The iPad has proven to be a fine device that has a variety of uses. From the latest 3D game blockbusters to Astronomy apps, there are literally thousands of great ways that you can use the iPad to entertain and inform you. However, the really great thing, for parents anyway, is the fact that kids absolutely love to device, probably because of the massive screen and simplicity of iOS.
So, there has been a plethora of kids educational apps released for the machine, but I am happy to say that 5th Grade Math: Splash Math Worksheets is one of the stronger educational apps available in the App Store.
I think it is so strong because of its focus. You can tell from the title that this is obviously aimed straight at 5th Graders, and that arrow like intent really has paid dividends for the developers of this app. Splash Math is a genuinely good tool to help parents to educate their kids, and I will tell you why.
First of all, the app is incredibly fully featured. Splash Math is structured into nine chapters, with different tasks, games and lessons within each, and this clever book like structure helps the child to know instantly how far he or she has progressed.
Here are the topics covered by the app:
1. Place Value – Numbers up to a Billion; Decimal Place Value; Represent Decimals
2. Number Sense – Compare, order, round numbers; Compare, order, round decimals; Compare, order, round fractions
3. Algebra Expressions – Evaluate Expressions; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division Equations; Number Patterns
4. Multiplication – Multiply by multiples of 10; Two digit by Two digit; Three digit by three digit numbers
5. Division – Divide by 1 Digit Numbers (With/without Remainders); Divide by 2 Digit Numbers (With/without Remainders)
6. Fractions – Equivalent Fractions; Simplest Forms (Mixed Numbers); Add, subtract, multiply fractions; Add, subtract mixed fractions; Multiply Fraction
by a Whole; Mixed Fractions, Fraction Division (Divide Unit Fraction by a Whole), Fraction Division (Divide Whole by a Unit Fraction)
7. Decimals – Add Decimals; Subtract Decimals; Multiply by a Multiple of 10; Multiply by a Whole; Multiply Decimals; Divide by a Multiple of 10; Divide by a Whole; Divide by a Decimal
8. Measurement – Convert Metric Units; Convert Customary Units; Mixed Metric Quantities; Mixed Customary Quantities;
9. Geometry – Coordinate plane; Coordinate Graphs; Two Dimensional Figures; Volume
This is all tied together with a nice looking space age theme with some friendly characters helping you out. Each task is intelligently laid out, but the best addition to the app is the excellent scratchpad. When a child is puzzling over a problem, they can swipe up a writing pad that they can doodle on to help them solve the problem. This helps them to visualise the problem and I have to say it is a great tool, and one that I am sure other developers will be looking at to include in their educational apps.
Kids can move some objects such as shapes and clock hands around the screen, making for a richer and more interactive experience. The app is pretty expensive, I have to say, but there is a free, lite version available to see if your child likes the app before you buy.
The more your child plays with the app and becomes stronger with the problems, the more the app increases the level of difficulty, which actually adds a lot of value. Many apps like this get ‘beaten’ if that’s the right word, by a kid, meaning the value is limited, but this app will keep on giving for far longer.
The last good feature is the fact that you can set up the app to send you regular email reports of how well your child is getting on. That literally means you can leave them to get on with the app, as you will be informed of their progress automatically.
Overall, this is a great app that will prove to be an invaluable tool for parents. The only slight downside is the price, but I really think that it is worth the money. Highly recommended.