How I Use It
I used this app in two different classes, Applied Science and Academic Concepts of Physics, with 11th and 12th grade students. We used this as a "brain break" day activity. However, it was anything other than a brain break. Students had the choice to interact with the app in pairs or alone, competing against each other and also trying to beat the teacher's high scores. It was a great way for the Physics students to apply the principles they had been learning about all year. The Applied Science students were engaged for a full 40 minutes with the app and had a blast. The Academic Concepts of Physics students didn't really get into it until the higher levels when they had to do more critical thinking, which is when they started getting competitive.
We tried a bunch of different combinations of manipulatives with the Newton app - white paper versus whiteboard and drawing versus using Osmo Tangram pieces. We found that when you use a whiteboard, it cannot have any residue on it or the app will pick it up. So, white paper with the Tangram pieces was easiest to use, but the students had to work harder drawing with dry erase on the whiteboard (which isn't necessarily a bad thing.)
This product is a fabulous addition for your teaching toolbox. The 21st century skills students have to engage in paired with the application of physics content is a teacher's dream. I love the fact that students can work alone or in pairs and that there are so many game levels, making this applicable to higher grade bands. At the high school level, it's great to use on days before holiday breaks, end of the year, or as an intro to the Forces or Gravity unit.
When creating the accounts, we made one teacher account and connected it to our shared iPad cart iPads prior to the students coming in. Then, the students created their individual accounts under the teacher's when they started using the app. The account creation process could be a little more streamlined, but I understand why they set it up the way they did.