@BEaLittleWeird Reviews: Summer Learning with @LakeshoreLM #sponsored - iNeed a Playdate @BEaLittleWeird Reviews: Summer Learning with @LakeshoreLM #sponsored iNeed a Playdate a Blog for Northeast Ohio Moms


@BEaLittleWeird Reviews: Summer Learning with @LakeshoreLM #sponsored

I don't recall my mom ever wondering how she would keep us occupied in the summer much less if we would be learning anything over the long break from school but as we are approaching the summer months it seems it is all I can think about, well that and the beach. To help figure out how to entertain and educate the kids this summer, Lakeshore Learning provided a few titles from their educational software collection for review and Brian from BE a Little Weird took on the reviewing. -mj

Keeping Kids Educated Over the Summer Months

Mary received learning software from Lakeshore Learning and she asked if I would like to write up a review on it. So, I sat down with my son and daughter and asked them to try all of them out.

The four titles I was asked to review are:

  • Can Do! Reading Game Show - Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics Quiz Game Show
  • Place Value: Quick Shot!
  • Bubble Pop! Interactive Math Challenge

My son is in 1st Grade so I let him try out all of them.  My daughter is in Pre-K and she only tried out the first three. (Each title is for Grades 1-2, except for Bubble Pop which is for Grades 3-4)

Once I installed the different titles on the kids’ computer, there were both easily able to follow the onscreen instructions and follow the directions for how to play each game.

Can Do! Reading Game Show - Phonemic Awareness
Set up to be played by an individual or in teams, this is a pretty straightforward multiple choice question/answer game. The host of the game show, a wise-cracking robot, asks for answers to questions in three different categories. After each correct answer, something funny happens to the robot as a reward for answering correctly.

Phonics Quiz Game Show
This game is presented in a “Jeopardy” style question/answer format and can also be played individually or in teams.  There are 12 categories in all and you choose five at a time to have on the game board, with increasing point-value questions in each category. Correct answers receive the points for the question plus some positive reinforcement from the characters in the game. A wrong answer deducts the points from your score. In team play, whichever team has the highest score, wins.

Place Value: Quick Shot!
Designed to teach place value concepts, this game plays like an arcade-style basketball game, and correct answers get you points toward obtaining tickets. A collection of items (in groups of hundreds, tens and singles) is shown and the player has three choices for the best representation of those items.  The right answer earns points while a wrong answer deducts some. When time ends, points are converted into tickets which can be used to obtain in-game prizes for the player’s trophy room.

Bubble Pop! Interactive Math Challenge
This game aims to teach math skills across division, multiplication, rounding and fractions. A math problem appears on screen (ex. 4x5) and the player has to look at the bubbles falling down the screen to identify which answer is correct before the bubble bursts. It is a multiple choice question/answer game but is a little more difficult than the other games as it can have more than three answers to choose from on the screen at once. Plus, since the bubbles are falling, there is a time element to the game.

The Kids
Both kids played the first three games. While my son was able to play them w/o any help from me, my daughters struggled with some of the reading involved in both phonics games. She also had trouble with some of the higher level place values in Quick Shot. And, while my son was able to play in some of the lower difficulty levels of Bubble Pop, the increasing difficulty of the questions coupled with the timer quickly discouraged him from continuing.

When asked which game they liked the most, they both said Can Do! Reading Game Show - Phonemic Awareness. Their reason: they liked the funny things that happened to the robot as a reward for answering questions correctly.

My Observations
I played all four games. I felt they were all cute, well produced and have adequate difficulty for the age groups they are designed for (after observing my Pre-K daughter’s experience vs. my first grade son’s).  

The two “Quiz Show”-style games can be played with or without a timer on each question, which I thought was nice. And while I’m sure the “Jeopardy”-style Phonics Quiz works well with multiple teams playing, it gets very repetitive playing it solo and it takes a long time to answer the 20 questions. I could tell my kids were getting bored with Phonics Quiz when they were playing it individually.

My favorite by far was Place Value: Quick Shot!. I enjoyed the arcade style basketball game and obtaining tickets to purchase prizes for my trophy room. I felt like this would keep me coming back for more so I could get more trophies to show off to my friends... you know, I mean if I was a first grader. There’s even a plane you can buy to show off in your trophy room. It ONLY costs 10,000 tickets. I’m pretty sure it’s a sly reference to the Pepsi Points promotion from the mid-90s. That alone was enough reason for me to want to keep playing this game!

For Teachers
Though I was focussing on home use for this review, this software is also designed for classroom use. Each game comes with printable score sheets to show the student’s performance and has printable pre-and-post assessments to be used in a classroom setting. I feel the Phonics Quiz software would be best used in the classroom setting, where multiple teams of students could compete against each other.

For home use I would suggest Quick Shot, Phonemic Awareness and Bubble Pop. They play very well on their own, they are quick, and the game play kept my kids (and myself) interested. I actually felt the Bubble Pop game would make a great learning app for smartphones. The style of play (popping bubbles for correct answers) immediately lends itself to touch screens. While Phonics Quiz was fun, it took a long time to finish one round and the kids were fading fast when playing it.

It’s hard to keep kids caught up on studies over the summer, but I believe that these titles from Lakeshore Learning can definitely help bridge that summer gap.

Brian Edsell is a father of two, self-proclaimed nerd and zombie movie aficionado. He moved to OH in 2006 and the first place he visited was a local comic book shop. He spends his spare time with his family and enjoys playing games and watching movies. He also writes about his life and fatherhood at BEaLittleWeird.com and hosts the Dadstractions podcast.

Fine Print - I received the products mentioned above for free from Lakeshore Learning but no other compensation.  The opinions are 100% ours.
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