Thursday, 7 February 2013


We hope you have had  a restful holiday period (if you got a holiday break, and if you didn't we hope you get to relax soon!) 

Over the Christmas / New Year Period, Little Monkey Apps have taken a break. We've driven around to the relatives, to various parks and had our fair share of adventures! (That's what we call it here when we get a little bit lost or take an unexpected turn!)

Teaching Little Ones (or big ones) to read a Melways is tricky. (Hey! We're from Melbourne, Australia, but substitute whatever map book you wish!) Not surprisingly many students these days wouldn't even see their parents read a map, let alone be able to read one.

Use the GPS! Use the GPS! Is a cry I often hear from my own mother to my father when he attempts to drive to an unfamiliar destination on 'intuition'. I don't want to go down the sexist, assumptive, gross generalisation that all men refuse to use maps and in reverse, that women can't read them! We bought my parents the GPS, so I'm glad that Mum wants it used!

We have a GPS here, but it hardly EVER gets a workout at all. We're not that adventurous and when we are, the GPS gets charged! 

One of our big adventures these holidays was to take Little Angel to the Zoo. She is turning three soon and although we have been before, this time she clutched onto the paper map like it was a golden ticket. We didn't even need the map as we had it on the phone. She knew what she wanted to see and pointed out all of the pictures on the map. Oh! What a teachable moment! If only she was five and we could have reasoned with her to then read the map. 

But she's not five, and when you want to see a monkey, well, you NEED to see the monkey...RIGHT (stamp your foot) NOW (stamp the other foot!)

Our new App, Co-ordinates covers the basic to more complex skills of map reading from the compass rose up to xy ordered pair co-ordinates in four quadrants. The App contains five modules including game-like situations, asking users to manipulate, create, interpret maps and plot xy co-ordinates.  

NOTHING replaces life experience, hands on manipulatives and interaction with peers and teachers. Our Apps are designed to be used additionally to support and extend these experiences.Use the teacher module instead of a whiteboard or butchers paper, to save or revisit something you have done on paper! 

Users have reported to us they use our Apps to check student knowledge, to keep the small group on task while working with a teacher group, to replace worksheets (well why wouldn't you if you had a 1:1 iPad classroom), to use to vary the curriculum for students who learn differently, to differentiate the curriculum for levels of understanding, use when homeschooling in addition to or replace textbooks or workbooks, use for a small teaching group or 1:1 to model, demonstrate or work interactively. We love hearing your feedback!

Check out the website for my ramblings on other activities you might like to do with mapping, co-ordinates and directions. You've probably got 101 more ideas than me that suit your purposes, location, budget and inclination! 

Like us on Facebook and we will let you know when we've released a new App. We're not serial posters and won't pester you or anything....but there are going to be a few codes put up every now and then. 

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