Instructional scaffolding to help build skills mastery.
What we’d love to see…
Written instructions for parents.
A potentially addictive 3D mobile game cum Math and Spelling learning app for grades 1-3.
The Land of Learnia is a Math and Spelling learning app that is set in a 3D virtual world where students are tasked to open up the learning paths across the islands by mastering various skills from Common Core Math and Spelling for grades 1 -3. Each island in Learnia contains work from a math or spelling grade level and students can choose to undertake work from one or more islands at any one time. As rewards, players earn animals that they can feed and play with in Learnia.
Students begin their learning journey on the central Island of Learnia where they meet the owl, Waddle. Waddle likes to take a walk along the Spelling Street and the Path of Math but these paths are blocked by skill stones. Players have to help move the stones out of the way by passing the time-based challenges on each skill stone. Each stone represents a math skill or spelling list to be mastered and the stones can be dealt with in any order. Players are advised to prepare themselves well for the tests by completing a series of lessons and training exercises provided.
Once conquered, these skills stones are converted to bronze, silver or gold depending on the level of mastery, and you can repeat these tests to improve your achievements. As the learning paths are cleared, Waddle is able to move forward and collect coins and gems along the paths adding to the student’s collection.
Each skill stone along the Spelling Street teaches a new spelling list and it comes with 4 different spelling exercises to help students learn and retain the new words. As each word is introduced, a sentence showing how to use the word in context is given verbally.
At the other end of the central island, the Path of Math leads the way to the various math skills from grade 1 to 3. A combination of lessons and hands-on learning exercises help prepare students to master the skills at each skill stone. First, students are encouraged to explore the math concept using digital manipulatives to build understanding. Then they are guided step-by-step on how to solve math problems. Appropriate support and useful tips are given when needed. Students can choose to write their answers on the screen or choose from a virtual keyboard.
What I like in this app is that different problem solving strategies are taught using various tools. These math strategies help students make connection between different mathematical concepts and build upon what they have already learnt. With stronger understanding and practice, students learn the math skills more easily and quickly.
Students are rewarded with a shower of coins and gems after each exercise and test, regardless of the score. Gems collected give game time to play 4 different types of computer games (Molecule Madness, Snakia, Tic-Tac-Toc and Five In a Row) while the collected coins can be used to buy a variety of animals unique to each island, to populate the Learnia world. Players will need more coins to get these animals food (which has expiry dates) and play items. It’s deeply satisfying for players to see their achievements and collections proudly displayed on the Learnia map. They can move around the map, exploring the different landscapes and immersing in the environmental sounds. Just watching what’s going on in the Land of Learnia can be relaxing for students.
The Learnia app is free to download with access to 14 skills stones, 6 for math and 8 for spelling. Thereafter, you have to purchase access to the island(s) corresponding to your child’s grade level – $4.99 per grade for spelling and $7.99 for each grade level of math. [Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]
A student’s progress is saved in the cloud and synced across tablets (iOS and Android devices), and parents and teachers can share access to the student’s account. The app is also suitable for use in a classroom where teachers can set up accounts for each student and monitor what each student is working on in real time. They have information on which questions each student needs help with and review these with the student.
The Land of Learnia combines the best of mobile gaming and digital learning in one app. Students will want to come back frequently to check out their Learnia world and do some math and/or spelling work in order to feed their pets. There is a lot of content (especially for math) included which will provide hours of work to help students build confidence and mastery.
Google Play Learnia
Spelling – $4.99/grade level
Math – $7.99/grade level [Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]
The land of Learnia
by Learnia Inc
Wouldn't it be great if a child could enjoy learning math and spelling skills?
Kids explore a 3D world with varied scenery and animals. To advance, kids master skill stones containing exercises.
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.
Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.
What we’d love to see…
An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.
A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.
Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!
What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.
What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.
Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.
I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.
The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.
Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.
Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.
Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.
Ability to design your own Math Fact drills that target your child’s current learning goals. Interactive student tools that help them to visualize the math equations.
What we’d love to see…
Math Facts including ‘0’. Color and redo buttons directly accessible in the Students’ section.
A Math Facts practice app that is fully adaptable to the needs of students of different abilities at different stages of Math Facts learning.
A mastery of Math Facts enable our kids to solve complex Math problems easily and quickly. More importantly, a fast recall of Math Facts give them the tools for handling daily life skills like telling time and counting money. If you are looking for an app for learning and memorizing Math Facts, you need to check out Math Facts To 100 by FuzzyBees.
This app teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division Math Facts. It is fully customizable to match what your child is working on and it is equipped with supportive learning tools that teaches your child how to solve math problems independently. These help facilitate understanding and reduce frustrations when completing math drills that are necessary in achieving Math Facts fluency.
Read on for the app’s various powerful features.
Fully Customizable Settings
The strength of this app is the flexible settings which allow you to design your own Math Facts drills. You can break down the steps to mastering Math Facts into manageable levels based on your child’s learning needs/goals and set up the app accordingly. Not only can you choose which Math Facts to learn and set how many equations to solve at each session, you can also tailor the types of equations to be solved and the kind of support to offer to your child.
Additional customizable details that further adapt the app to what your chid is familiar with are grouped under the Display section of the Settings page. These include skip counting by the multiplier or multiplicand, vertical or horizontal equation format, and the phone or calculator number pad layout. You also have the option to mute the sounds for various actions e.g. incorrect answers given.
There is no timer here but the time taken for completion of each session is recorded. A maximum of 4 different settings for different learning goals or different child can be prepared and saved at any one time.
Visual Learning Tools
The app is equipped with 3 types of interactive student tools that you can use to demonstrate to your child how to solve a math problem. Different child learns differently and presenting them with different approaches to solving the same problem allows you to discover the one that helps your child understand the concept best. This also encourages your child to seek out a different method of solving a problem when one strategy does not work.
The 3 learning tools provided in the app are the Hundred Board, Multiplication Board and a White Board. Students are free to choose the visual tool or combination of tools that they want to work with for each question. A color tool (consisting of 9 colors) is available for highlighting key numbers during the problem solving process.
The 100 Board is equipped with visual help (which you can opt out in the Settings) that highlight the steps to solving Math problems more effectively. For example, instead of counting up or down for addition and subtraction equations, students learn to get the same answer more quickly by adding or subtracting in tens (vertically) and in ones (horizontally).
If they tap and hold on any number on the board, they can also see what it means to add and subtract a quantity from this number.
For multiplication, the 100 Board will show students how to use skip counting to arrive at the answers. The visual help show the sequence of multiples (times tables) which students have to memorize.
The Multiplication Board (x2 to x10), on the other hand, helps students to multiply and divide easily within 100. Just tap the factors along the left most column and the top most row and the intersected number will give the answer.
The third tool, the White Board acts as a free space for students to do their math working. This is my youngest’s favorite as he is more comfortable with using counters which he draws on the board using the color tool. For him, the act of sharing a large number of counters equally helps him to better understand the concept of division.
Creating Math Drills
Before starting to use the app, you will need to find the Settings section that is hidden from the Students’ section. Pull down the equation box to reveal the Settings, color tool and redo buttons. The Teaching Tips and Reports sections are also accessible from the Settings section. You can learn about the various app features and how to use them in the Teaching Tips.
In the default setting, the app generates 50 random basic Math Fact equations of mixed operations in one session. Besides solving for answers to the equations, problems asking for the 1st or 2nd operand are also included (e.g. ? x 12 = 36). This is a great Math Facts workout for advanced students to improve their mental math. To modify the types of problems in this ‘Generate’ mode, you can adjust the parameters like the maximum values of the operands and results as well as the math operators tested.
To prepare drills focused on specific group(s) of Math Facts in the ‘List’ mode, you load the in-app basic facts and choose/add the one(s) to work on. Single or mixed operators, sequential or random equations, one or many problems, the choice is yours. If your child has math facts homework from school, you can even input these equations into the app. This way, your child can make use of the app’s visual tools to help him/her complete the homework.
At a glance, the reports show you the date and time, percentage of correct answers, number of equations attempted, time taken and whether visual help was used for each completed session. Tap on each session and you will see the list of equations that were answered incorrectly on the first try, so that you can have your child work on them again.
Math Facts to 100 is a dynamic app for learning the basic Math Facts visually and progressively. It is designed to meet the needs of children of different abilities and students at different stages of Math Facts fluency through instructional scaffolding. Highly recommended.
*** From the developer of the award winning Count To 100 ***
Math Facts To 100 is an app that generates math facts equations and provides visualization for the equations using the hundred board.
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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.
Mathemagics Multiplication offers an unconventional but effective story mnemonics technique for memorizing the times tables of 1 to 10.
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.
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.
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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