Envolée posted this app on their Facebook feed recently (where, incidentally, they also often post links for free vocabulary sheets – follow them here) and I knew I wanted to try it out.
The app is geared for Francophone students in second grade, so I figured it would be about right for my 8 year old son. There are 13 different activities included (see image at left).
The sound ones (on/om, an/am, etc.) show incomplete words and ask the child to drag the right spelling into the word. For example: b_____bon – where the child would drag the “on” into the word to complete it and spell it correctly.
There are also a few grammar activities: identifying which pronoun can replace a noun, finding the verb in a sentence, changing singular nouns to plural, and others.
To navigate through the activities, there are two choices: the child can bounce around and do what they feel like, or, you can force them to go in order. However, if you choose to make them go in order, all it takes to change it back to free navigation is one tap that is super easy to find.
What I like about the app
I like the concepts the app covers. They are all at about the right level – a bit challenging, but not overwhelming. The instructions on what to do are clear, and it’s easy for the child to learn through repetition.
This app has great clarity. Right from the main menu, you can see exactly what it covers and what your child is going to learn by using it. If you know they need practice in a specific area, you can direct them there without having to jump through a bunch of other stuff first.
The owl graphic is kind of cute and adds a bit of interest to the interface. I don’t think my son cared one way or another, but I liked it. 🙂
What I didn’t like about the app
The fun factor is definitely missing here. My son was bored in about 2 minutes. He doesn’t choose to use this app for his electronic time unless I ask him to. When I do, he doesn’t argue, which means that he doesn’t hate it – he’s just indifferent.
I would have preferred some positive reinforcement for correct answers. After dragging the correct choice into place, nothing happens. After tapping the button to move on to the next exercise, the app just moves on. No cute graphic telling the child he/she has chosen correctly or done a good job – nothing. That being said, when the child chooses incorrectly, an x does appear on the screen.
I was a little disappointed in the app overall. I had hoped for a more fun experience for my son. That being said, if you’re looking for a simple drill app to practice some specific skills, this could be a good fit. It probably won’t be one that your kids will want to play over and over, but they won’t need to as they will likely absorb the information after a few rounds.
Thank you to Envolée for letting me/my son try this app at no charge. All opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced by the publisher in any way.
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