Downstate LEAH Convention Report and Skip Math App Review – WHS 84 – The Wired Homeschool

Convention Report

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to speak at the Downstate LEAH convention. I was so blessed by the staff and attendees while there and also realized that my speaking skills could use some improvement! I was nervous at time and sometimes felt unprepared.

I wasn’t just speaking, I got the opportunity to attend one other workshop (it was supposed to be two listen to the podcast to hear that story) addressing the Common Core and how it affects homeschoolers in NY. While we shouldn’t be worried about the standards imposed by Common Core there are some other issues that we raised that I think homeschoolers will want to consider.

App Review – Skip Math: Skip Counting Games

Description

skip-math-screenSkip Math is a “Doodle Jump” style game in which a boy or girl character jumps from platform to platform trying not to fall. Unlike “Doodle Jump,” however, children playing Skip Math must land on the platform that correlates to the correct number. For example, when counting by fours you must land on 4, then 8, then 12, etc. The movement, music, hopping character and they actually hear the counting as they jump all contribute to the entertainment value of the game, and means your child will be learning while having fun.

Skip counting is a fundamental skill in the development of fluency in calculation, number sense and establishing a solid foundation for learning multiplication and division. Skip counting requires and in turn develops fluency in mental computation.

Features:
– Players can take a picture of their own faces to put on the character they choose.
– They can pick their “level” (you can skip-count by numbers 2-11) so the game becomes more challenging as your child improves.
– A tracker lets the player how far he went at the end of each game, so he can try to improve his score in the next round.
– Audio: As each number is number selected, it is said aloud so players hear the counting as they jump.
– The game can also be played in multi-player Bluetooth mode (Game Center Required).

Review

Skip Math is the first math game by Justin Holladay at MathFileFolderGames.com aimed at elementary school students. Until now, Justin’s apps have been for middle school students (something I’m grateful for) but I think he’ll be successful with this app for the younger crowd.

In Skip Math, players must guide their character up the screen while landing on the correct number in the sequence (2,4,6,8…). Landing on the correct number gets you farther up the screen while landing on the wrong number causes you character to break through the platform and fall. Every time you land a number it’s said aloud.

Players guide their character by tilting their device which moves the character left or right. You can even jump from one side of the screen to the other. Speaking of the character, your kids can take a picture of themselves and place it on the character giving a little personal flair to the game.

What I Liked
If you have competitive kids in your house Skip Math will keep them busy for a long time, even if they’ve mastered skip-counting. Earning a higher score can sometimes be a great motivating factor for children and that’s sure to help keep their attention with this game. Being able to pick a difficulty level rather than having to play through levels is nice too. If your child is struggling with skip-counting by seven, just select level 7 and you’re off! No having to play through any previous levels.

What Could Be Improved
There are a couple of things I would add to this game that relates mostly to game-play. First, it would be nice to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the controls. At times I felt like it was just too sensitive and I felt out of control. The other option that would be nice is to be able to change whether or not the character jumps from one side of the screen to the other. This would also help when it comes to keeping a little more control over the character.

Final Thoughts
Skip Math gives parents a way to reinforce math skills during a child’s free time. This is a great app for kids to play in the car while on a trip on while sitting in a waiting room somewhere. It fills those times when you thing to yourself, “I could be homechooling now.” With Skip Math you can be sure that your kids will not only have fun but also improve their math skills.

 Skip Math is rated 4+ and costs 99¢. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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