My Backpack is an educational suite from Waterford, a non profit research center. The app features e-books, math games, sing-a-longs, and nursery rhymes, although My Backpack’s primary feature is its assortment of e-books which retell many popular fables and folktales, from the Gingerbread Man to the Three Little Pigs. With 16 titles to choose from, users can return to the app week after week, and always find something new. Users are allowed to read each story on their own — where they can click on words they can’t pronounce or understand, or they can have the story read to them over a music score in “cinematic mode.” The text highlighting feature also appears in the nursery rhyme section, for users who want a lighter read. Since most of the content in My Backpack is geared toward younger language learners we recommend it to children between 3 and 7.
Reading silently or aloud is a skill that requires attention to detail and commitment. Think of reading an story from front to back like setting a goal. Finishing the book or short story is the goal. Users should take small steps in order to complete that goal. Taking things one or two chapters at a time helps users develop strong goal directed persistence skills -- a key part of the focus thinking skill. Users engage their focus thinking still as they read, interpret, and pace themselves in a way that makes them most efficient. It might be useful for users to try and read just a couple e-books per week. This will keep them from being overwhelmed by the app's library, while still allowing them to engage with the interactive texts.
Reading and mathematics are perfect subjects for strengthening the working memory. Because both reading and math mandate the use of prior knowledge users are constantly engaging with and building upon what they already know. All of My Backpack's books feature a text highlighting tool, helping users to follow along and commit new words and phrases to memory as they go. The 5 different nursery rhyme read alongs and 35 original songs are particular good for exercises that directly target the working memory.
While My Backpack's mathematics section is fairly light, boasting only four mental math-type games, the app is still a solid resource for bolstering and reinforces simple arithmetic skills. Despite having only four games, users have the ability to track their progress as they progress through each of the many levels native to each mini-game. The games help users practice essential early-level mental math strategies. And with a learning curve that is very surmountable for all types of learners, users can stay a few steps ahead of their peers when they enter Kindergarten or First Grade.
With a text highlighting feature, a number of reading selections, narration, and playful images, My Backpack helps reinvigorate reading for a new generation. The app helps users develop skills in phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and basic critical reading strategies. As a reading app for young children, My Backpack stands out as one of the best.
All membership plans come with full access to our entire suite of tools learning guides, and resources. Here are a few of the ones we think you’ll like the most: