Smart Apps For Android: Best Elementary School Apps: Punctuation app helps Kelli get in touch with her inner nerd

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Best Elementary School Apps: Punctuation app helps Kelli get in touch with her inner nerd

Punctuation
New_fourstars



Bottom Line: This app is less a game and more a lesson in punctuation. It's also a handy little reference guide all in one place. What it lacks in entertainment value it makes up for with the sheer volume of educational content that can be used in a home or classroom setting.




If you would like to purchase Punctuation by Daydream Education ($1.99 on GooglePlay), please feel free to use the handy link below:




($1.99)
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NO Ads IAP YES ExLinks
No ads, no in-app purchases, external links to more apps by the same developer
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IMG_0368Would you think me a bit of a nerd if I told you that I was really, really excited to be assigned an app about punctuation? Because I was more than a little excited when this app, Punctuation, showed up on my assignment list. Even though I know I make a lot of mistakes in my writing, grammar and its little brother punctuation are two of my favorite things.  And even though this app is more of a lesson and less of a game, I found it to be a lot of fun.
On the main page we see two sections, Content and Fun Features.  The Introduction to Punctuation is a handy compilation of the different types of punctuation. The introduction page serves as an easy reference page for students or teachers/parents to quickly identify different types of punctuation and learn basic rules. If the user chooses, he can opt to go straight to a particular section by tapping on the little “plus” symbol next to the type of punctuation he wants to learn more about. The user can also choose to access the information directly from the home page or by just swiping to the next page.
IMG_0369
Punctuation can be VERY important.
This app contains massive amounts of information on a variety of topics, including:
  • Capital letters
  • Full stop (otherwise known as a period. More on this in a second)
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation mark
  • Comma
  • Apostrophe
  • Speech marks
  • Brackets
  • Dashes
  • Colon and semicolon
  • Bullet points
  • Hyphen
Within each section, your little learner is introduced to each type of punctuation and the rules regarding its use. There are examples offered to support each rule, and each example has an audio option so that children can hear the concepts they are learning being put into practice. I found this particularly useful with teaching the proper inflection when ending a sentence in a question mark or an exclamation point.
In many of the sections, there is the possibility to go straight to a quiz to test what is being learned. Other sections offer the ability to use a “notes” section to practice a particular concept.
IMG_0370The “fun features” section is made up of a quiz with three levels of difficulty and three other games that test users on capital letters, the use of apostrophes, and (my favorite) filling in missing punctuation. Teachers and parents can also access a “learning objectives” page that summarizes nicely the objectives being taught.
The concepts being taught in this app are rooted in British English, which explains terminology like "full stop" instead of "period" and "brackets" instead of "parentheses."  While the concepts are generally the same, teachers and parents here in the U.S. should be aware of the differences. This app is geared more toward older elementary students.  My son, who is just finishing second grade, is only now beginning to touch on many of the concepts taught in this app.
What I liked:
  • I liked most everything. I am anticipating using this app over the summer with my son (who will be entering third grade). He's a newbie when it comes to a lot of this subject matter, but I plan to use this app to help in our summer classroom to keep things fresh in his mind.
  • I liked how comprehensive this app was in teaching about each type of punctuation.
What I might change:
  • I would like to see the differences in British English and American English addressed in some fashion.  Whether by having the option to choose from the get-go or by simply addressing the differences as you go along. Something as simple as “a full stop (also called a period)” or “brackets (sometimes referred to as parentheses)” could alleviate confusion that some young learners here in the States might have.
  • While I was happy with the format of this app being a “lesson,” the addition of a few learning games could perhaps keep some more reluctant learners more engaged.
Chances are that your kids are probably not going to choose this app in their free iPad time. While I personally found it to be loads of fun, it is really more of a classroom tool than a game. Fortunately, it is a fairly engaging classroom tool, so parents and teachers should be able to incorporate it into their lessons with success. The sheer volume of the subject being covered makes this app well worth the $1.99 price tag.

(Brief disclaimer: I was mildly disappointed that my beloved Oxford comma was not addressed in this app. I am quite certain that my editor, Emilie, is not disappointed in the least.)

*****

Cartoon cowgirlKelli wishes that she could share this punctuation app with the majority of her friends on Facebook. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.

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