Bright colorful engaging graphics, nicely done tutorials, good introduction to fractions
What we’d love to see…
Multiple student profiles, ability to re-set progress, narration option
A bright, colorful engaging introduction to fractions.
Fruity Fractions is the newest iOS app from UK-based Lighthouse Learning, creators of Dragon Shapes: Geometry Challenge and Shape Arts: Geometry Creations which we have previously reviewed. In their latest app, designed for 6 to 10-year-olds they tackle fractions with a fun, fruity twist. The app includes 50 levels and the student has to complete a level to unlock the next. It has a locked parents area which has a parents guide to the app, there are also external links in this area but they are disabled by default (you need to switch them on in settings). The “settings” lets you switch on or off the music, web links, hints and locks.Throughout the app the student is accompanied by Quip, a colorful bird, and mini lessons explain each concept the first time they do a problem, they can review these at any time by pressing the i button on the page.
The app aims to teach the basics of fractions- what a fraction is, how fractions relate to a whole, what a numerator and denominator are. It works on fractions from halves to twelfths, it does not work on the concepts of comparing different fractions or on addition or subtraction of fractions. It is divided into sections each focusing on a different concept, and between each section is a short video, the videos together tell a story about Quip’s quest to get some fruit and his attempt to get his share, despite some greedy parrots.
Fruity Fractions visually demonstrates fractions using slices of different types of fruit. It shows that any shape, not just circles, can be divided into fractions as long as you cut it into equal sized pieces. The student is asked to answer a question by dragging and dropping fruit slices, numbers, fractions or symbols into the correct spot, then tapping a check box when they are done. If they get it correct they see a time for how long it took, and get a rating of 1-3 lightning bolts. If it is incorrect they see a hint and get to try again.
It starts off simply by showing how fractions are equal parts of a whole, demonstrating this by cutting a variety of colorful fruits into equal and unequal slices.
Next, it introduces how the top number of a fraction tells you how many pieces you have, then goes on to explain that this is the numerator. Short animated videos in the sidebar show how the numerator changes as you add more slices. The student then gets to practice choosing the right numerator for each picture.
Then the student goes on to learn that the denominator is the total number of parts that make a whole, and they practice finding both numerators and denominators.
The app starts out simply with only the right answers available, but as it goes on it gets more challenging with more choices and more details needing to be filled in by the student. By the end of the app they should be able to look at a picture showing a shape cut into equal segments with some parts missing and identify the correct fraction it shows, as well as create their own pictures to represent fractions and fill in missing numerators or denominators.
The graphics are bright and engaging and the fruit slices drip with juice as they are moved from the cutting board into the correct spot, when I was testing the app my 1st grader daughter was watching me and immediately wanted to try it out. She was able to do questions with it that she had not yet covered in school, which was great, but she really needed me to sit with her when using the app as her reading skills are not confident enough to use it independently. I would love to see a narration option added. My 4th grade son also tested the app out, he felt the graphics were appealing and the app well done, but he was already confident in all the material covered, so thought it suitable for a younger student or one at his grade who was struggling with fractions.The app does not have multiple student profiles, which would be really useful if you have more than one child working on it, I also could not find a way to re-set the progress without uninstalling the app, I’d love to see these added in a future update.
Overall, a bright, colorful engaging introduction to fractions.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).