Teach Me: Kindergarten
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Teach Me: Kindergarten is an educational app that allows you to fine tune your child's learning experience. You can adjust the number of correct answers a child must make in order to earn a reward; you can determine which awards will be available (most are virtual "stickers" to place on one of several backdrops; there are also fish and ornaments for a virtual aquarium). You can also manually raise your child's skill level if you believe the app is starting him or her at too low a point, and you can toggle which subjects you want on or off.
What's it about?
Kids tap the green "Play" arrow for a question about sight words, addition, subtraction, and fill-in-the-blank spelling. Wrong answers are explained clearly: "Z is not the missing letter. Find the missing letter for the word 'apple.'" Math questions show objects to be added from a bucket or subtracted into a trash can above the math problem. Kids are stopped before they add or subtract too many. Virtual coins earned can be spent on stickers or in a fish store tricking out an aquarium. Kids are turned away at the cash register if they don't have enough for, say, a clown fish (10 coins).
Is it any good?
TEACH ME: KINDERGARTEN does a great job of drilling kids on early math and spelling lessons -- and making them fun at the same time. Math problems are done especially well, allowing kids to manipulate a number of objects onscreen to see how a math problem works in literal terms (for example, "2 + 2" may be accompanied by two balls, and the child can pull two more balls out of a nearby bucket to then count all four together). Click-and-drag controls make playing easy for young ones. And the reward system gives nice incentive for continued use. The use of stickers as rewards shows that the people who created this app really know what 4 and 5-year-olds like.
Families can talk about...
Kids can visualize math problems by counting anything handy -- acorns, dominoes -- and watching you add or subtract them before counting again.
Point out words on signs and in books and sound them out; pairing words with a picture helps kids remember.