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Marco Polo Ocean

marco polo

This Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner is FREE for a limited time. Marco Polo Ocean is a fun & educational app for preschoolers. Kids learn about Earth’s oceans through build & explore activities (puzzles) or through free play. There are 5 build and explore activities: coral reef, killer whale, herring, boat, and submersible. As kids add parts to each puzzle, they build their vocabulary and learn fun facts. During free play, kids can: explore from the shore to the sea floor, steer their vehicles through ocean waters, add creatures to the water to see how they interact with each other, and more. Marco Polo Ocean uses self-directed discovery to expose kids to STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in a fun, engaging way. Kids will learn about the ocean structure, the species that live there, characteristics of the fish/marine mammals, etc. It’s no wonder that Marco Polo Ocean was named App Store Editors’ Choice in 15 Countries!! Do not miss this one. It’s learning and fun rolled into one! 🙂

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marcopolo-ocean/id797157312?mt=8&uo=4

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Universal Zoom: All About Sizes and Distances

image

On sale – Universal Zoom: All About Sizes and Distances, a very cool scientific app. Teachers and parents can use this educational app to help kids compare and contrast the size of natural and man-made objects in our universe. The app features about 200 objects presented to scale. Included are things like the world’s tallest buildings, the largest trees, animals, mountains, the planets of our Solar System. Kids can compare the size of a man to an ostrich, the size of a whale to an airplane, the size of the planets and more. And, there are also interesting facts about each object. VERY cool!

Direct link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/universal-zoom-all-about-sizes/id807673066?mt=8

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Hour of Code Week – 3 FREE & Fabulous Coding Apps for Kids

The Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches millions of students in 180+ countries. There are 191,016 Hour of Code events happening around the world this week, December 7 – 13.

Why teach kids to code? Coding is what makes computer software work. Understanding the basics of programming will help your child be prepared for the jobs of the future. And, in the process your child will be learning to THINK by using logic, solving problems, and having fun! Check out these apps and try coding yourself. Then try it with your students. We are living in creative, exciting times – be part of it.

Here are fabulous FREE resources to use:

scratch jrFREE app – ScratchJr is designed to teach kids how to code their own stories and/or games. Specifically developed for younger children, ScratchJr is based on Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu) which is used by millions around the world. The app includes an introduction video and examples of sample projects. Once the add button is pressed, the app opens to a page with a friendly looking cat in a blank square surrounded by programming tools. Then the fun begins. Kids snap together programming blocks to make the cat move – forward, backward, right, left, hop, etc. They can choose to add a setting to their story/game by selecting one of the twenty-eight different backgrounds. They can add additional characters and/or objects to their scenes. They can make their character talk either by using word bubbles or by recording their own voices. They can control timing, speed, and the sequencing of events. The app can be simple but it becomes more complex as kids start to figure things out. For example, they can learn to program multiple characters to move in sequence, move together, etc. Kids can also add themselves to the story. They simply choose one of the fifteen “faceless” characters then add in their own face using the iPad’s built-in camera. How cool is that? As kids learn to program, they are also learning to problem solve, design projects, and be creative on the computer. LOVE this app!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086?mt=8&uo=4

kodableFREE for iPad – Kodable, an introduction to programming for kids 5+. The fuzzFamily has crashed their spaceship on Smeeborg. Kids help the fuzzes through Smeeborg’s mazes by creating drag & drop instructions for them to follow. As they code, kids need to remember that fuzzes follow instructions exactly as they are written. After coding the instructions, kids hit play to watch the fuzzes roll through the maze. They are rewarded with stars, coins, and extra members of the fuzzFamily if they are successful. This educational app comes with 45 free levels which become progressively more difficult. Additional content is available as an in-app purchase.

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodable/id577673067?mt=8&uo=4

Hopscotch HD

Hopscotch HD is an educational app that teaches kids how to program their own games and animations! Introduce kids to computer science with this app. 🙂 Kids drag and drop “method blocks” into scripts. When they are done, they can press play to see their code in action! Why teach kids coding? According to the developer – there will be about 1.4 million computer jobs by 2020 and only 400,000 computer science students. Many coders first fell in love with coding when they were  8-12 year old children. Hopscotch is based on a visual programming language named Scratch which was developed by MIT. It promotes STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in a fun way – by making coding kid-friendly!  LOVE it!!

Hopscotch HD - Hopscotch Technologies

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Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis

Happy Birthday Wonderopolis – Here’s to 5 great years of wondering. 🙂

FREE – Wonderopolis, a fabulous educational app. Now you can explore Wonderopolis (the website) with your mobile device.

Wonderopolis (Wonderopolis | Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease) is a fantastic website that provides a daily Wonder of the Day®.  A fun & intriguing question is featured every day. The website/app includes a written explanation of the answer, vocabulary words, and a gallery of images & videos – all to foster learning and inspire curiosity about the Wonder of the Day®. Other daily features include a “Try It Out” section which suggests activities based on the day’s question, a “Still Wondering” section which gives additional/related information, and a quiz. There is even a section for teachers/parents called the “Educator Sandbox” with additional resources and opportunities to connect with the Wonderopolis community. It’s such a fascinating and wonderful resource – I enjoy reading it myself!

Using this website/app would be a fabulous addition to a daily classroom routine. Kids could read (or listen to) the daily Wonder of the Day® as part of their independent work time. They could journal about what they learned and/or what they are still wondering about. A class discussion could be scheduled for later. What a great way to encourage THINKING! Wonderopolis is a fabulous resource to ignite the natural curiosity and imagination of kids!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wonderopolis/id505247028?mt=8&uo=4

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Audubon Birds is FREE!!

Two million downloads and counting… Audubon mobile field guides are exceptional. These guides are developed by Green Mountain Digital in alliance with the National Audubon Society. 8% of every sale goes directly to Audubon to support its mission to conserve and protect nature’s at-risk birds and wildlife.

Each guide features descriptions of hundreds of species, thousands of photographs, detailed range maps, multiple search options, and the option to create a Personal Nature Account and/or join the NatureShare community.

audubonAudubon Birds features 821 species of North American birds. It also includes over 3,200 images and 8 hours of bird sounds. If you are a bird watcher, you don’t want to miss downloading this fabulous guide!!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-birds-pro/id333227386?mt=8&uo=4

Other field guides are $4.99.

Audubon Trees features 728 species of North American trees. It also includes over 3,000 images. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-trees/id334843956?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Insects and Spiders features 507 species of North American insects & spiders. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-insects-spiders-field/id367683509?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Wildflowers identifies over 1,703 species of North American Wildflowers. It also includes over 3,000 images. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-wildflowers/id334844148?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Reptiles and Amphibians identifies 437 species of North American reptiles and amphibians. It also includes fifty-nine frog and toad sounds. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-reptiles-amphibians/id367368443?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Butterflies features 627 butterflies of the United States and Canada. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-butterflies-field/id382669597?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Mushrooms covers 570 common species of North American mushrooms, other fungi and slime molds. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-mushrooms-field-guide/id402237176?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Mammals features information on 273 species on North American mammals. The app also includes 575 photographs with zoom-in capability and fifty mammal sounds. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-mammals-field-guide/id334843541?mt=8&uo=4

Audubon Fishes features information about 675 species of North American fish. Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audubon-fishes-field-guide/id368753140?mt=8&uo=4

 

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Universal Zoom: All About Sizes and Distances

image

FREE for a limited time – Universal Zoom: All About Sizes and Distances, a very cool scientific app. Teachers and parents can use this educational app to help kids compare and contrast the size of natural and man-made objects in our universe. The app features about 200 objects presented to scale. Included are things like the world’s tallest buildings, the largest trees, animals, mountains, the planets of our Solar System. Kids can compare the size of a man to an ostrich, the size of a whale to an airplane, the size of the planets and more. And, there are also interesting facts about each object. VERY cool!

Direct link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/universal-zoom-all-about-sizes/id807673066?mt=8

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BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr.

BrainPOP has been around for more than a decade as an educational website. The site features short animated movies – hundreds of lessons that cover science, social studies, math, art & music, etc. The content is geared for grades 4 and above but I found that many movies were also suitable for younger students. When I was in the classroom, it was one of my favorite online resources.

Now you can download the BrainPOP Featured Movie, the educational app for FREE! Your child can learn something new every day. After watching the daily movie there is a short interactive quiz. And… if your child can’t get enough of this app, there are two subscription options: $1.99 per month/ 4 movies & quizzes a day OR $6.99 per month/full access.

Teachers could add the BrainPOP movie of the day to their daily routine. Have your class watch it at a transition time – right before lunch, after lunch, while waiting for buses to called, etc. Interesting and educational!!

Highly Recommended!

BrainPOP Featured Movie - BrainPOP®

Also available for FREE is BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week, another educational app. Every week Annie and Moby (two lovable characters) help 5 to 9 year olds learn about a different subject. There is also a quiz and activities to accompany each animated movie. BrainPOP Jr. has been on the web since 2006 delivering content for younger students in science, social studies, reading, writing, math, and more.

Again, teachers could add the BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week to their routine. Start your Monday off with the “Movie of the Week” or use it on Friday. BrainPOP gives teachers another way spark kids interest in learning!

Highly recommended!

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week - BrainPOP®

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Coding for Kids – 3 FREE & Fabulous Apps

Why teach kids to code? Coding is what makes computer software work. Understanding the basics of programming will help your child be prepared for the jobs of the future. And, in the process your child will be using logic, solving problems, and having fun! Check out these apps and try coding yourself. Then try it with your students. We are living in creative, exciting times – be part of it!! 🙂

Here are fabulous FREE resources to use:

scratch jrFREE app – ScratchJr is designed to teach kids how to code their own stories and/or games. Specifically developed for younger children, ScratchJr is based on Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu) which is used by millions around the world. The app includes an introduction video and examples of sample projects. Once the add button is pressed, the app opens to a page with a friendly looking cat in a blank square surrounded by programming tools. Then the fun begins. Kids snap together programming blocks to make the cat move – forward, backward, right, left, hop, etc. They can choose to add a setting to their story/game by selecting one of the twenty-eight different backgrounds. They can add additional characters and/or objects to their scenes. They can make their character talk either by using word bubbles or by recording their own voices. They can control timing, speed, and the sequencing of events. The app can be simple but it becomes more complex as kids start to figure things out. For example, they can learn to program multiple characters to move in sequence, move together, etc. Kids can also add themselves to the story. They simply choose one of the fifteen “faceless” characters then add in their own face using the iPad’s built-in camera. How cool is that? As kids learn to program, they are also learning to problem solve, design projects, and be creative on the computer. LOVE this app!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086?mt=8&uo=4

kodableFREE for iPad – Kodable, an introduction to programming for kids 5+. The fuzzFamily has crashed their spaceship on Smeeborg. Kids help the fuzzes through Smeeborg’s mazes by creating drag & drop instructions for them to follow. As they code, kids need to remember that fuzzes follow instructions exactly as they are written. After coding the instructions, kids hit play to watch the fuzzes roll through the maze. They are rewarded with stars, coins, and extra members of the fuzzFamily if they are successful. This educational app comes with 45 free levels which become progressively more difficult. Additional content is available as an in-app purchase.

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodable/id577673067?mt=8&uo=4

Hopscotch HD

Hopscotch HD is an educational app that teaches kids how to program their own games and animations! Introduce kids to computer science with this app. 🙂 Kids drag and drop “method blocks” into scripts. When they are done, they can press play to see their code in action! Why teach kids coding? According to the developer – there will be about 1.4 million computer jobs by 2020 and only 400,000 computer science students. Many coders first fell in love with coding when they were  8-12 year old children. Hopscotch is based on a visual programming language named Scratch which was developed by MIT. It promotes STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in a fun way – by making coding kid-friendly!  LOVE it!!

Hopscotch HD - Hopscotch Technologies

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Star Walk™ 2 – Guide to the Night Sky to Watch Stars, Planets, Meteor Showers & Constellations

star walk 2Apple’s App of the Week and FREE – Star Walk™ 2 – Guide to the Night Sky to Watch Stars, Planets, Meteor Showers & Constellations. Just point your iPhone or iPad at the sky to begin your journey through the stars, comets, and constellations. Star Walk™ 2  is the next generation of the best-selling Star Walk which has been used by over 10 million people. Summer is the perfect time for you and your children to learn the position of stars, planets, constellations, comets, ISS, satellites, star clusters, nebulae and meteor showers in the night sky. Grab your telescope and Star Walk 2 and have a family stargazing party tonight!

Direct Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-walk-2-guide-to-night/id892279069?mt=8

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Non-Scary, Educational Apps About Sharks

It’s Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, a week of TV programs dedicated to sharks. Shark Week began in 1988 and is now broadcast in 72 countries.

Here’s some educational apps about these creatures who capture the interest of so many people – young and old!

Shark Goes to the Doctor

SeaWorld: Ruckus Reader presents – Shark Goes to the Doctor, an engaging story that follows a sand tiger shark as it is checked by vets. Kids learn interesting facts about sharks’ lives. The cost is currently $3.99.

Download link for SeaWorld: Ruckus Readerhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seaworld-ruckus-reader/id515220048?mt=8&uo=4

Shark tank

FREE – Sea TV is a collaborative effort between Adobe and Monterey Bay Aquarium (a highly ranked U.S. aquarium) to bring its Open Seas Exhibit to your mobile device! The Open Sea is a million gallon exhibit with a 90-foot window. You may see sharks speed past, sardines swimming in glittering schools, and/or sea turtles on the live video stream. You can also watch videos on demand.

Download link for Sea TVhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sea-tv/id530529039?mt=8&uo=4

shark track 1

shark track 2

FREE – Global Shark Tracker lets you follow the navigational pattern of sharks that have been tagged with satellite tracking technology.  The purpose of this tracking is for shark conservation and the collection of data on the health of sharks. Very cool!

Download link for Global Shark Tracker:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/global-shark-tracker/id570772231?mt=8&uo=4Discovery Kids Sharks

Currently $4.99 – Discovery Kids Sharks for kids 6+. If your child loves sharks, this is a must-have educational app! Kids will learn: shark anatomy, types of sharks, how sharks hunt, where sharks live, and about shark families. The app includes 5 interactive games and 30 digital trading cards that can be shared via email. This app has a great mix of videos (from Discovery’s Shark Week files), fabulous photos of sharks in their natural environment, 150+ interesting shark facts, and a few games. Teachers could use the information in this app to teach a lesson on comparing and contrasting – using a Venn diagram or other graphic organizer. Kids will love learning about sharks using this fun, cool app!

Discovery  Kids Sharks - Parragon

Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island is an adventure story of a 10-year-old treasure hunter named Kai. Kai is always dreaming about treasure and looking for it in his parents’ store: The Treasure Shop. Kai’s dreams magically transport him to Shark Island where he finds a treasure chest. And so the adventure begins…. Kids help in the hunt for gold by choosing from 8 different treasure chests. Each chest reveals another clue – leading Kai through more adventures. Along the way there are animations to discover, great sound effects, and an original score. This digital story is similar to the “choose your own adventure” books with an “Indiana Jones” feel to it. It is different every time it is read with thousands of ways to find the treasure. This app would be great for kids who are a bit older and becoming independent readers. Very cool. 🙂

Visit the website for a preview http://treasurekai.com/. After reading the story, your child can go back to the website for a variety of extras: watch fun fact videos, go behind the scenes, play a video game, work some puzzles, and more.

Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island - Interactive Book App for Kids - Treasure Bound Books

ocean

Currently $2.99 – Ocean – Animal Adventures for Kids, an educational app for preschoolers. Kids will become sea life experts as they explore 3 ocean scenes – a coral reef, a shark reef, and the deep-sea. The app has two modes – one for tapping/interacting with the creatures and the other for listening to/learning facts about them. Kids will learn fun facts about more than 30 animals and be delighted with the 60+ animations. The app is narrated in 12 languages – English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Turkish, Dutch and Italian. Check out this cute interactive book for your 1 – 5 year old today. 🙂

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ocean-animal-adventures-for/id819165012?mt=8&uo=4