Murky Reef 1st - 2nd Grade Reading, Science and Math is an excellent learning app for critical thinking as well as specific topics such as science, math and reading comprehension.
Parents will appreciate how this app incorporates the Common Core standards for Grades 1 and 2 while keeping children engaged and entertained, especially as children prepare for school to start again soon and need to begin to get back to the business of focusing on school work.
Murky Reef is a collection of 22 interactive games which teach a great deal about the animals of the coral reef as well as include math, logic and language exercises.
The look of this app is appealing with simple, animated sea creature characters, sometimes with included interactions as well. Narration leads players through these game activities that have a nice level of variety, both in subject matter as well as interactivity. One can follow through this app, continuing from one activity to the next as well as choosing favorite sections from a menu. It is also nice for adults to see a report of children’s progress through this app.
Murky Reef includes the re-occurring characters of Puff, a puffer fish and narrator of this app, as well as a hungry shark named Ogge, on which these games are focused, as Ogge is always looking to attack the other fish in the sea. Correct answers will allow Puff to shoot lava at Ogge to keep from attacking, creating a fun level of suspense and a fun way to time these mini-games.
This app also includes a nice reward for collecting fish related to the areas achieved in this app, allowing one to learn more about these sea creatures as one adds to his collection.
I think this app is a very nice choice for first and second grade students, but I think younger children, with the aid of an adult could also enjoy this app as well as slightly older children or those with delays who may need educational apps for a specific age. This app may be geared towards 6-9 year olds, but it will not condescend to older children who need extra help in any of these subjects.
I do wish, however, that the answer could be displayed if time runs out and Ogee attacks. Personally, I have really enjoyed these mini-games, especially those involving reading and listening comprehension, as well as the included videos from YouTube available if one is online. However, I had trouble deciphering the directions from the “Hidden Addition” and “Hidden Subtraction” as these areas worked in ways that were counter-intuitive to my thinking, although the math being taught here is quite useful. Because of this, although "help" sections do exist for these mini-games, I wish there was a feature which demonstrates the basic game play of these areas.
Even with this note, this app is great for families, especially those who home school as well as those in typical school settings. Teachers will especially appreciate the ability to set up accounts for up to ten children, keeping their progress separate as well individually selecting the speed at which Ogee attacks, thus personalizing the level of difficulty.
For these reasons, it is easy to recommend Murky Reef 1st - 2nd Grade Reading, Science and Math as a great interactive learning app, especially for those who would like to incorporate Common Core standards into their children’s daily lives.