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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about shapes, their attributes, and related concepts such as transformations and partitioning. The touchscreen allows kids to draw accurate shapes with straight edges and, when applicable, right angles. A free-draw option also allows kids to create shapes and other drawings by hand. By using the available grid and dot-paper options, kids can explore measurement using inches and centimeters. They also can explore congruency using a scissors tool that slices shapes as well as transformations using a tool that flips and rotates shapes. Teacher-created lessons cover a variety of topics including measurement, properties of circles, attributes of triangles, angles, composite shapes, scaling, and composing hexagons. Overall, Shape Lab is a comprehensive tool that lets kids explore early geometry concepts from a variety of angles.
Ease of Play
Instructions are not provided, but most kids will figure out how to use the features through exploration.
Products & Purchases
The Shapes in the Classroom page includes ads for other apps and access to the iTunes store.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shape Lab is an open-ended sandbox tool that allows kids to freely explore geometric shapes. Kids can use the interactive screen to create shapes, manipulate them, and investigate their properties. They can save and share their creations with other devices and access teacher-created lesson plans for additional learning support. Access to these lessons and other features requires users to unlock a child lock. However, the instructions are very simple, and most kids who are old enough to use this app likely can unlock these areas and gain full access to the Internet.
Is It Any Good?
Shape Lab is a comprehensive tool that encourages kids to learn through exploration. Some features are not as intuitive as others, such as accessing the save feature and toolbar extensions, but the touch interface is very easy to use. The lesson plans are an excellent way for kids to use Shape Lab in a more formal setting or to extend their learning, so adding more lesson plans could improve the learning value. It also would be nice to see some instructional features kids could access, such as pop-up labels that explain geometry concepts such as edges and vertices or a built-in lesson that teaches the basics of two-dimensional figures.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.