Virtual Frog Dissection: Punflay

Application: Frog Dissection

What it is: The Virtual Frog Dissection app from Punflay is a fantastic alternative to the real deal in the classroom.  The app is perfect for students who are learning about organs and the organ system in life science.  The app is brilliant in the way it offers students all of the tools that come with a real dissection with out all the mess (and smell…do you all remember the smell *gag reflex kicking in*).  Students are led through the dissection procedure step by step, guided all the way through.  When students have completed the dissection, the frog’s organs are exposed so students can study them further.  High quality 3D images make it easy for students to visualize the organs.  The app also includes great reference information about different types of frogs, a frogs life cycle, an anatomical comparison between frogs and humans, a quiz and detailed descriptions of the organs.  The step-by-step instructions include voice over, perfect for accessibility to all students.

How Virtual Frog Dissection from Punflay can enrich learning: First of all, did I mention this app is free from the smell of Formaldehyde? That alone makes it worth it’s weight in gold (in my humble opinion)!  Virtual Frog Dissection solves the budgetary and physical problems of getting a frog for every student.  Not only that, it is a much greener alternative.  The app has been beautifully created with attention to detail.  Students will get the full effect of a wet dissection lab without needing all of the tools.  Best of all, students can go back through the lab over and over again.  This gives them the opportunity to review learning and process, something that isn’t possible with real frog dissections.

Use this app as an alternative to actual dissection, or use it to prepare students for a real dissection.

Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2  or later

Price: $4.99 (iTunes Link)

Britannica Kids Ancient Egypt: Student Review

Application: Britannica Kids

What it is: The Britannica Kids Ancient Egypt app let’s students explore hieroglyphics, mummification, the Pyramids, Tutankhamen, Cleopatra, the Ancient Egyptian world, dynasties of Egypt, the River Nile, gods and the afterlife, every day life, and 14 Egyptian Gods, and other Egyptian topics as they play a variety of games.  Games include memory (matching type games), jigsaw puzzles, and the magic square.  Students can zoom into an Egyptian map to see an up-close and personal view of the pyramids, “brush” off layers to reveal images of ancient Egypt, test knowledge with a quiz feature, and even tweet answers or post to Facebook.

How Britannica Kids Ancient Egypt can enrich learning: Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt is a fun, informative place to start a study of the Ancient Egyptian culture.  The app offers students great opportunities for exploring culture, life, and landscape of Ancient Egypt.  There are several games built in but each provide students with opportunities to view artifacts from Ancient Egypt, interact with facts about Egypt, and familiarize them with life in Ancient Egypt.

Shipley 5th Grade Student Review:

Overall impression: This app is overall highly rated by us.  Even though there is a ton of information, there are many games but they are not very educational. This app does have the educational value a kid needs, even if the games are a little distracting. After you learn all the information you will be able to take a test on your knowledge.  Many people say this app is very fun. Overall it has a lot of very solid information and make sure you pay attention to it.

Tips and tricks:  The main screen has many different things that you can check out. You use the wheel at the bottom to get around. The icons on the wheel are not always obvious. All the different features suit different people. Make sure that you use all of the app’s features because it makes it a lot easier to learn by trying all the features instead of looking at the same old thing. Make sure you have a general idea about Ancient Egypt before you go on the app otherwise it will not make sense. Don’t spend all of the time on the puzzles because you don’t get that much information. Overall this is a very good app and we would recommend this for when you’re studying ancient Egypt.

Rating scale: 1= low  5= Highest

Overall satisfaction 4.5

Graphics   4.1

Easiness to learn   4.7

Educational value   4.4

Describe educational value: learn new things and practice what you already know

Fun   3.6

Overall performance  4.4

Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0  or later

Price: $4.99 (iTunes Link)

Welcome Shipley School 5th Grade!

I would like to introduce some FANTASTIC new guest bloggers for iPad Curriculum.  5th grade students from Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA are going to help me review educational apps from a student perspective.  I am thrilled to have help reviewing apps, and can’t think of any better voice to help me do that than the students at Shipley.  Take a look at the introduction they wrote below:

We are the Shipley School 5th grade in Bryn Mawr, PA, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Our school is not large, but a lot bigger than medium. We have a little more than 820 students PreK-12. We are the 5E class of the 5th grade. There are sixteen people in our class. There are 3 sections in the grade. Our teacher, Ms. Eiteljorg, got the idea to get iPads for the class. We use the iPads for pretty much all of our classes. We especially use the app Pages (for essays). We each have a blog where we can write anything that we want; we use the iPads for that. Some apps we enjoy are, Stack the States, Tangrams, Britannica Kids (Ancient Egypt), Number Line (Math practice), My Scratch Work (Blog posts), Google Earth, The Game of Ur, and probably more that we have not discovered yet. We have had these iPads since November, and they are working out pretty well.

Once we heard of Kelly Tenkely’s idea for reviewing apps, we thought we would want to do that too. It took a lot of preparing, and we Skyped with her. In the Skype session we asked her many things like rating the apps, what format we should do, and more. After a lot of work, we started reviewing some apps. Our class hopes reviewing apps will work out well, and work out for a while.

Here is the main entrance of the Shipley Lower School.

Welcome students, I am so happy to have you join me here!  All posts written by students will be labeled with the “Shipley”.

Grammaropolis Word Sort

Application: Grammaropolis Word Sort

What it is: Grammaropolis Word Sort uses the characters from one of my favorite grammar websites, Grammaropolis, and makes learning the basic parts of speech fun.  Students “grab” a word as it flies across the screen and drag it to the correct part of speech container.  Grammaropolis personifies each part of speech making learning grammar relatable and fun instead of reducing it to a tedious list of rules to memorize.  Students learn about the parts of speech by “meeting” a Grammaropolis character. There are three levels of game play.  In level one, students play with nouns, adjectives, and linking verbs. In level two, students play with pronouns, prepositions, and interjections. In level three, students play with adverbs, conjunctions, and action verbs. Within the game levels there are also three levels of difficulty for play.  Grammar Champ has one word on the screen to sort at a time.  Grammar Fiend has two words on the screen to sort at a time.  Grammar master has four words on the screen at a time.  The game includes in-game character review and a high-score page.

How Grammaropolis Word Sort can enrich learning: Grammaropolis Word sort is a fun way for students to practice their recognition of the parts of speech.  I love that this app goes beyond just drill and introduces students to the parts of speech by personifying them as characters.  Students learn the parts of speech not because they have memorized a list of rules, but because they recognize the character traits of the Grammaropolis characters.  The game is great for visual learners who will associate the part of speech with a visual character representation.  The game is wonderful for the elementary classroom and has enough level adjustment to meet the developmental needs of all students, adding a level of difficulty as they become proficient in their parts of speech recognition.

Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3  or later

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Link)

iDev Books: Column Addition

Application: Column Addition

What it is: The Column Addition app gives students a great place to practice and study the column addition method. Students can choose to solve random problems or input their own problems to solve.  The carrying of number is handled automatically with a clean animation. When students solve the operation for each column, the correct answer “flies” to the right place.  If the answer is incorrect, it will not move.  As students solve an addition problem, they earn another piece of a six piece puzzle of an animal.  There are 21 complete puzzles in all, in order to complete them all students will have to solve almost 200 addition problems.   Students can add two or three numbers, they can practice with randomly generated problems or enter their own, each number can have between 1 and 5 digits, the current operation for each column can be hidden, students can swap color themes of the apps for increased individualization, and the speed of the animations can be set by students.

How Column Addition can enrich learning: What makes the Column Addition app so great is the immediate feedback it gives to students. They don’t work through an entire problem before realizing their mistake, but instead can take a closer look and re-solve as they go to come up with the correct answer.  The app is very easy to use and has some nice customization options that will appeal to students using it to study.  The step by step animation and guidance will help students get the column method of addition down in no time.  The ability to enter their own numbers means that students can input problems from a math curriculum or text-book and work through the step by step process with any problem. Your reluctant math students will love this app, it will act as their own personal tutor sitting with them and encouraging them on!


Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0  or later

Price: $3.99 (iTunes Link)

iDevBooks- Long Multiplication

Application: Long Multiplication

What it is: With the Long Multiplication app, students can solve random and user inputted multiplication problems using the column multiplication method.  Just like the Long Division app, when students enter the correct answer it “flies” to the right place. If the student enters the wrong number the answer will not move.  Students can practice long multiplication with up to 5 digits in the upper number, 1 or 2 digits in the lower number, enter a custom problem, hide the current operation for each column, highlight the operands for the current operation, choose from three different color schemes, and change the speed of the animations.  Students can choose the position of the regrouping (either above or below the equation) based on the method they are using in your classroom.

How Long Multiplication can enrich learning: What makes the Long Multiplication app so great is the immediate feedback it gives to students. They don’t work through an entire problem before realizing their mistake, but instead can take a closer look and re-solve as they go to come up with the correct answer.  The app is very easy to use and has some nice customization options that will appeal to students using it to study.  The step by step animation and guidance will help students get the column method of multiplication down in no time.  The ability to enter their own numbers means that students can input problems from a math curriculum or text-book and work through the step by step process with any problem. Your reluctant math students will love this app, it will act as their own personal tutor sitting with them and encouraging them on!


Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0  or later

Price: $3.99 (iTunes Link)

iDevBooks: Long Division

Application: Long Division


What it is: The long division app lets students solve long division problems step by step with each step animated.  In the app, students will divide, multiply, or subtract to get their answer.  If the answer is correct, it will “fly” into the correct place; if the answer is wrong, it won’t move into place.  Students can practice long division with dividends up to 5 digits, divisors with one or two digits, input their own numbers, allow or disallow remainders, allow decimals in the dividend, hide the current operation for each step, choose different color themes, and choose the speed of animations.

How Long Division can enrich learning: What makes the Long Division app so great is the immediate feedback it gives to students. They don’t work through an entire problem before realizing their mistake, but instead can take a closer look and re-solve as they go to come up with the correct answer.  The app is very easy to use and has some nice customization options that will appeal to students using it to study.  The step by step animation and guidance will help students get the long division method down in no time.  The ability to enter their own numbers means that students can input problems from a math curriculum or text-book and work through the step by step process with any problem. Your reluctant math students will love this app, it will act as their own personal tutor sitting with them and encouraging them on!


Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0  or later

Price: $3.99 (iTunes Link)

Math Girl Addition House

Application: Math Girl Addition House


What it is: Another great math app for girls! Math Girl Addition House is a great alternative to flash cards for math practice, this math practice app will have girls enjoying math and working on addition fact recall in no time.  Girls can build their own customized playhouse by adding flowers. Students will add numbers from 1+1 to 99+9 by exploring groupings of flowers.  Even better? If you have the Math Girl Number Garden app the garden and house can be synced together!

In Addition House students will:

  • Count flowers in patterns, add flowers.
  • Improve recall by recognizing patterns.
  • Earn hearts for correct answers.
  • Replay levels to earn more hearts. (12 levels in all!)
  • Use the hearts earned to “buy” items for the playhouse.
  • “Sell” items to upgrade to bigger items.
  • Play in and save the playhouse.
  • Save houses for up to 4 players within the app.
  • Sync to the Number Garden app to view your house and garden.

How Math Girl Addition House can enrich learning: Math Girl Addition House is a fact practice app that will keep girls practicing.  The cute graphics and ability to “buy” things for their playhouse will keep them working to get faster at their math recall so they build out their playhouse.  The game is made up of twelve levels that get progressively harder.  Students begin in single digits, progressing to speed rounds, double digits, and adding doubles.  The app is brilliant in the way that it helps girls think about numbers in patterns, no more adding with fingers!


Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Link)

Math Girl Number Garden

Application: Math Girl Number Garden


What it is: Math Girl Number Garden is a much talked about app.  It has been nominated for an iEAR award and won a Creative Child Magazine 2010 Award of Excellence.  Play for a few minute with this app and you soon learn what all of the buzz is about.  Number Garden is a math app designed specifically with girls in mind.  The fun graphics will draw girls in and the game atmosphere will keep them interacting with, and enjoying, math.  Number Garden is a great place for girls to practice counting, addition, and multiplication in kindergarten through fourth grade.

In the Number Garden students can:

  • Count flowers and hands/fingers in patterns.
  • Practice faster recall by recognizing patterns.
  • Earn stars for correct answers and replay levels to earn more stars by getting faster.
  • Use stars to “buy” items for the garden to fill the garden with flowers, bunnies, snails, butterflies, dragonflies, a soccer ball, a tire swing, a magic pond, a tree house, and more.
  • “Sell” items to upgrade to bigger items.
  • Students can play in, and save their own personal gardens.  Up to 4 players gardens can be saved within the app.

How Math Girl Number Garden can enrich learning: Math Girl Number garden is a fun application for helping your female students fall in love with math.  The graphics are darling, students will love growing their own garden while learning and practicing their math.  The ability to go back and improve scores for each lesson keeps the app engaging enough for ongoing practice.  The application allows girls to learn and practice at their own pace, encouraging them to keep trying to earn more items for their gardens to grow.  Number Garden is a welcome change from flash cards!

Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Link)

Send Felicity

Application/website: Send Felicity

What it is: Everyone could use a little more magic and enchantment in their lives and Send Felicity brings students (and teachers/families) just that.  Take a look at the video below to watch some of that magic unfold.

Felicity is six and three-quarters years old.  She loves imagination, making things, and magic.  She comes from a magical place called Thin Air. Felicity invites children everywhere to join her in play.  Every day there is a new special surprise waiting for children.  Each surprise invites students to engage in creativity, play, imagination, and learning.  It is an enchanting-ongoing place that involves technology, imagination, and the real world in new ways.  The artists, geeks, and minds behind Felicity are deeply committed to keeping the childhood experience one of magic, imagination, and exploration.  They bring these values to life beautifully as an application, website, and social experience.  What I love about the Send Felicity experience is the storyline behind Felicity, and the invitation to be part of something that is engaging, meaningful, and magical.  The combination of the three makes Send Felicity a unique learning and interactive experience.  So, how does Send Felicity work?  Children can visit the application or website to learn of a new craft (adventure) to take with Felicity.  Felicity takes every day objects like paper plates and makes them magical.  Children follow the adventures and create and pretend along with Felicity.  Children can take pictures of their finished masterpieces and upload them to the Send Felicity website, sharing the creative experience with others.  The application is truly unique and takes what is real and adds a bit of magic (as you saw in the video).

How Send Felicity can enrich learning: Play is an important part of learning. It provides the building blocks for self-regulation and executive functions, promotes creativity, imagination, and divergent thinking.  Unfortunately play is often stripped from the classroom.  Send Felicity weaves together a wonderful tapestry of play and learning in the form of an application, a website, and a social movement.  Felicity uses open-ended play and experimentation that leads to an attitude of fun learning.  Felicity helps your students turn ordinary objects into creative works of magic.  Use Felicity’s daily dose of magic to spark your students imaginations.  Set aside some time for your students to do a little creative play.  The benefits that play has on the rest of the learning day will be well worth the time invested.   Go beyond the crafts and invite your students to write stories, poems, or secret letters in connection with the imaginative play of the day.   Activities for Felicity are open-ended and include art, language arts, literacy, and even math and physics.   Send Felicity marries technology and real life in new fun ways.  The application is just a piece of the bigger picture.  The application takes students physical creation and adds a little magic to it.

Send Felicity is really an app all about engagement of the mind.  As an example, one of my personal favorite Sending Felicity projects Beautiful Oops:

Today we are boldly making mistakes.Today, our children will make a small mess.

Today, we’ll set out on an adventure and begin with an “oops” and end up in a place where we can look and wonder. Together, we can do something mistaken and wrong; and audacious and wonderful to surprise everyone.

This project shows children that it is okay to make mistakes, and that, in fact, those mistakes can be turned into something wonderful, new, and meaningful.  Students don’t hear often enough that it is okay to make mistakes and that it is indeed an important part of the learning process.  Take a look at what these beautiful oops turn into:

The Send Felicity App has not yet been released to the iTunes store, but don’t let that stop you from using Felicity in your classroom right now, the Send Felicity website is full of fun activities, instructions, and even a bit of magic.  You can also check Felicity out on Facebook where she shares creations made by children from around the world!  Send your students home with a wonderful gift this holiday season and point them toward the Send Felicity website. Students will love the opportunities for play and imaginations, parents will love the ideas to keep their kids learning and playing.  Let parents know about Send Felicity along with this article from Geek Mom for a little explanation.

The wonderful people over at Send Felicity are so passionate about creating a world of wonder and imagination for children to play in that they have made the technology that Send Felicity is based on open source.  Interested parents, educators, and developers are invited to sign up to play along with them.

Devices: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch iOS 3.1.3 or later

Price: Free!

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