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Smart-EZE Minutes A Day Review

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Prevent your child’s educational progress from dipping over the school holidays by using this app to provide frequent short refresher exercises.  Maths, English and reading comprehension are covered alongside revision notes.

Teacher Review

One of the concerns over the long summer break, and one that many children experience, is that they fall out of the habit of learning and that knowledge obtained in term time fades.   This is an app that puts as its central goal a little and often approach to keeping children’s learning fresh and ready in their minds.  It covers maths, reading and English at USA grades 1 to 5 which are broadly equivalent to the British school years of 2 to 6.  The USA roots of the app are apparent on money questions where references to coin names, not necessarily known to British children are made.

Parents subscribe to a section, either in bulk for a discounted price, or by a subject and age group, and children can then access the many exercises included in these.  These are one-off purchases rather than an ongoing commitment and each is intended to be completed over a ten-week period.  The content is not designed to teach, although there is revision information included alongside the questions, rather it is designed to keep skills and knowledge fresh and secure in children’s minds.  Educationally this is a sound approach and one that teachers themselves often try to build into their ongoing lessons.

Really, any review of this app is also a review of a learning platform. The content and facilities of this app are accessible on most tablet devices as well as on traditional desktop computers too.  As such children always have the flexibility to work as they want and where they want.

Within the exercises, there are a number of different question types to suit the subject.  Children may be asked to enter a number or word using the tablet’s keyboard, select from a multiple choice, highlight words or match items to each other.  Answers are rewarded with animations and children’s performance can be scrutinised by parents. Questions that use the keyboard have a slight frustration in that the enter key needs to be pressed to hide the keyboard itself and then another submit button to enter the actual answer.  Ideally this would be reduced to a single key press.

The app itself is well-designed and easy to navigate.  Children will find it easy to select the correct age group and the subject that they would like to work on.  The methods of answering each question are self-explanatory and will prove no barrier to children.  On older devices or those with slower processors, there can be a little jerkiness in the animations but the basic usability remains intact.

The developer recommends that exercises are completed at the rate of about three per week over 10 weeks.  The app does not enforce this and an option in the Parents’ section to set a minimum time between exercises would be welcome to prevent children doing too much in a single sitting.

The interleaved learning approach of this app is one that is ideally suited to its purpose.  While the developers make specific reference to the summer break, the app could be usefully employed at other times.  Revisiting past learning is never a bad idea to ensure that it remains a secure platform for new learning and this app offers a useful way to do this that will not take much of a child’s free time away from them.

Screenshots

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From the Developer

Minutes a Day - Mastery for a Lifetime. Smart-EZE apps are designed for review of Math, English Grammar, and Reading Comprehension materials learned during the previous school year, for grades 1-5. Smart-EZE provides the necessary interactive review and practice that allows students to retain important math and language arts skills, not only over the summer break, but for their entire lives! Based on the award winning Summer Solutions Workbooks, the first Smart-EZE lesson is free for every subject and grade level.

FOR STUDENTS - Many studies indicate that without some form of academic engagement over the summer break, children forget much of what they learned during the previous school year. It is recommended that the students complete a lesson three times per week over the summer break, using a strategy known as interleaved practice. Interleaving requires students to systematically re-visit and practice material that has already been mastered. This is the only type of practice that ensures long-term retention. By spacing the lessons over a ten-week period, students are able to return to school in the fall, having remembered what they were taught in previous years and ready to begin learning new material right away.

FOR PARENTS - Parents have the capability of tracking their children's progress.

Features include:
• Comprehensive lessons for Math, English Grammar, and Reading, grades 1- 5
• Over 400 interactive questions per subject and grade level
• First lesson in any subject, any grade is FREE!
• Capability for parents to track their children's progress
• Student progress reports can be viewed by students and parents
• Animated feedback as the student progresses through lessons
• Supports all learning standards including traditional and common core
• Flexibility—each lesson can be used by up to 5 family members
• Over 1,200 interactive questions for each grade

Ages 5 and up

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Smart EZE was created through a partnership of Bright Ideas Press, LLC and FatRedCouch.

About Bright Ideas Press
Bright Ideas Press—widely known as Simple Solutions—publishes more than 120 products, all uniquely designed to promote long-term retention. The Simple Solutions Approach was created by former teacher and now company president, Nancy McGraw, whose mission is to instill confidence by offering students a foundation for success through permanent learning. Bright Ideas Press is one of Northeast Ohio’s fastest growing companies. Its customers include schools and districts in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the Bahamas.

About FatRedCouch

FatRedCouch blends brands and technologies to create innovative entertainment, publishing, and educational experiences using digital platforms and physical goods. Digital+Durable™

FatRedCouch is a proud member of Moms With Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers with family-friendly apps.

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