Teacher Review For Stack the States

An easy, engaging way to review states

Jean B.
Classroom teacher
Edgewood Middle School
Mounds View, MN
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My Grades 8
My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Knowledge gain
Practice
Small group
Great with ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I have my students in stations, and have this as an option when we study regions. This is a middle school class, but many of my students need serious review of the states and capitals. I can see great achievement gains with my students after some time with this app. It actually looks well-designed and professional too, just like many games the kids play online for recreation. I use it with my lesson plan on identifying states and capitals. Understanding mottos, etc. are not part of our standards, but students pick up on it anyhow. I have stations in my 5th grade class, including writing summaries of geographic regions, Inquiry stations on laptops about states, as well as an iPad station with this app, which is basic memorization. It works well, and I can conference with kids at the inquiry station, similar to a differentiated guided reading group. I like this as an enrichment/review activity because it requires little prep. Best of all, it reduces the amount of time I need to spend in front of the room doing "drill and kill" reviews. I have also seen a vast improvement with their state identification as well. They are learning and having fun. That's why this app hits the mark.
My Take
This is a nice app for a quick review of states. Unlike many iPad apps, this is actually intuitive and has clear learning outcomes. Anyone can pick it up and begin identifying states. I like how you can select different options for state's regions. For some of my younger students, this is critical as many educational apps have overwhelming content. This is not a tool for critical thinking! It's simple and sweet - State, state shape, capital, nickname and landmark review. It also has engaging flash cards, quizzes about state nicknames and capitals, landmarks as well as tracking kids' progress. Kids clamor over the ipads to play this, and like to try to beat each others' scores.