December 27, 2016

Empty or Full? Tall or Short? App Shows Young Learners the Meaning of Opposites

By Rob Klindt, Contributing Writer | Literacy Resources

Whether a glass is full of water or a basket is empty, it’s important to know how to express the difference. While the concept seems obvious to adults, young learners may have difficulty finding the right words.

The Learning Opposites app helps first-graders and kindergartners distinguish between words that have opposite meanings.The idea of opposites can be a head-scratcher for younger students, but technology can help them out. A free mobile app teachers should consider adding to their classroom tech toolbox is “Learning Opposites for Kids” from Suave Solutions. It targets learners in kindergarten and first grade and works with most smartphones and digital tablets.

The goal of the app is to help children learn words and identify images that are opposite in meaning. Examples include full versus empty, tall versus short, dry versus wet and heavy versus light. A fun and colorful collection of words and images helps illustrate the definitions and concepts for easy understanding.

Exercises in the “Learning Opposites for Kids” app help boost the cognitive learning and educational development of youngsters in numerous ways, including:

  • Color and shape recognition
  • Fine motor skills
  • Language and word recognition
  • Memory skills
  • Spelling

Toddlers and preschoolers who play the app with adult supervision may get a jump on early English language arts programs when they enter school.

Getting started

No registration is needed, so children can start using the app right away. Tapping the app’s icon opens a start page anchored by colorful drawings of people, animals and the night sky. A voice narrator welcomes players while lively music plays in the background. Players can turn off the music by tapping the loudspeaker icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

When playing the app for the first time, children should tap the “Start Learning” button at the bottom of the screen. A narrated slideshow explains the definitions of the words and images they see in the exercise area. Advance the slideshow by tapping the forward arrow at the bottom of the screen. When finished, return to the start page by tapping the “Home” button in the upper left corner of the screen.

Next, tap the “Start Activity” button, then choose from five interactive learning games. Players use a finger to drag or tap images in each activity to match, swap, identify or select words and images with opposite meanings. The games are self-paced, and children can take as long as they like to play them. A voice narration guides players through each activity and confirms correct answers.

Dynamic features in each activity keep children engaged while they’re learning. They include:

  • Animation
  • Audio prompts
  • Colorful graphics
  • Lively music
  • Voice narration and instructions

Bright colors, animation and tactile activities used in the app’s exercises will engage visual and kinesthetic learners and help them better retain what they’ve learned.

What’s included

Content in the app is all inclusive. Once it’s downloaded to a device, all learning exercises, images, music, voice narration and sound prompts will work without an internet connection. Also, completed exercise activities can be saved to the device for later viewing.

When the device is connected to the internet, teachers or parents can go into the app’s settings and tap the email or Facebook icon to share saved exercises with others. As children become more proficient with the exercises, there is an optional in-app purchase to download a more advanced learning activity into the app.

There are nonintrusive advertisements at the bottom of the screen and occasional pop-up ads in the app pages; players can skip past them. No registration is necessary.

Download details

The “Learning Opposites for Kids” app is free. It can be downloaded through Google Play and is compatible with smartphones and digital tablets running the Android operating system 2.2 or later. It’s also available on iTunes and is compatible with iPhones and iPad tablets running iOS version 8.0 or later.

Rob Klindt’s “App Reviews” combine his passion for writing with an ever-growing interest in educational technology. His simple, straightforward approach to reviewing educational apps help educators and parents leverage new tools for students in and out of the classroom.

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