I love apps that reinforce what my 4th grader is learning in school. We’ve been playing around with math apps and literacy apps and they’re hit or miss. I think math apps especially are effective at helping kids remember concepts, and kids enjoy working through levels to be rewarded with- basically anything. It’s so funny to see them checking their progress and how many stars they’ve received, or how many levels they’ve conquered.
Fen isn’t highly competitive, but she does enjoy beating her last score in any sort of game- even if it’s based in learning. I think this is true with pretty much every kid, otherwise these types of apps wouldn’t be this popular.
I checked out the iTooch elementary learning app with Fen, and my first thought was how nice it was to have an app that included math, science and literacy in one spot. Besides that, there are different levels for the different grades/ages. They give you a bunch of exercises to try for free, and once you try them out you have the option of buying the full versions right from within the game.
Fen decided to start with literacy, and I watched over her shoulder, annoying her, as she worked through some of the questions in practice mode. Once she felt ready, she switched over to test mode and went for it! I was fascinated by how she took these questions more seriously because it was “test mode”.
When she moved on to math and got a question wrong, I, er, pretended not to know how to explain to her how to get the right answer. It’s not like 4th grade math is too hard for me or anything…. The greatest thing in the whole world is that you can tap on the little iTooch guy and be sent to an explanation page! You don’t just get a loud buzz like in other apps.
Plus, right in the app, they give you scrap paper. Fen immediately started using it to draw pictures, but as you can see, it’s a great bonus to the app. Behold my math skills:
Questions range from multiple choice to fill in the blank, and kids work through different levels, where they can track their progress and earn achievements- karate-like belts in different colors.
Overall I really enjoyed the app, initially for its clean design and ease but the real test was watching Fen become absorbed in the questions. Even when she came upon a problem she hadn’t learned in school yet, she tried to answer, and we would go look at the explanation page afterward.
The one part that annoyed her was that some of the questions would pop up over again a few times, even after she had answered them correctly. I suppose thins isn’t the worst thing, as it reinforces knowledge, but Fen yelled at the app a couple of times.
We’ll definitely keep using this as a one-stop app to practice school stuff, and lucky for Fen, i won’t even be upset if I catch her drawing on the practice page.
Find iTooch Elementary at the iTunes store.
I was compensated for this review of iTooch, but opinions are my own.