Smart Apps For Android: REVIEW: Converting Fractions, Decimals and Percentages (best educational Android kids apps)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

REVIEW: Converting Fractions, Decimals and Percentages (best educational Android kids apps)





Bottom Line: If you're looking for an app to assign for homework that covers fractions, decimals and percentages (and the relationships between all three) then this is the app you need. Great for teachers and homeschoolers, Converting Fractions, Decimals and Percentages clearly explains how these math concepts work and then gives children a chance to test their knowledge and have progress reports emailed to their teacher. Flip your math class today by downloading this app onto the class devices.

Price: $1.99                     Size: 6.7MB

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External links to more apps by the same developer
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Converting Fractions, Decimals and Percentages is a very precise name for this app. That is exactly what it does, no more, no less. The main purpose of the app is to show the relationship between the three math concepts. The layout of this app is like a textbook, with five chapters including an Introduction, chapters on Fractions and Decimals, Fractions and Percentages, Decimals and Percentages and finally a Summary.

After a quick introduction into the relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages, the app goes onto explain how to convert fractions into decimals. The numerator and denominator are denoted with clear labels and color coordinated with the same colors kept throughout the app. Four examples of fractions converting to decimals show the fraction rearranged as an equation, then the students taps to reveal the decimal. There is a More info page that provides information regarding recurring decimals, although I would have liked to see more information (perhaps a diagram) showing exactly how 1÷4=0.25. Otherwise, it looks like a math fact that students just need to know and remember.

Next up, the app follows instruction on the reverse operation: converting decimals to fractions. This conversion is laid out in three steps:
1. multiply the decimal by 100, use the resulting answer as the numerator,
2. use 100 as the denominator and
3. simplify the fraction if possible.

There is a How to Simplify page that provides information regarding simplifying fractions by finding the highest common factor. There is a disclaimer stating that this method only works for decimals containing one and two decimal places.

Moving onto converting fractions to percentages, again, four examples are given, but there seems to be a missing step. How does 1/8=0.125? Is the answer simply a math fact that students need to learn and remember? The rest of the process is simple enough, multiplying the decimal by 100 to get a percentage. Throughout the whole app, there is also access to a converter (button in top left of the screen). This allows students to input either a fraction, decimal or a percentage and have the amount converted to the other formats.

Next follows the reverse operation: converting percentages to fractions. Again, this is explained as a three step process, with written and voiced instructions. There is also the How to Simplify screen available again. A menu button in the top right of the screen takes the students back to the main menu where they can choose a different conversion or go straight into the Fun Features section of the app.

The final conversion of decimals to percentages and back again is shown in one easy step, by multiplying or dividing by 100. The Summary then shows the relationship between all three as an interactive a flow chart with students able to choose from 10 different options to display (e.g. 4/5 = 0.8 = 80%). The introduction, summary and converter are all very similar, providing instant conversion to all formats but all are presented just slightly differently. After working through all conversions in the Content section, students can then test their knowledge with four activities in the Fun Features section.

The Quiz presents number stories with multiple choice answers in three levels of difficulty. Ten questions are timed and results presented at the end which can be emailed. Pairs presents 24 cards with fractions, decimals and percentages that need to be matched up. Also a timed activity (students have 90 seconds to match all pairs) and has a choice of two levels of difficulty.  Number line has a time limit of 90 seconds as well and requires students to drag the fractions, decimals and percentages onto the number line in correct order (lower to highest number). Finally, Comparison Test requires students to choose the correct symbol (either <, = or > )to make the statement true. 60 seconds is all that is given and students complete as many statements as they can.

All progress is recorded and can be emailed to the teacher and all learning objectives are clearly stated and can be linked to the Common Core State Standards. Enough profiles could be created for the whole class (I managed to create 40 profiles, and there is an option for a Guest profile) so if there was only one iPad for the class, this app could still be used for everybody. Suitable for children in Year 3 and above, I would recommend using this app as a tool to flip the math lesson so that children learn the concept from the app and then come together as a group to work on using their new knowledge to solve real world problems.

The app overall is well made and well presented, and fairly easy to navigate. Initially I was a little confused as to what "chapter" I was in since the title of the app was so much larger than the title of the math concept being studied. More audio support would be useful, especially for children who are more verbal learners. And lastly, a more graphic explanation of how fractions are converted to decimals would be helpful for more visual learners. Definitely worth downloading and would be a great asset to any elementary class.

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This app actually helped Cas understand decimals and percentages a little better. It didn't help her with tax though. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.



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