Newsletter - February, 2010

Recently, I've tried to find reviews of apps from people who have actually used them with children. Many reviews just seem to be copies of developers' promo materials. If you find a respected educational/parents organization that has app reviews, please let me know - Here's hoping that you have a sweetie to hug this Valentine's Day, and if not, that you find one soon!
- Toni Rhodes

Children's Apps - What's New?

The mom who writes the IPhoneMom blog says that "Chicktionary" is one of her 7-year-old's favorite apps. The object of the game is to spell as many words as possible from a set of 7 letters. To form a word, tap the chickens. A row of egg crates stores the words. This game won Best Word Game App of 2009 on the iTunes store.

iPhoneMom also says that her 5th grader likes "The Oregon Trail" - a remake of a great computer simulation game. I remember teachers using this game on the Apple II to teach students about the history of westward expansion in the U.S. Reviewers on the iTunes store generally praise the game, but there seem to be some technical issues, too.

Reading and Writing Learning Activities

Speaking of Westward Expansion . . . in Georgia schools fourth graders learn about the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Did you know that a huge, black Newfoundland dog went along on the 7,686 mile trip? Read about him in Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark by Gail Langer Karwoski and James Watling.

To make reading about Seaman a richer experience, check out "103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading" from the wonderful Website Reading Rockets.

Books, Books, Books

I love to read all kinds of children's books, from easy readers to YA. Recently, I read the edgy young adult book The Carbon Diaries, 2015 by Saci Lloyd. Told through the diary of a 16-year-old girl, this book tells the story of the first year of carbon rationing in Great Britain after the Great Storm knocked out most of the power stations due to global warming. I invite you to read my review on my blog

News from RhodeSoft's Reading Rhino

On my blog, I interview Elizabeth O. Dulemba, author of the children's app "Lula's Brew." Elizabeth answers questions about how she gets her story ideas, rhyming, multicultural books, and Apple's new iPad electronic book reader!

At the end of this month, we will launch our first storybook app with music and interactive sound effects AND the Reading Rhino brand!



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