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Review by Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2015

Pass The Drop

Great concentration app for classroom management, brain breaks

Subjects & skills

  • Character & SEL
  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades 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.
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Pros: Competitive, challenging, and visually appealing tool promotes teamwork and draws evidence-based insights from research.

Cons: The app doesn't collect data for teachers to detect patterns or trends.

Bottom Line: Whether they're 4 or 14, students will love this challenge as a brain break.

Teachers can use Pass The Drop as a brain-break activity, especially during times of the day when students need to refocus their energies. Group students in teams of three or four and have them pass one mobile device for one to three minutes. For more of a challenge, ask the entire class to pass one device. Discuss what the room must sound like for each student to focus on keeping the drop in the center circle.

After students complete one round, teachers may have them self-assess whether they were successful or not. As students get better at concentrating on and balancing the virtual water droplet, teachers might increase the challenge level to keep students interested.

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Pass The Drop is a concentration tool designed to help kids focus on keeping a virtual water droplet within a circle as they pass the device to others. Developed as a group activity, it requires kids not only to keep the iPad still and level but also to maintain their attention as others are holding the device.  

Users open Pass The Drop to a purple screen that prompts them to reflect on their current concentration level: five degrees between Not at All Focused and Extremely Focused. Then kids choose the easy, medium, or hard level. Once they make their selections, users work with their partner or group to get the virtual water droplet to the middle of the red-lined circle. As they move the iPad, the app adjusts and moves the bubble at a different rate based on the selections students made at the beginning. They have to focus on how they're receiving the iPad from their teammates, how they center the iPad on their own, and how they pass the device to the next teammate. If the droplet rolls outside the line, the circle turns red. When completed, a prompt asks, "How focused is your class right now?"

Pass The Drop is an easy-to-use, visually pleasing, challenging activity that does exactly what it claims to do. Students gain concentration skills and practice focusing their attention on the immediate task at hand: centering the drop and making sure their teammates can keep the momentum going. Pass The Drop brings awareness to kids' own attention, provides an opportunity to include others in identifying focus, and helps kids directly reflect on their concentration levels.

The only (minor) shortcoming is that the directions and rationale are accessible only to kids who can read.  This tool seems especially useful for kids who have attention deficits, but might be difficult for those with sensory or gross motor issues.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The moving drop and the challenge of getting it directly in the middle makes for an enticing challenge for all age levels.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

This challenging activity brings awareness to kids' own attention and helps kids directly reflect on their concentration levels.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

This tool is accessible to most learners but doesn't collect data to track patterns in focus. Extension information about how to apply the app's activity to other parts of life would be a welcome addition.

Common Sense Reviewer
Ashley Kemper STEM Project Manager

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