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Develop Money Skills: Next Dollar Up App Review

May 2, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

Next Dollar Up by Limited Cue, LLC is an app to teach children with special needs money management skills. According to the app page, “Next Dollar Up is a widely utilized special education teaching strategy for those with special needs to develop independence in money management using a whole dollar amount concept. It involves looking at an item price and rounding up to the next dollar to make the purchase.” Utilizing whole dollar concepts is a nice way start teaching the basics of money management and the app is presented in a simple, easy to use format. The App is currently on sale in the iTunes marketplace for $1.99.

The app was just released on April 24, 2012 and currently only has one game that teaches the child how to make grocery store purchases that cost up to $5 by using 1 dollar bills. I have an idea on how to expand the concept for the next version but will get to that later. The game presents the child with an item priced between $0.01 and $5.00 and prompts the child to drag the correct number of dollar bills to the payment area.

The concept is to teach the child to round up to the nearest dollar and provide the correct number of dollar bills needed for each purchase. For example, if you were shown a picture of lemons that cost $0.58 the correct answer needed to make the purchase would be $1. There are currently 34 game cards in all which are rotated in a randomized order with amounts up to $5.

If the child gets the answer correct they are awarded a star. The goal is to get 10 correct answers and when this occurs the screen will play music and show a sign that says congratulations. If the child gets the answer incorrect the will see a red x on the screen indicating the answer is wrong and flipping the card over to show the correct answer on the screen.

 

The App page also states that, “Simplicity and consistency are at the forefront of design, with the intention that the user not become lost in its functions but rather receive the maximum educational value possible.” While I agree the app is simple and does a nice job of teaching the concept presented I think the next version needs to be expanded. For example, my son has mastered this concept but is struggling with differentiating the value of higher denominated bills (i.e. $1’s, $5’s, 10’s and 20’s). I would love to see the next version expanded to include difficulty levels and introduce the concept of higher dollar purchases using multiple bill types. I think by adding difficulty levels the user base would increase tremendously. That being said, if your child is struggling with the basics of money management this is the app for you!!!!

 

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Algebra without Numbers

April 25, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

This post began with this Tweet from a high school math teacher (and “Ed Leadership” student)

“Had 8 out of 9 stdts not complete an Alg I test 2day. Said we never did it b4. Unit started Jan 2. Had flash cards and cheat sheet. What now”

I responded

“Algebra is a method for finding unknowns from knowns in a logical way. You could use numbers, or real things… mysteries are solved through algebra. Kids don’t get it because we disconnect it from reality”

The answer?

“or because they don’t do homework, take notes, participate, or pay attention”

Me again,

“I always say, kids make rational micro-economic decisions. If they see no value in the course, they will not invest in it”

And this response,

“then maybe they will see value in it when they take it again next year”

followed by

“I shouldn’t have to reteach because they were to lazy to try or participate this time. It sucks.”

Obviously I could write about many things here, from public disrespect for students to a bit of unfortunate egocentrism (“I shouldn’t have to reteach”), but I’m going toward the math here, first, repeating an old joke… Read the rest of this entry →

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Math Apps

January 31, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

Math “is the sole subject that is nearly 100 percent cumulative. Students must have a strong foundation in order to be successful. In the elementary years a child has to have a clear understanding of our place value system in order to add, subtract, and multiply large numbers. The basic skills, such as addition, provide the framework for understanding multiplication. Fractions and decimals lay the groundwork for ratios and percentages,” by Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed in How to Help with Math.

With this in mind it’s important to make sure students keep up in Math” One successful way to accomplish this is by making math fun!!! The iPad Apps listed below have found fun and creative ways to teach various math concepts. Read the rest of this entry →

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FREE Common Core Standards App

January 27, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

Consider this your call to action! The Common Core Standards are coming to your State and every Teacher and Parent of a child with special needs MUST have this free app on their phone, tablet or iPad. As a parent of a child with special needs I don’t go to my son’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting without a copy of California’s State Standards for his grade level. I use these standards to write goals for my son’s IEP based on his individualized needs. Check out Ten Steps for Writing Effective IEP Goals for more information. With this app I will always have the information at my finger tips and I get to save a tree as well (the standards for each grade level are quite long). Since, 45 States have adopted the Common Core Standards this change effects the majority of the United States. To double check if you State has adopted these Standards click here. Read the rest of this entry →

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My Son’s Favorite App Developer

January 25, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

A couple of months ago I gave a presentation on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for my local Parent Training Center. All of the Staff for this organization are parents of children with special needs. When I arrived early to set up I was met by a staff member and her son who has autism. As I was setting up I couldn’t help noticing the staff member’s son writing on the blackboard. In about ten minutes he had written down the names of all of the United States Presidents in order. I stopped what I was doing and walked over to his Mom and asked if he was learning about the Presidents in School. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember most of the Presidents names let alone their order. I know all of the early Presidents, the ones that led during specific events in U.S. History and all of the Presidents during my lifetime but the rest I have forgotten. To my amazement she said her son had learned all of the U.S. Presidents from an iPad app. She went on to explain that this was the third app her son had played from this particular developer. The first app had taught him all about the States in America, the second had taught him about all of the Countries in each Continent and this latest app the Presidents. I was hooked, who is this developer and what are the names of the apps. Read the rest of this entry →

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10 Easy Tips to Help Your Elementary-Age Child Study for a Test

July 10, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Helping your child to study effectively for tests is vitally important in the elementary years. When the groundwork for good habits is set early on, students are more likely to experience success and increased motivation. You can make a difference in your child’s academic performance now and in the future by trying some of the following tips.

Studying for Math

1.  Use a dry erase board

To practice for an upcoming test, write a few math problems on a small dry erase board. Kids love using dry erase boards and many prefer them over traditional pencil and paper. Try out different color markers, too. Color increases attention, so don’t be afraid of using bold hues. Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Help with Math

April 29, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Understand That Math is a Cumulative Subject

 

It is also the sole subject that is nearly 100 percent cumulative. Students must have a strong foundation in order to be successful. In the elementary years a child has to have a clear understanding of our place value system in order to add, subtract, and multiply large numbers. The basic skills, such as addition, provide the framework for understanding multiplication. Fractions and decimals lay the groundwork for ratios and percentages. Read the rest of this entry →

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Parenting tips for special needs kids with math disabilities

September 4, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

How often has your child said, “I don’t like math!” “I just don’t get math!” I can’t learn math!”  Read the rest of this entry →

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Overcoming Math Disabilities

July 31, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Fun Math Activities
Kids get lots of practice with calculation, worksheets and procedures at school, but unfortunately, they get almost no practice with real-life skills, activities that develop conceptual understanding or FUN! Read the rest of this entry →

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Exercising Your Brain

July 24, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

“I’ll never use algebra, so what do I need it for?  No one really cares what happened during the War of 1812, so why learn it?  Tell me what job I’ll have that I have to recite poetry.”  Read the rest of this entry →

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