What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that iCrosss is an interactive encyclopedia of polyhedrons -- three-dimensional solids kids often study in geometry class, which include cubes, pyramids, and prisms. Kids can explore 3-D representations of nearly 50 different polyhedrons and can experiment with creating cross-sections. Kids can also access info on each polyhedron including the number of vertices, edges, and faces as well as formulas for surface area, volume, face diagonal, and more.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will have fun spinning and rotating the shapes. However, without a way to apply learning, they may not be fully engaged for long.
The number of shapes kids can learn about is extensive, and the ability to rotate them is a valuable tool for building spatial skills.
The brief tutorial is somewhat helpful, but a developer's page could not be found. There is a social media page, but users aren't likely to get much technical support there.
What's it about?
Kids choose a polyhedron to explore from a list divided into six categories. A question mark icon in the top right walks users through the app's features. Kids rotate the 3-D image with a finger, tap to set points for a cross-section, and use pinch motions to separate the polyhedron at the cross-section. Different viewing modes help kids explore the solid, and an info section provides a description and important data including the number of vertices, edges, and faces and a set of formulas including surface area, volume, face diagonal, and more.
Is it any good?
ICROSSS is a very cool tool for exploring and studying polyhedrons. The 3-D representations are accurate, and the interactive animations are fun to manipulate. Kids can choose from a list of solids comprehensive enough to serve as a reference tool for students in middle school through college.
As slick as it is, iCrosss is nothing more than an interactive reference tool. Kids aren't encouraged to do calculations or play with the math in any deep way. It would be a great addition to the app if there were opportunities or suggestions to extend the learning –- printable templates for constructing paper models of the polyhedrons is one idea.
Families can talk about...
Search online for "printable polyhedron patterns" and print out templates for you and your kids to construct together.
Ask your kids to identify different polyhedrons around your home. For example, do you know which polyhedron a classic black and white soccer ball resembles?