Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Montessori teaching style apps

I couldn't resist when I saw these apps by Montessorium were on sale for $.99, I believe they are regularly $4.99...  They have similar features to other Montessori Method based apps: neutral backgrounds so the focus in on learning, intuitive design, and the lack of negative sound for a wrong answer.  I greatly dislike (trying to eliminate hate from my vocabulary!) apps that ask a question and then moves on to the next when the child was wrong instead of teaching the write answer as well as those that have harsh sounds for mistake. My opinion is that these would be great for pre-k-1 and possibly 2 depending on the ability of the students.  Some children who struggle with phonograms in 2nd would benefit from Into to Letters (and alphawriter too, as they have the abcs, then phonograms for kids to pick as they make words)  The Intro to math is best for pre-k and K as it only introduces 1-10.  I would highly recommend it to K though as just the sequencing activity meets math standards.  The other activities will really help kids with understanding number sense for 1-10.   

Intro to Letters
intro to math

Intro to Letters is actually a great and deceptively simple app. There are many ABC apps out there and I can't honestly say which one I like best- they are so unique.  This one teaches letter sounds, correct writing form, and even has a feature where the child can listen to a letter sound, letter name or phonograms and then record themselves saying the sound.  They can play it back and compare their pronunciation to the "right" one- which is spoken right after their pronunciation.  What a great tool for students who struggle in speech.

Intro to math is super simple to navigate, I love the sound effects (I think it's a xylophone?) as the rods are reordered (from short to long), it has five activities on the main screen- but some of the activities lead into others.  I like the way one of them shows the numbers- counting each one aloud as it appears on the screen.  Then the child shakes the device and the numbers scatter.   Next the child is prompted to reorder the numbers.  Another activity shows the numbers, then asks the child to "tap on _"

Now Alphawriter is pretty cool too (I really love the phonograms!)  when you touch the placed letters the sound is pronounced.  I am going to try using this during my making words lessons (normally I use Montessori Crosswords) as it might be fun for the kids to write out a word related to a picture for a challenge after the lesson.  Hmm.  tough choice.  Maybe I'll let the kids pick the app during the lesson. 

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