Archive for December, 2013

December 19, 2013

iPad app review: King of Math

by stryson

Back in February, I caved in and bought an iPad. For those who know me, you know that this was a huge leap. It remains the only Apple product in our house, and will remain as such for the foreseeable future. However, I took a workshop on iPad apps in the classroom, in preparation for my school’s purchase of iPads with some grant money, and I fell in love with many of the education apps that were available. Unfortunately (from my point of view), most of these were only available for an OS platform, not for Android. I was made such a believer by the class that I actually went out and bought my own iPad… to get used to and screen apps on my own, and to have them available for my private tutoring. I remain very glad that I did. (And I remain very much a fan of the particular teacher and seminar that got me hooked – it was a BER training taught by Joanne Troutner.) With that in mind, I’d like to start writing reviews here for some of the better apps I find, starting with… King of Math.

“King of Math” is a game intended to reinforce basic math skills. The player begins the game assigned a character that is a farmer, and as he or she completes levels, his or her character is advanced in rank. The rankings and overall look of the progress pages are meant to invoke a middle-age feel. There is a free version of this app, which allows one to play the first several levels, up through subtraction. For the higher math skills, one must purchase the app, which is reasonably priced at 99 cents. Overall, I quite like this app, and it seems appropriate for and interesting to students at the middle school level. There is a “King of Math Jr.” also available (with the same free/fee division) for elementary school students, and I enjoyed that app as well. These games fill a consistent need – ways to keep kids interested and invested in practicing their basic computation skills.

Tags: , ,
December 6, 2013

Technology means “Magic.”

by stryson

I finally feel free to admit it… I always desperately wanted to introduce my computer classes with this Strong Bad Email:

I was pretty sure it wasn’t appropriate to do so, and that my kids would not understand most of the humor involved, but it continues to make me laugh, years later.

December 5, 2013


by stryson

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

You will be respectfully remembered and sorely missed, sir. Thank you for who you were, and the impact you made on this world.

“‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” – Nelson Mandela … may you find rest now, and let us resume the long walk on your behalf.

December 5, 2013

Throw-Back Thursday

by stryson

“Throw-Back Thursday” has become one of many trends floating around the internet, particularly facebook. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, people make posts, generally ones with pictures,  that are from some time in the past and generally have nostalgic value with friends of theirs. I’ve gotten tagged in a few of these – including pictures from a dance studio I attended as a kid. I generally remain unmoved by internet fads (I swear, if one more person invites me to play Candy Crush, I’m going to quit facebook…), but I’m  into this particular one. In that spirit, here are some funny kids’ quotes that I’ve had sitting around since before I left the school.

I’m going to  attribute them to initials and the child’s age, for some added context. Enjoy.

From vocabulary homework, target words bolded:

“Some of the questions on the NJ ASK Test were incomprehensible, like  the ones that have letters plus numbers.” – GC, 14

“In the old days, smiths used anvils. Now cartoons use them.” – MG, 10

“I wonder how some surgeons deal with looking at innards all day without throwing up.” – MC, 11

“Many people used anvils back in medieval times, because their technology wasn’t exactly up-to-date, for they knew almost nothing.” – WN, 11

“Do you know, on an average day, I see one varmint in my household.” – SL, 10

… I don’t know that I want to see that house.