App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012
Ice Is Nice!: All About The North And South Poles
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Ice Is Nice!: All About The North And South Poles

Interactive book makes scaffolding easy for many levels of readers

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
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Grades
K–3 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Kid-friendly help with vocabulary and word recognition.

Cons: Runs a bit long at 48 pages.

Bottom Line: Ice Is Nice is a versatile science text for varying reading levels.

Use Ice is Nice to introduce science concepts like weather, climate, geography, and science-related careers. The same interactive text can be used with all levels of readers, making it excellent for early elementary grades with both readers and pre-readers. Pre-readers can listen to the narrator (or teacher) read aloud while they read along. Emerging readers can read the text and tap to hear any words they get stuck on. Advanced readers can record themselves reading the text aloud and then listen to themselves reading. Kids could work in small reading groups, as well, taking turns reading and recording.

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Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles is an informational book about science featuring Dr. Seuss characters; it's part of the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library Series. In it, the Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Dick on a journey around the world to the North and South Poles. There, they learn about the native animals and people and how changing weather affects them. The 48-page book includes interactive features such as a linked dictionary, text highlighting, and light animation.

Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles is a good educational book app for competent readers or early readers with a high interest in science. The text is factual with a little rhyming to make it more kid-friendly, but without the wit and silliness of the original Seuss books with the same characters.

Words like glacier and adaptation are in bold and linked to the dictionary, so if kids tap on the word, the definition pops up. Kids can listen to a narrator read aloud or can read themselves, tapping to get help with unfamiliar words. They can also record themselves reading the text, which is excellent for developing fluency.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The book runs a bit long and could use more interactive elements. Kids who are already interested in learning about Earth may have more interest in it.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Science content is informative. Kids interact with new vocabulary, tapping to read or hear the definition. For reading, kids hear the words read by the narrator or another reader, read themselves, or record themselves reading.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Very easy to use. Kids can move through the pages at their own pace, getting help with words as needed just by tapping the word.


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Jen W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Avonworth Elementary School
Pittsburgh, United States
Cool interactive tool that teaches about North and South Pole with Cat in the Hat!
Overall, I think Cat in the Hat- Ice is Nice encourages literacy skills with highlighted narration and helps build more background knowledge. Also, students really were engaged with interacting with diagrams, glossary words, text and pictures. After several readings and practicing, a few advanced readers used the app to record their own voice narrating the story and were able to share it with others. This app is a great way to combine science and social studies concepts with literacy!
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