My students LOVE this app! And I'll be honest, I'm a fan too! Here's why and the basics of this app:
First, this is a FREE app that focuses on basic addition and subtraction by PBS Kids. View it in iTunes here. The premise of the app is based on the PBS character Fetch. He is a movie producer and is in need of some sushi to feed his crew. Your job is to figure out how many pieces of sushi he will need by completing addition and subtraction problems. Sounds simple.....but wait, there's more!!
Fetch is an AR (augmented reality) app. Which basically means that it uses your iPod/iPad camera to infuse elements from the app with your environment. What does this mean to Kindergarten students (and their teacher)? Something that is SUPER cool!
Before you start you will need to print off the number game pieces by going to Fetch on PBS Kids. They are small pieces with numerals and a small black box on them (looks similar to a QR code). Once printed, cut apart (I laminated mine for durability) and place around your house/classroom. I scattered mine in the hallway a good distance apart. This is my favorite part of the app-the students move! Math + movement = perfection in this teacher's world!
Once the pieces are out, open the app on your device and follow the cute story dialogue and basic instructions to start. I like that its easy to use and the students can do this part on their own after receiving the initial instructions. After you are set up as a player you will get your first math problem at the top of your screen. The main part of the screen is showing the camera view. The student then solves the problem and walks to the correct answer. They hold the iPod/iPad over the black box on the printed cards and, viola! that amount of 3D sushi appears! The student pushes the sushi to see if they found the correct answer. If they are incorrect, it will tell them if their answer is too much or too little (love that!) If they are correct they will collect the sushi pieces and move on to the next problem. After getting multiple correct answers they are advanced to the next level.
Student's responses? They are BIG fans! They like: getting up and moving around (normally those iPods can NOT leave the table), the 3D sushi that flies at you when you answer, and the fact that they are still seeing their 'world' on an app! Teacher observation: my students were very engaged in this activity. We've been working hard on addition, and this was a great reinforcer for those students who are leery of going to 'mental' math and prefer to use manipulatives still-even if they aren't needed. Instead of hearing 'I don't know' or 'I can't do it' I heard 'This is so cool!' or 'Ooops, I need a bigger number!' Great independent practice that is engaging and incorporates movement--that IS so cool!!!