

More cool art assets.

Summary

Comics Head is a features-packed digital tool for creating comics that will get kids to love storytelling.

Our Rating

When I was exploring Comics Head – Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia for the first time, I kept getting ideas on how we could incorporate comics in our children’s learning. While presenting knowledge in the form of comics can greatly impact our children’s motivation to learn, I think it’s even more rewarding to have them use comics to tell a story.

Students can be encouraged to write by first planning and developing their ideas in comics, which helps to improve their thinking process. They can also relate an experience that they had through photo comics. With the use of comics, students can confidently deliver a presentation that is unique and engaging. Comics also allows them to express themselves freely and not be limited by their lack of writing skills. Comics definitely has a place in education.

To help you create your own comics, all you need is Comics Head. It is easy to use, has plenty of ready templates to get you started right away plus lots of cartoon items and editing features to help you produce professional looking comics. There is a great variety of backgrounds, characters, props and effects for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can find suitable items from the pre-packaged assets that are based on specific themes. You are not limited to these art assets alone as you can also use photos/screenshots taken from within the app and import images from your device’s photo library or external sources. Best of all, you can draw your own items and add them to your comics!

Each art item that is inserted in your comics page can be edited – horizontal/vertical flip, duplicate, crop, apply various filters, add textures, make transparent, etc. You can even change the character’s expression and pose! Comics Head is packed full with many more advanced features to help you produce the most sophisticated comics that will satisfy your audience.

What’s comics without speech bubbles and Comics Head not only allows you to add and design your speech bubbles, but also lets you add audio speech bubbles via in-app recording or importing! You can also arrange the playback sequence of these audio speech bubbles. See an audio comics created by a 7-year-old below!

There are endless possible use for this app and it’s not just for our children. Teachers can prepare their science and history lessons in comics and see their students captivated. Parents can quickly create social stories using photos of real situations when needed. We can also make our own audio comic for our kids who can’t read yet. Greeting or invitation cards, business presentations, travel journals, announcements, etc. – all these you can rely on Comics Head to do the job well!

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Comics Head has awesome supportive features as well. It has several ways to share a completed comics and the in-app help section is clear and concise. Access to the various sections is straightforward and access to all the external links are disabled by default and can only be changed in the password-protected parental settings.

Comics Head makes it so easy and fun for young children to create their own comics while older students and adults will be pleased with its easy to use yet powerful self-publishing tools. With this app, anyone can be an artist and author. Whether it’s for leisure or for work, Comics Head is a worthwhile addition to any home or classroom. Check out this cool comics creator app today and see your child’s love for storytelling grow.

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iPhone –
iPad –
Free lite version –

Comics Head - Create your own comic Comics Head - Create your own comic by Nextwave Multimedia
Category: Education, Photo & Video
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 410.01 MB

$FREE

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Imagistory: Schools Edition – Creative Storytelling by Imagistory Publishing – Review and Giveaway



screen imagistory

Imagistory is a wordless picture book designed for children 3 and up. The objective of the app is to increase overall language skills while creating unique stories. The only tools necessary are an iPad and a great imagination.

What we love…

User friendly, customizable for author with picture, quiet read or recording option, different narrative each time the child uses the app, coordinates well with narrative programs, excellent potential for projecting with a Smart Board and using with the whole class at one time.

What we’d love to see…

Ability to actually write the story on the page, animate some of the characters, add my own characters to the story, start and stop recording on demand, edit each page instead of having to restart.

Summary

Imagistory is an excellent wordless story app with multiple academic possibilities. I recommend this app to both educators and parents looking to enhance their children’s expressive and receptive language skills using nothing but imagination and creative thought.

Our Rating

There is so much that I like about this app. The app is very user friendly. Page turning is easy and learning curve is small. There is a small guide in the parent and teacher section, but more about how to use the app in the classroom and not really how to use the app. The only hidden icons are to pause, return to home or restart, supported by an arrow in the top left corner.

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At the onset the “author” is asked to customize the story with their name and their photo. The photo taking is automatic, using a countdown before actually snapping your picture. There is no option to use a photo from your photo library. The next step, which I really like, is the choice between beginning to create the story (record) or to do a quiet read (silent picture walk, small icon on top right corner of the opening cover page).

As a Speech Language Pathologist, I love that the children have a chance to view the pictures first, and become familiar with the story. We chat about the pictures, sequence and predict. This allows for a very important step in narrative dialogue. The story walk allows for the integration of various narrative tools (Story Grammar Markers, SKILLS). Once the children have an idea of what they would like to say, and/or have written a story, the second option is chosen: recording the story narrative.

One thing that I don’t particularly like is that the recording starts automatically. I would prefer the option of starting and stopping when I want, allowing for reviewing what I want to say, before jumping right into the recording. If the child makes a mistake on a particular page, there is no option to redo only the single page. The child has to return to the beginning and either re-record or flip to the page you want.

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My favorite feature of this app is that although there are only 6 stories, each time the children chose the theme, there can be a different story. The developer suggests in the guide section the different language skills that are enhanced by this app, from story writing, to perspective taking, creating different genres and creative group work.

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Pictures are nicely animated, but for some books, particularly Bubble Monster, I find the pages too crowded. The “Bubbles” are mostly the same color and it is hard to distinguish the main characters from the other bubbles. Other books are less “crowded” and allows for more use of imagination.

The app saves stories automatically, at the end and the narratives can be shared with others. The stories are saved under the parent and teacher section, There are 3 categories: all stories, my favorites and shared with me.

There are 2 versions of the app available in the App Store. The free version comes with 2 stories – The Little Red Bucket and the Tree Boat Saga. In App Purchases are available for 4 other stories, with the developer suggesting there are more to come. The additional 4 stories are My Friends the Penguins, Backyard Adventure, Tree Boat Saga 2 and The Monster Bubbles. Parent and teacher section is locked. There is a separate school edition app which contains all 6 stories.

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Imagistory: Schools Edition – Creative Storytelling
Free lite version –

Imagistory: Schools Edition - A Storytelling App Imagistory: Schools Edition - A Storytelling App by Imagistory Publishing Ltd.
Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 90.26 MB

$3.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Lisa is a Speech Language Pathologist who has been working in an inclusive school system for over 32 years. She works with children that have issues in all areas of speech and language. She loves her work and is always looking for ways to integrate technology.

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