Animal Snoops with Chatterpix Kids

chatterpixkidsChatterpix Kids by Duck Duck Moose

Price:  FREE

Age Scale: 4+

Device: iPhone, iPod, and iPad

Quick Line: Give Your Photos a Voice

What Educators Need to Know:

Our reading series is challenging.  The lexile levels are much higher than in previous grade levels, the topics are mature, and the writings are often lengthy.

But the truth is, this text is REAL.  These are real stories by real authors published in real magazines, books, and on websites. This, along with interesting themes, seems to be enough to keep my busy sixth graders enduring and persisting when material gets tough.

Take, for example, our recent informational piece entitled, “Animal Snoops”.  In a series of engaging and entertaining anecdotes, students learn about animals who eavesdrop on each other to find food, to connect with a mate, and avoid being prey.  It wasn’t easy, but they GOT IT.  Only fair of me to reward their hard work with a little fun, right?

Each student took the perspective of one of the snooping animals in the piece.  They wrote a first-person paragraph explaining why and how the animal spies and used the Chatterpix Kids app to animate their ideas.  The result?  Funny little stories that demonstrate understanding anecdotes and how animals spy on one another.

Take a look:

Sperm Whale by Libby C.:

Bottlenose Dolphin by Madeliene P.:

 Photuris firefly by Brooke P.:

Bubble Guppies Animal School Day


Age Scale: 2-6

Device: iPad (Note: There is a separate iPhone version for $3.99. It is unclear what the difference is between the two.)

Quick Line: For Animal Lovers and Guppy Fans

What Educators Need to Know:
Our family has a problem: Baby D is OBSESSED with the television show “Bubble Guppies” on Nick Jr. Something about the combination of catchy tunes and silly jokes strikes his fancy. And judging by the amount of Bubble Guppies merchandise out there, D is not alone.

In a weak moment, I took a chance and downloaded the pricey Bubble Guppies Animal School Day app. To my surprise, Mr. Grouper is actually a good teacher! The focus here is on animal attributes, diet, and homes. After selecting one of ten target animals, children must drag animals with similar characteristics to join their target animal in the bubble. For example, D had to find all of the animals with four legs to join the zebra. At Deema’s Snack Shop, children drag one of four true foods to their target animal being mindful to avoid items that their animal would not eat. D chose herbs and had to avoid shoes and cameras. The third exercise briefly explains the habitat where the target animal lives. Players must swipe the vehicle around barriers to help their animal reach its habitat. D lead the zebra to the savannah. Classification, foods, and habitats are a great place to start when learning about animals!

The highs: The content is accurate and completely appropriate for the age demographic. Games are easy enough for little learners, although D, newly two, needs some assistance with parts. Up to four players can save their progress on the same device. Great news for preschool classrooms! Center activity anyone? Completion of games earns players stickers to decorate Bubble Puppy’s doghouse.

The lows: It is repetitive. I can understand how this might be a positive trait in some cases, but I tired of the three games very quickly. Also, I feel that the price point for the educational value of this app is too high.

I am very conscientious about what apps stay on my devices from day to day. If I download something that I do not like, I delete it immediately and do not write about it. I have to give into the occasional brand name desires, but if I write about it, you can bet that it will remain because I have found some redeeming qualities. D will certainly be happy!

Price: $5.99

Bubble Guppies: Animal School Day HD - Nickelodeon