I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far. Today, I would like to offer my Favorite Strategy/Problem-Solving Apps:
#3: Solitaire Chess Free – I reviewed this as a tangible game provided by www.mindware.com, but it is available as a free app as well. This is a great way for children to learn how the chess pieces move, and to train themselves to think ahead.
#2: Isle of Tune – You can play this for free on the web, or you can download the app for $2.99. As it is a music app, you might question why I include this app in the Strategy/Problem-Solving category. But, I think there is a lot of problem-solving involved in trying to figure out how to use the tools to compose your song.
#1 – Bubble Ball – This is the most requested app during Center Time or indoor recess in my classroom. It is fun to stand near a small group of students who are playing this app as they discuss the strategies for getting the ball to the flag using the different tools provided at each level. I still can’t believe this app is free, as it has provided endless engagement for my students at every grade level. Another thing that I like about the app is that every level has several solutions.
Here are my original posts on each of these: Solitaire Chess, Isle of Tune, and Bubble Ball.
Solitaire Chess Free is a challenging app for iOS. I also mentioned the boardgame that can be purchased at Mindware in my last post. In both versions, the object of the one-player game is to capture all of the pieces on the board until there is only one left. Every move has to result in a capture. This is a nice way for kids to learn the appropriate moves for each of the chess pieces, and to practice thinking ahead. There are increasing levels of difficulty, which means that students can quickly move to the level that best fits their needs.
With the holidays coming up, many parents ask me for educational gifts that I would recommend for their children. “Cart Before the Horse” is one that I would suggest. It is a logic puzzle game that can be played independently or in a small group collaboration (or in a center). It’s for children 8 and up, and comes from www.mindware.com, one of my favorite sources for thinking games and activities. Some other games that I recommend from the site are: Rush Hour, Solitaire Chess, Q-Bitz, Knot So Fast, and Gobblet. These are all games that require logic, strategy, and deductive reasoning – making them great for the classroom or as gifts.