I bought the app Teach Me Toddler when my oldest was a preschooler. It was a nice way to practice numbers, letters, shapes and colors.
Here's the premise. A little mouse teacher asks you to identify the color, letter, number and color out of four choices. If you get it wrong she corrects you and tells you what you chose. The little mouse is very encouraging and kind. When you get a certain number right(the parent can manage the setting) you get a sticker. The child can pick different backgrounds and choose the stickers to decorate them.
My older son finished all the skills and really enjoyed the app. My three year old is now enjoying it. I thought it was a very cute app.
But I just purchased Teach me First Grade and it's totally knocked my socks off. The first grade version focuses on addition and subtraction, identifying sight words, and spelling. The child works to earn coins that can be traded in a variety of different stores for cute items. My six year old is about to finish Kindergartner and it's by far the best app we've ever used. Here is why:
- It scaffolds instruction: In education scaffolding means offering students varying levels of support and removing that support as they progress. This app does a great job with that. For example, when my son started it all the math problems were illustrated. It would give him pictures to demonstrate the problem. When it was clear that he was acing all of them the app took that support away. He can still have the pictures if he presses a help button.
- It's not all multiple choice: The student is asked to "write" answers with their fingers. This not only eliminates guessing it also provides vital practice with letter and number formation. The program shows the child what it thinks the answer is and gives him a change to try again before submitting it. And I have been pretty impressed by how well it interprets his writing.
- The level of instruction is just right: At least for my child. I have a hard time finding apps that either weren't way too easy or way too hard. The beginning reading stage is a tricky one to hit with technology and I am impressed with how this program does it.
Do your kids use any apps you are particularly impressed with?