Article: Raising 21st century learners using STEAM in Boston & Giveaway

Article: Raising 21st century learners using STEAM in Boston & Giveaway

 

Helping our children be 21st century learners is no easy task as a parent. I know for me, so much has changed since I was in school. My older son has a #STEAM themed curriculum at school where they try to infuse as much as they can into everyday learning. This can be anything from using manipulative to school to using Ozobots or Lego’s to allow them to code and create without realizing they are learning!   I like this because I hope it will help my son to become more flexible and collaborative as he gets older since the key learning skills are currently being built at an early age.  I also like to try to carry over these skills at home!

Legos and robotics

Beyond the classroom

In some classrooms before the advent of #STEAM students would watch a video or passively hear a lesson taught. As time has evolved, instead of just hearing the lesson the students are learning multiple ways to tackle the problem and solve it. This can lead to some challenges for kids at times, who may become overwhelmed with all of the ways to solve the problem without truly understanding the core concept or skill. Children with special needs also may struggle with the new concepts of #STEAM learning because being presented so many different ways to solve a problem can at the very least be overwhelming. One of the great things about STEAM learning is that the classes provide hands on engagement to solve real world problems – instead of just having to do a math page or read a chapter from a history book. One of the other great benefits is that children work together collaboratively to solve a problem or challenge rather than struggling to complete it on their own. This encourages team work, collaboration and reasoning which are all great skills to apply later in life.

Snapology is a company that wants to help children with STEAM and problem solving skills using their creative thinking and imagination. As part of their program offerings, they offer camps, field trips, birthday parties for kids three and over, scout adventures and more. Topics range from game design, building, coding, animation and more. Perhaps my son will learn how to code an iOS app to help me in the future!

teamwork and collaboration

Building and creating

As a parent, I am always thinking of ways that I can help to enrich my children outside of school. We regularly try to help our kids get hands on learning beyond the textbook or classroom. That means, I’m working on helping him learn more about STEAM via the use of our iPad, doing some simple programming and helping him experiment to solve problems  We also pull out our Lego’s and create and build as well.  We have even experimented a little bit with Scratch programming which is a visual programming language designed to give kids their first experience with coding.  :Looking for more great tech enabled STEAM ideas?  Check out our STEAM and STEM gift guide which has some great suggestions!

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal.  Thank you so much for supplying a Lego set for our readers!

Giveaway

Want a chance to win a  LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator?  You can enter via a comment on this post.  The comment must say where you are from and why you want to win the prize.    Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is to those that live in the United States and have a valid United States mailing address.  A valid legal name and address are required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

 

 

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Grandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media – Review

Grandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media – Review


What we love…

fun beach themed app with seven mini games and two interactive mini games which have kids learning and having fun all at the same time!

What we’d love to see…

beachball themed activity, naming of objects in the sand art or even storytime at the beach

Summary

Overall, this is a fun beach themed app which is great for the summer or perhaps even a snowy day when kids are wishing for a nice sunny day.  It has good educational content which has kids learning and having fun at the same time.  Best for preschool or early elementary school ages.

Our Rating

Grandma's Beach FunGrandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media is a fun new beach themed app which has you joining Grandma and Grandpa on a trip to the beach – sans the sand in your car on the way home!  The app has seven educational games ranging from: find the beach gear, beach art, word rhyming, umbrella matching (fun twist on typical picture matching), math (shake the coconut trees to add numbers up to 12), word find (beach themed!) and my kids favorite tide pool critters.  This app, aimed at the preschool and early elementary age children includes math; literacy via reading, spelling, rhyming; water sports, art using beach shells and fireworks.  Skills practiced include fine motor, working memory, cause and effect.

This is a cute app which had a lot of enjoyment for my kids.  Grandma and Grandpa are back again – this time with a great beach themed app – perfect for anytime especially those long car rides during the summer or perhaps a rainy day outside.  There are seven educational games which include: math, literacy, memory, creativity and more as well as videos about beach animals and water sports, make your own fireworks and help Grandpa avoid obstacles while water skiing!  One of my favorite things about Fairlady Media games is the parental control which allows you to turn on and off specific mini games if they are too hard or too easy for your child – this meant that my older son who has mastered the addition and found it “too easy” was still able to enjoy other mini games like the airplane rhyme, waterskiing jump, and even the beach themed crosswords.  My older son enjoyed the waterskiing jump and airplane rhyme the best out of the mini games .  When we packed Grandma’s beach bag we also talked about why each item was important like sunscreen, a towel or even a pail and shovel.  My kids really like this series of apps, although I personally can’t imagine my grandparents going water skiing.  The umbrella matching was a fun twist on a typical memory match game with the umbrella animating to display the item and then the umbrella’s disappearing as the items were matched.   The app interspersed more fun activities like waterskiing, the touch tank and art with harder activities like the word find or math.which kept my son interested.  He liked that you could touch and drag across to highlight the words within the app and as a mom I liked that you could turn the hints on and off.  The fireworks activity was a fun way to cap off the app.

I’d love to see a fun beach ball themed activity – one of my favorites with my kids when we go to the beach is to toss it around.  We also enjoy building sandcastles – similar to the art where we were able to take different objects to make a picture. It would be great if the different objects, like shells or driftwood were named as you made the art.   I’d also love to see a beach themed story of some sort added to the app so kids could either listen or practice reading it.

Overall, this is a fun beach themed app which is great for the summer or perhaps even a snowy day when kids are wishing for a nice sunny day.  It has good educational content which has kids learning and having fun at the same time.  Best for preschool or early elementary school ages.


Grandma's Beach Fun Grandma's Beach Fun by Fairlady Media

Price: $2.99 USD

Join Grandma for fun in the sun! Choose rhyming words to cause airplane acrobatics, match up items under the umbrellas, go waterskiing with Grandpa, solve some coconut math, create crazy beach art, find.

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.  Links in this review may earn us affiliate income which helps to support The iMums.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review

Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun train themed app with great sound effects that encourages role play, creative play, counting and more

What we’d love to see…

ability to back the train up, a ticket that displays the passengers destination visually, other methods to power the train or even a subway

Summary

Fun train themed app that includes sharing, following directions and more!

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Train All Aboard the latest app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene.

Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    My kids also loved loading the cargo and carrying it from station to station.  While we loaded it we practiced counting or even deciding which item to load first – should we load the jelly beans or the chicken?  What happens if we don’t load any cargo.  I loved their responses which ranged from – “the passengers will be sad” to “will the chicken lay an egg?”  My toddler loved speeding up the train within the app or making it slower which shows cause and effect – although that concept was a bit difficult to explain.  As you get to each station stop, a thought bubble pops up looking for a specific passenger or item to be loaded on the train.  There is a maximum of four passengers, so if you have more, someone extra must exit the train prior to it moving.  Safety first!

As a mom, I loved that there was great role playing – should we be the conductor, the passenger or the person loading the cargo.  Tell me about their job.  What happens if there are too many passengers, how do we decide who gets on?  It was great for storytelling and having my older son describe his actions within the app.  At the station, it was great to unload the cargo and then pass it along to the proper recipients like the pig who wanted the chicken.  Each time you complete a task, you earn additional items to play with in the game which made my kids want to play more and more to see what else they would earn.  There are twelve different train stations throughout.  My son also enjoyed dinging the bell

In terms of enhancements, it would be fun if each passenger had to submit a ticket prior to getting on the train which would get stamped with their destination, currently once they are on the train you can punch the ticket but it does not show the destination.  That way, kids could prepare for which station they are getting off at.  My son also wanted to “back up” the train a few times to go back and look at scenery or to pick up something he might have missed.  I would also love to see other methods for powering the train – perhaps it could be electric and run on above ground power like the T does in Boston or maybe it could run like the subway does with a third rail.  My kids also thought it would be fun if each of the train stops coincided with other Dr. Panda Games like Daycare, Firefighter, Home etc.

There are no in-app purchases and there is a parental gate which requires year of birth.  You can turn off a splash screen which advertises other Dr. Panda apps in the parent area as well as turn on and off music and sound.

Super fun train themed app that kept my toddler enthralled for hours.  He kept finding little secret items and enjoyed loading and off loading the cargo.  Bravo Dr. Panda – or should that be Toot Toot!  Can’t wait to see what else you have planned in the future.



Dr. Panda Train Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

Dr. Panda Train has pulled into the station! Put on your conductor hat and take passengers on a journey full of fun and discovery!

DRIVE THE TRAIN! 
All aboard Dr. Panda Train! Show your passengers.

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.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Article: 8 awesome learning podcasts for kids from Common Sense Media

Article: 8 awesome learning podcasts for kids from Common Sense Media



8 podcasts

Bring fresh voices into the classroom with free, high-quality podcasts.

May 23, 2017

Bronwyn Harris

Editorial Assistant
Check out a few favorite podcasts from Common Sense Media. Your kids can use these to help prevent the #summerslide and learn all at the same time! You can even subscribe and download these podcasts to your device so you can stream them on summer drives! Parents, these apps do use data if you are live streaming them – so be sure to watch your limits!
When podcasts first gained popularity in the early 2000s, they seemed to be a quaint throwback to radio. But that changed quickly as more and more people jumped in and started experimenting with the medium. Now, hits like Serial have launched podcasts into the mainstream. You can find podcasts on nearly every topic — from movie reviews to academic lessons to celebrity gossip — and in nearly every genre, from short fiction to in-depth journalism to comedy.Podcasts are a great way to hook kids into learning about a topic. They draw listeners into the story in a unique way, providing different viewpoints from what students are usually exposed to. Teachers can use podcasts to supplement the curriculum with high-quality, free content. And you can find podcasts that will work for every grade level and subject area. Check out a few of our favorites to get started!

wowWow in the World

Grades K–6

NPR’s brand-new podcast premiered on May 15, 2017. It’s the first NPR podcast to be aimed at kids, and the goal is to “guide curious kids and their grown-ups away from their screens and on a journey.” While the specific topics the podcast will cover remain to be seen, the creators say it will focus on important science and technology subjects and questions that families — or classrooms — can explore together.


NPR One NPR One by NPR

Price: $FREE

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

"By connecting to audio content from.

 

brainBrains On Grades 1–6

Every teacher knows that kids love to ask questions, and science provides plenty of questions for them to be curious about. Brains On tackles questions and topics that are totally relevant to kids’ interests, including slime, dinosaur bones, fire, lasers, and airplanes. Teachers can encourage students to take one of the topics and research it more completely or to use it as a jumping-off point for science experiments and research-related questions.


NPR One NPR One by NPR

Price: $FREE

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

"By connecting to audio content from.

scienceScience Friday

Grades 6–12

Science Friday with Ira Flatow covers a variety of complex science topics, which are great for high school students to use in research or when developing a project or paper. For middle school teachers, Kidsnet offers the Science Friday Kids’ Connection curriculum referencing the Science Friday material but in a form more digestible for that age group. Teachers can find any scientific subject covered in the archives, so no matter what you’re teaching, the podcast and accompanying curriculum can be priceless (and you may learn a thing or two as well!).

No app – listen online.

 

storycorpStoryCorps

Grades 6–12

One of the largest oral history projects of its kind, StoryCorps consists of more than 50,000 interviews from more than 80,000 participants. Students at just about any grade level or in any subject area could use the StoryCorps interviews in a variety of ways. In a National Teachers Initiative section, listeners can find interviews between teachers and students or former students. The interviews can be used as writing prompts, discussion topics, primary sources for research projects, and more. Students also can record their own stories.


NPR One NPR One by NPR

Price: $FREE

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

"By connecting to audio content from.

 

believeThis I Believe

Grades 6–12

This I Believe was a radio series on NPR (now archived) that focused on the writing, sharing, and discussing of people’s core beliefs through short personal essays. In the classroom, teachers can use This I Believe to get students to write about their own experiences. Personal experiences, beliefs, and values can make a rich foundation for classroom discussions, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve created a safe space for sharing. A companion book and website offer plenty of resources for teachers and students to work on personal essays.


NPR One NPR One by NPR

Price: $FREE

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

"By connecting to audio content from.

youthYouth Radio

Grades 6–12

Youth Radio is not only a great podcast for students, but it’s also created by kids. The kid journalists of Youth Radio offer a very honest take on hot-button issues and current events, with perspectives that don’t often appear in the standard news world. Youth Radio segments can spark discussion on anything from Afghanistan to graffiti to the economy (they’re often featured on NPR’s Marketplace). Your students may even be inspired to start producing their own pieces.


NPR One NPR One by NPR

Price: $FREE

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

"By connecting to audio content from.

grammarGrammar Girl

Grades 9–12

Grammar is notoriously boring, but Grammar Girl, part of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, manages to make it interesting, and English teachers everywhere are grateful. The website has transcripts of each episode, but the audio delivery is animated and friendly and probably of more interest to students. This podcast is best for middle and high school students and incorporates both traditional grammar questions and more quirky analysis of new types of grammar unique to social media, for example.


Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by QuickAndDirtyTips.com

Price: $ USD

.

hardcoreHardcore History

Grades 9–12

Every teacher and student knows that, while history may not have been boring, history textbooks often are. Hardcore History with Dan Carlin is aiming to change all that, with honest and dramatic looks at historical figures and events that go far outside the basic historical outline many of us learned. While Hardcore History is not released on a predictable schedule and the episodes are often very long, it brings history to life in an invaluable way. History teachers who take the time to curate clips may find that their students have a whole new interest in learning.

No app, listen online.

 

Which essential podcasts did we miss? Let us know your favorites in the comments!

About the Author

Bronwyn is an author, educator, and editor living in the East Bay. She is originally from Petaluma, California, and earned a bachelor’s of science in psychology from UC Davis, and a multiple subject teaching credential from CSU Sacramento. Bronwyn began her teaching career in 2000 in the most violent neighborhood in Oakland, California, and has since written a book about her experiences: Literally Unbelievable: Stories from an East Oakland Classroom.Bronwyn has written for Teaching Tolerance and AlterNet, among others. She is an avid reader and knitter and uses Common Sense reviews to guide her on movies for her nieces and nephew.

commonsense2Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsensemedia.org.

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