Pop Tables – Pop & Rock Times Table Songs & Game by demografix pty ltd – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

ease of use, catchy songs

What we’d love to see…

lesson mode, visualization of numbers as they are sung, option for numerical and random order

Summary

Pop Tables helps children memorize the times tables through catchy songs and repetition.

Our Rating

Pop Tables - Pop & Rock Times Table Songs & GameAre you familiar with the popular educational tv series from the 70s called Schoolhouse Rock? If you are, then you know that it uses music, song, and repetition to help children and memorize information on different subjects. This is the same concept that Demografix uses in their new app Pop Tables.

Pop Tables teaches and helps children memorize the times table from 2 to 12. Each multiplication table comes with its own unique song, sung by either a male or female singer. The songs are all short and to the point, using only the numbers on the multiplication table as lyrics.

The game is really quite simple to play. As soon as app is opened, it shows a screen with twelve red balloons. Each balloon is labeled with a number from 2 to 12, which of course represents the times table. When you click on a balloon, the song for that number begins to play. As the song plays, balloons with different numbers float up the screen. The object is to identify and click on all the numbers that are multiples of the number chosen. The song plays a total of four times. The song plays with music and lyrics on the first, second, and fourth times. On the third time it only plays an instrumental version of the song. After the song plays a fourth time, the game is over. The highest score is saved and is displayed on the top right I’d the screen.

Scoring is based on how quickly the player clicks on a correct multiple. The screen is divided into top, middle, and bottom parts. Since the balloons float up, the bottom portion of the screen gives the highest score (3), the top portion gives the lowest score (1). Every incorrect multiple chosen lowers the score by the same number of points that would have been received had the correct multiple been chosen. In other words, you lose only 1 point if you click on an incorrect multiple on the top portion of the screen, but will lose 3 points if you click on an incorrect multiple on the bottom portion of the screen.

On the settings menu, you can chose to display numbers in word form. You can also choose the number of pauses allowed in the game (0-10). Pauses are 3 seconds long and give children a little time to think before the game resumes again. Finally, you can choose the speed the balloons float up on the screen.

I like this app because it is very simple and easy to use. The songs for the multiplication tables are, according to my kids, quite catchy and can definitely help with memorization. They also found it was fun trying to beat each other’s highest score.

One thing I feel is lacking in this app is visualization of the numbers as the song is being sung. It’s very hard to listen and learn the number song when different numbers are popping up the screen, often without matching the numbers being mentioned in the song. If a child is just learning their multiplication table, this can be very difficult and they will likely just end up popping the balloons on the screen for fun. It may help to have a separate lesson and game mode. The lesson mode can have the song play while the numbers being sung is shown on the screen. For example if the song says “3 and 3 is 9” then have 3 balloons with the numbers 3, 3, and 9 be displayed on the screen for the children to pop. This way they get both auditory and visual stimulation. I believe the more senses you use while learning, the better you retain things.

I would also like an option to have the balloons go up in numerical order or randomly. I would also an option to set the number of seconds a pause takes. These options will enable the game to be adjusted to children who are just beginning to learn their times table and to children who simply need to recall the times tables faster.

Overall, I think that Pop Tables can be useful for memorizing the multiplications table, specially for an auditory learner. At this time, I think it is more suited for children who are already familiar with the times tables and just need to recall the answers faster. The price of this app is high compared to other apps, and in my opinion, higher than I would be willing to pay for it. However, if you have the funds and if your child enjoys music as a learning tool, then you may want to check this out.

Pop Tables - Pop & Rock Times Table Songs & Game
Pop Tables - Pop & Rock Times Table Songs & Game
by demografix pty ltd

Category: Education, Music
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 43.78 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.


Multiply Pizza Pie by FizzBrain Apps -Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Develops number sense and understanding of what multiplication means. Multi-sensory, no time constraints, can work at their own pace, maths strategies, fun theme

What we’d love to see…

More ability to organize the restaurant accessories

Summary

Multiply Pizza Pie is a great introduction to multiplication as it helps develop the players number sense as they physically tap out the plates and toppings. It helps to turn the abstract concept of a multiplication equation into real life by relating them to food orders. A very useful app for students starting to learn multiplication and for students with special needs or who need extra help to really understanding multiplication

Our Rating

Multiply Pizza PieMultiplication is an important foundational mathematics skill, and one that many students struggle to master. Developing understanding of multiplication and strategies for multiplication within 100, is part of the Common Core standards for 3rd grade math in the U.S.A. Often students are encouraged to use flash cards to learn their multiplication facts by “drill and kill,”  but this doesn’t help them really understand the concepts. Multiply Pizza Pie by Fizz Brain apps is a new Edapp that uses a different approach to teaching multiplication, without rote memorization. Multiply Pizza Pie has a restaurant theme and players practice their multiplication skills whilst serving food to diners in their restaurant. The app allows multiple student profiles and lets the player choose whether to work on x2345, x6789 or on multiples of any individual number from 2-9. The app contains both an animated tutorial and a video tutorial that explain how to use the app. Before they start serving food to their diners, players can select to read the “multiplication strategies.” This gives students skills they can use to work out the more difficult multiples using ones they may already know e.g. using knowledge of  2x to work out questions involving 3x.

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Gameplay

The player is working in a restaurant and receives a food order e.g. the diner wants 5 pizzas each with 4 pepperoni on it. The player taps on the pizza 5 times to throw out the required number of pizzas, then taps on each pizza four times to get the right number of toppings. Once they have prepared the food they tap on “ready”. If they have made a mistake with the toppings the incorrect plate(s) are highlighted. Extra plates or toppings can be removed by swiping. Counting out the plates and tapping out the toppings add a tactile element to working out the equation that is similar to using manipulatives in the classroom.

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When the order is correct they move to to making the guest check – to do this they have to create a multiplication sentence. The diner is charged $1 per topping so to calculate the check they multiply the number of plates by the number of toppings on each plate. If they do this correctly a check is created and they earn the money they have charged the customer, if it is incorrect they can try again until it is right.

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 They then serve the completed order in the restaurant by throwing the food to the customer. My son found this hilarious as he discovered he could also bounce the meals off the walls until it arrived at the customer. As the food is served the narrator counts the numbers of toppings served, so if 4 pizzas each with 6 toppings are delivered they would count 6,12,18,24 – further reinforcing multiples of 6.

 

Rewards

The restaurant is initially unfurnished and players can use the money they earn from food sales to buy furniture, artwork, decorative features and accessories.

The players start only serving pizza in an Italian restaurant, but as they play they can unlock new toppings, new dishes and new restaurants .  When they unlock a new restaurant they automatically start serving in it, and don’t have the option to go back to the previous restaurant. The new restaurant is a blank slate with none of the furnishing from the previous establishment. The restaurants currently in the app are: Italian, Japanese, Mexican, American, Middle Eastern, Chinese, French, Indian, Ethiopian, Polish and Fusion.  Once they have unlocked all  ten of the restaurants this allows free play mode and they can then choose which restaurant to use.

Having the restaurants to furnish is a fun reward, but I did find a few issues with it. The restaurant scene is quite small so gets crowded with furniture quickly, and there appears to be no way to remove old furniture to replace it with new choices. Because you can earn money quite quickly when practicing higher order multiples, you can run out of things to spend it on as you have no room to display new purchases. However, the money does transfer so you can use it to decorate your new restaurant when you unlock it. I also found that sometimes moving a piece of furniture caused it to duplicate, so you could have 3 identical paintings and 4 identical tables which could be frustrating when you have only a small place to decorate.

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Reporting

The app records which group of multiples the student worked on for a particular date e.g [x2345], [x7], [x6789] and how many problems they did for each set. This can be viewed as a daily, weekly or monthly report, which can be emailed to a teacher or parent. Because the app uses errorless learning there is no indication of “right” or “wrong” answers (the student has to complete it correctly to be able to finish the problem). There is also no indication of whether they got the multiplication sentence correct on the first try or if they needed multiple attempts. The reports are useful to show what the student has been working on, but won’t give any indication or whether or not they have mastery of that multiple.

Summary

Multiply Pizza Pie is a great introduction to multiplication as it helps develop the players number sense as they physically tap out the plates and toppings. It helps to turn the abstract concept of a multiplication equation into real life by relating them to food orders. The app uses multiple senses as the student hears the order, feels the numbers as they tap out the toppings and sees the problem as a written sentence,  a maths equation and as physical objects. I like the fun cartoon-like illustrations and how all the gameplay ties into the restaurant theme as students see real-life applications for using maths skills. This app would be very useful for students just starting to learn multiplication and for students with special needs or others who need some extra help in really understanding multiplication. My daughter is almost at the end of 3rd grade and has been working on learning multiplication this school year, I wish the app had been available at the start of the school year as I think she would have picked up the concepts more quickly. At this point in time she knows most of her multiplication facts within 100 but just needs more practice to know them 100%. At the stage she is at the gameplay was a little slow for her, but what she found really useful was the strategies for using familiar multiples to work out more difficult ones. After playing the app I have seen her using these strategies to solve problems and even teaching them to her brother, and that alone is more than worth the cost of the app!

 

iTunes Link: Multiply Pizza Pie – FIZZBRAIN LLC

Multiply Pizza Pie Multiply Pizza Pie by FIZZBRAIN LLC

Price: $2.99 USD

Multiply Pizza Pie is a super fun math game that helps children master multiplication facts while building strong number sense! It is the OPPOSITE of "drill and kill"!

Children throw out pizzas.

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).


Math Climber HD by John Crandall – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun sports themed math app that encourages drilling by specific types of skills

What we’d love to see…

Dynamic learning – if you are challenged with one type of problem the ability to switch to easier problems

Summary

He became more confident with his skills and drills which enabled him to perform better during timed quizzes at school.

Our Rating

Math Climber HD by John Crandall is a universal app for iOS that focuses on core math skills via a question and answer format where you test your math skills as you climb up a 70 foot indoor climbing wall either against yourself or against another climber.  You can practice problems at your own pace in the “fitness room” and once you master skills move out to the floor for real climbing.  There are 18 different topics to choose from – and the more questions you answer correctly the more coins you can earn.  Once you earn coins you can customize the avatar with different items like clothing, hair and glasses.  The app also includes a progress report which keeps track of the questions you have answered correctly or incorrectly as well as allowing you to choose which specific topics to focus on.

Topics include:
Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication , Division, Place Value, Customary Measurement, Metric Measurement, Greatest Common Factor
Least Common Multiple, Negative Numbers (+ -), Negative Numbers (x /)
Order of Operations, Fractions- Adding, Fractions- Subtracting, Fractions- Multiplying, Fractions- Dividing, Percents and Decimals, Area, Perimeter, Volume and are selected prior to climbing the wall.  There are three different levels to choose from as well as the types of problem to focus on.

iPad Screenshot 3I love the sports theme of the app.  It encourages kids to practice math via a drill style that helps with competitive nature and retention of information rather than just memorizing what they have learned. The progress report is also helpful to see what areas I might need to help my son focus on more.  My son enjoyed setting time records as a “racer” rather than doing the problems and going head to head.  The progress report lets you see what areas your kids are working on and how fast they are doing it with accuracy.  I liked the missed problems so I could see the areas that I needed to help my son focus on.

In terms of enhancements, I do wish the app would dynamically adjust if a person was getting a lot of problems wrong.  Currently when you get a wrong answer you “fall” off the wall and have three tries before the level makes you start over.  This can be frustrating at times for kids who want to succeed – I went in and just picked one item that I wanted my son to focus on in order to help him be successful.  The graphics were fun – but I would have liked to see the motion of the climber as you played head to head within the app.  It felt a little artificial with the way the joints moved.  I would also like to see the ability to play the app on one device and then on another device using the same player profile rather than having to start over again.  He also got a little discouraged if he got one answer wrong – and had to restart the level again – perhaps there is a way to turn off the wrong answers or give a few extras for kids focusing on a specific type of skill.

Math drills made fun.  The multiple types of problems (18), variety of climbing walls and progress report made this a fun sports themed math app for my son.  He became more confident with his skills and drills which enabled him to perform better during timed quizzes at school.



Math Climber HD Math Climber HD by John Crandall

Price: $0.99 USD

Description

Get your arms and legs ready and start climbing! Select between English or Spanish and test your math skills as you speed climb up a 70ft indoor wall or race against another climber.

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 two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.

A Summer of Minecraft ?- There’s a Camp For That!

Group Of Elementary School Children In Computer Class

Have your kids discovered Minecraft yet ? Mine certainly have- all three of them love it! They started with the pocket (iPad) edition and soon graduated to the computer and XBox versions.

When they first started playing Minecraft I was skeptical about the game’s benefits – the graphics are very basic and it looks like a simplified version of digital Lego. Over time I’ve come to appreciate there is much more to the game than meets the eye, and it is both more complex and more educational than I initially thought. In Creative Mode you can build some truly amazing structures and in this way it resembles a digital version of Lego but with unlimited building blocks. However, unlike Lego where a blue block is always a blue block, in Minecraft you can combine different elements to create new things, which adds a whole other dimension to the game. In Survival Mode there is a lot of strategy involved and multiplayer games encourage co-operation and teamwork. One benefit that I hadn’t anticipated is how it can help kids socially, Minecraft is a common language on the school playground and discussing it can be a great way to get kids interacting with their peers. My twin eight year olds have made many friendships that started from a common love of Minecraft.

I have been impressed with the longevity of the game- my 3 kids have been playing for almost 3 years and still love it. The youngest was 6 when he started playing and the oldest is still playing at age 12. It doesn’t just appeal to boys either, my daughter loves it as much as her brothers. Because the game has a lot of hidden dimensions my kids love reading books, watching YouTube videos and talking to friends about Minecraft to learn new tips, tricks and techniques.

There was a lot of excitement in our household recently when my kids discovered the Connected Camp Summer of Minecraft online camps. The Summer of Minecraft runs for 5 weeks from June 27- August 5, and is designed for kids from age 8 -15. The camps are offered in small groups with a safe, dedicated online server with camp counselors to guide them, so you know they are learning and playing in a safe environment.  The campers have access to a custom built multiplayer world and a library of Minecraft resources. Each week long camp includes 10 hours of instruction with experienced counselors. It also includes free membership of their online Minecraft Kid Club so your campers can enjoy Minecraft related activites on their safe secure server year around. Minecraft camp can be enjoyed from your own home, so you don’t have to live in a big city to be able to take part.

There are lots of different camps to choose from catering to a range of interests, skill levels and age ranges. Most of the camps are co-ed but there are also some girls only camps for girls who prefer an all female environment. Each of my 3 kids have different ways of playing Minecraft, different skill levels and interests, and there are camps to suit all of them.

My oldest son is interested in Engineering Camp, where players learn how to use Redstone to build everything from simple block moving machines to robots and even computers. They learn to build circuits, logic gates, and latches to combine, modify, and store signals to do a variety of tasks. His younger brother is all about Survival mode, and wants to take Survival camp. My daughter is more creative, and wants to take Architecture camp where players work together to build a Minecraft city whilst learning about architecture. Teams in Architecture camp develop their own district, and connect it to neighboring districts to form a Minecraft metropolis. Whilst building their city they learn about materials, styles, aesthetics and the use of natural spaces. But you don’t just have to learn about building in Minecraft Camp, there are also 3 levels of Minecraft coding camp on offer. Each of the camp courses is also offered for different age levels, so that campers are working with similar aged kids.

Camp Discount Coupon

The iMums readers can get 25% off a week of Connected Camps by signing up using the promo code: MUM25.
My kids are really looking forward to taking Minecraft Camp this summer. Even though they have been playing Minecraft for several years I know they will learn new and exciting skills that will bring a new dimension to their game playing, don’t be put off though if your kids are new to Minecraft as there are camps for beginners as well as for seasoned players.

To find out more about the camps and to sign up please follow this link.


N.B. This post was sponsored by Connected Camps but all opinions expressed are mine and are given 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).

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