Monday, July 14, 2014

Fantastic Free App for math, directions, and fun -- PBS Kids Fizzy's Lunch Lab: Fresh Pick -- plus printables to enhance the fun

Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick Not a night goes by where one of the kids doesn't utter the phrase "Can we get a new app?", and my stock answer is almost always: "Not tonight." However, when the girls presented me with an app about their beloved Fizzy's Lunch Lab, I took the bait, and I am so glad I did. Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick is FREE and has eight challenges for players to engage in.

If you would like to download Fizzy's Lunch Lab Fresh Pick (Free, iPad Only), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by clicking this link:


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The ultimate object of all eight challenges is to become one of Fizzy's Lunch Labbers. In some challenges, players will work on directional skills: right, left, up and down in challenges like Grocery Mapping, Neighborhood Mapping and even Pantry Hunt. The first two challenges require the navigator to drag directional arrows on the screen to get the hero from point A to point B. (The hero in these scenarios is one of Fizzy's Lunch Labbers delivering healthy food or navigating tricky grocery store aisles.) In Pantry Hunt, relative directions, such as next to and above are also used. These concepts are often very tricky for any learner and Fizzy makes them fun.

The challenges of Fizzy's Invention, Find Freddy and Food Matcher all require the future Lunch Labber to follow descriptive directions, presented both visually and orally, to find the correct answer. My girls giggle hysterically as they find Freddy in a scuba mask, and they don't even seem aware of the important skills they are mastering while playing. I truly think Food Matcher is the most complex challenge thrown at the player by Fizzy. Multiple clues are provided, and are given in both the positive and the negative, such as Bob likes bread and Sue doesn't like fruit. The future Lunch Labber must then choose the correct food and drag it to the matching consumer. This is certainly challenging, but thought provoking and triggers higher level thinking.

The final challenges of Customer Change and Buying Groceries ask the Future Lunch Labber to use math skills in a practical way. Customer Change asks the player to drag the correct coins to make the displayed amount of change. Buying Groceries gives the player an amount of money and asks them to drag the amount of money that totals the dollar amount. These skills are practical and transferable directly from the iPad screen to the outside world.

The girls have kept playing these challenges over and over again and have begun to make the connections to the outside world all by themselves. Little Miss M is engaged in meal planning and willing to go to the grocery store. This is huge because  it's currently school vacation and if we want to eat, Mom must navigate the store with three children in tow. Having the oldest excited and engaged about shopping, instead of wandering and knocking into glass bottle displays, is a big check in the win column! K-Bear is beginning to understand the value of money, and I can see her identifying coins and even trying to add them in her head. This is a big math unit in First Grade, where she starts in a few short weeks. All of this from a free app! Of course it's a free app from PBS Kids, so my sights were high, but I wasn't disappointed.

We tend get fixated on certain things in this house. Two weeks ago it was Scooby Doo, and currently it's Fizzy's Lunch Lab. There is even a link to some FREE Downloadable activities to enjoy in addition to this great app!

From iTunes:
ARE YOU THE NEXT LUNCH LABBER?
Professor Fizzy, star of the PBS KIDS web series, "Fizzy's Lunch Lab," is holding a competition to see who has what it take to be the next Lunch Labber! Think it's going to be easy cheesy? Well think again! Take on 8 exciting challenges that will put your math and problem solving skills to the test. If you can navigate your way through the grocery store, come up with right amount of change in the check-out line, and successfully serve food to a room full of hungry customers, you may just have what it takes to become the next member of the Lunch Lab!

CHALLENGE SPECIFICS
• For kids ages 6-8, and Lunch Lab fans of all ages
• From the 3-time Emmy Nominated PBS KIDS Web Series, Fizzy’s Lunch Lab
• Combines video narratives with interactive challenges
• Covers math topics such as deductive reasoning, mapping, sorting and classifying
• Has self-leveling games that make the challenge specific to each user
• Funded by a Ready to Learn Grant from the US Department of Education

THE LUNCH LAB
For more on Fizzy and the rest of the Lunch Labbers, visit pbskids.org/lunchlab

DISCLAIMER
The contents of this mobile game were developed under a cooperative agreement, #PRU295A100025, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


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Amanda's kitchen cannot live up to the excitement of Fizzy's Lunch Lab, but she does try!

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