Developer: StudyPad, Inc.
Price: $9.99 Download on the App Store
It’s a rare kid who finds learning for the sake of learning fun. That’s why parents and educators are always searching for engaging, entertaining ways to supplement and reinforce learning. StudyPad, Inc. has merged the mathematical concepts kids need to grasp with the technological power of the iPad to create a series of elementary workbooks for grades 1 through 5. Looking at the final workbook in the series, 5th Grade Math: Splash Math, it’s pretty clear that a great deal of thought and effort went into the development of these “virtual workbooks.”
5th Grade Math: Splash Math covers 9 different chapters with the material that most fifth graders should know. Beginning algebra and geometry, number sense, place value, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions and measurement are all included and presented in a series of activities focusing on the various related concepts. Kids are asked a question, with pictures where necessary, and presented in a user-friendly, multiple choice format. As they work through each section, there is a counter keeping track of progress and a “scratch pad” that they can hide or unhide, rendering paper and pencil unnecessary, but still encouraging kids to work out the answers.
Though one of the more expensive educational apps available, 5th< Grade Math: Splash Math offers quite a bit of value to parents and educators. The app allows room for six profiles, which is great for a classroom or study group. It also tracks the progress of each active profile, providing a record of finished and unfinished tasks, scores, and even tracks the concepts that are both strengths and weaknesses. This data is then all summed up in an easy to read report and can be emailed to any email address provided. Whether parents want to keep track of their children’s progress at home or teachers want to receive reports or even send them on to parents. There’s a great deal of flexibility in the way parents, teachers and students can work together.
In looking at 5th Grade Math: Splash Math from an educator or parent’s perspective, it would be entirely too easy to spend 10 bucks to pick up a similar math workbook. In most cases, you would then have to spend the time checking answers page by page and determine for yourself which concepts your child needs more practice with. Instead, with 5th Grade Math: Splash Math the progress is monitored for you and the pages and chapters can be done and redone until mastery becomes obvious. You can even assign certain pages to be completed as “homework” based on those concepts that need the most work. But perhaps best of all, if you hand a kid a workbook and pencil, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be more resistant to actually doing the work than if you hand them an iPad!
If you are an educator looking to make good use of a classroom full of iPads or are a parent looking for ways to reinforce math skills through practice or simply to keep kids’ minds sharp over summer break, 5th Grade Math: Splash Math (or its grade-appropriate counterparts) is well worth the investment simply for its comprehensive coverage of math skills and concepts and kid-friendly interface. 5th Grade Math: Splash Math is suitable for kids entering 5th or 6th grade or even kids entering 4th grade who are capable of working ahead. Keep in mind that the concepts, such as volume, order of operations and equations are not taught, but are reinforced through practice, so choosing an ability-level workbook is important.