How I Use It
My class used this app during math centers. Each center group had 4 students and 20 minutes was a perfect amount of time for them to finish the game. I liked the app because it was a quick set-up for the center and would be easy to have a sub use with a small group. The questions were appropriate for 1st and 2nd grade and many of them would work for advanced kindergarteners as well. It worked to have the students play as a team and I like the way the space vehicle moves all the characters together so there is no competition, they are all working to reach the end together. The questions that involved teamwork were also fun, such as polling people in the group then completing a graph or having the group ask yes or no questions to guess what one team member is thinking of. I would not want students to use it in a group larger than 4, in fact 3 might be better, because they tend to get bored when it's not their turn. It provided a good review of most math concepts we cover and a review of a few ELA topics, although these were definitely not covered as extensively. ELA topics included things like alphabetizing and reading aloud.
I'm glad I used the app and will use it again next year, but probably only once in a year. It didn't generate enough excitement and interest in my students that they want to play again. It was a better way to review math concepts than a worksheet. I wish there were some differentiation options. We initially started to play on an iPad mini purchased in the spring of 2014 (so 1 model removed from the newest) but the sound wasn't working even though sound was fine on other apps. We switched to an iPad 2 and had no problems with the sound. Incorrect answers were corrected by undoing the student's work if the timer hadn't ended so they could have another chance, or by outlining incorrect answers in red. If the time was up the correct answer was shown. In general this was effective in letting students know their mistakes. However, there was no reteaching or deeper explanation. Students did work together and the app was interactive in the sense that all students moved around the board together and some of the questions required students to talk to each other, such as polling for a graph or getting teammates to guess a word. However, it was not collaboration, in my opinion, in the sense that the team would be unsuccessful if a member didn't participate fully.