I work with first grade students and there are many that help to develop letter knowledge, sight words, and other literacy skills. Here are a few that I am eager to use with my students.
1. Dr. Seuss books
2. ABC Pocket Phonics
3. ABC Magnetic Letters
5. Alphabet Tracing
Can you share what makes these literacy apps great from your view as a teacher. We are building an index of apps that have been mentioned in this group and we'd love to hear more about them from you or others who have used them!
Thanks for sharing!
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The Dr. Sues books are great because they have a couple different modes. The students can read the stories themselves or have the story read to them. They can also tap anywhere on the screen and the word describing that object will appear and be spoken.
The magnetic letters are great because the students can drag them to create words. They can manipulate letters and words.
Chalkboard is great for small group instruction. It can be used as a mini whiteboard for writing words and ideas for the topics being taught.
Intro to letters is a great app for tracing letters. You can chose from individual letters or blends. Students practice hearing the sounds and tracing the letters.
I hope this helps!
Here are some great Math apps - mostly for middle/high school grade levels...
Always interested in hearing about more!
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Great app Kelly! Another great Astronomy app to try is "Goskywatch." The iPad only version is free. The universal app that runs on the iPhone and iPod touch is $3.99. I've used the iPad version out in the field during star gazing events hosted by our local astronomy club. It is an awesome tool. Kids love it as well. It allows you to view the sky in real time and uses the compass to align with your current position. You can literally hold it up to the sky and identify what you are looking at including planets, stars, constellations, messier objects and more. IMHO a must have for astronomy.
Have you looked at the Faulkes Telescope Project at http://www.faulkes-telescope.com/ ? It is a free site and uses stellarium
I had not...thank you for the tip! From the number of astronomy buffs here I feel like we need to trade tips on stargazing!
And I happen to know that we will soon have a Science group starting on the community, supported by our friends over at ScienceNetLinks. I'll post here when it opens up.
Hi all—just making good on my promise...Science NetLinks has created a group with the the community called All About Science. Head on over there for more conversation on weather, gardens, bugs, and all things science!
Stellarium is used for planning observations. You can set the coordinates to the location of a telescope and the time so the observation, the observation itself can be simulated. Stellarium will let you determine whether an object is visible from that telescope at that time and whether it is sufficiently high over the horizon for making the observation. You can get more information at the Falulkes Telescope site
This one isn't an app, but an awesome website that can be used on tablets, desktops, and mobile devices is Piclits. This site is awesome for elementary students to apply and practice sentence construction, word choice, poetry, and for older students to create descriptive sentences and poetry that supports a picture background of their choice from the 1000's in their gallary. The best part of this site is that you can create a FREE account and then share the students authored pictures on website by sharing a link or embedding. There is also comment sections for feedback so there can be collaboration. It is awesome!
One of our favorites is a Periodic Table by EMD PTE (EMD Chemicals). It is an interactive periodic table - it is a fun way to learn about the elements.
Has anyone used Videolicious--a free iOS app for creating videos? The concept behind Videolicious is similar to that used by services like Animoto. You can mix together images, video clips, music, and your voice to create a short video using Videolicious on your iPhone or iPad.
For schools using iPads, Videolicious might be a good app for creating and narrating short videos on different subjects.
What do you think of this free app?
We are incorporating iPads in our school system, especially in the elementary grades with special needs students. It is amazing to see the students using these in the classroom. I had not heard of Videolicious; however, I have used Animoto. I plan to check this resource out and share with my colleagues using iPad, or better yet, I'll invite them to join Thinkfinity and find all these great resources and more.
Math Bingo is a really fun way to practice math facts (1-5). Number line involves higher level thinking by having the students place whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and percents in order on the number line (apprx. 3-7 grades). iLiveMath comes in several versions ($4.99). It consists of math word problems that integrate science. There are 3 levels in each. I purchases the iLiveMath Oceans (word problems about everything dealing with ocean life) and iLiveMath Entomology (insects). The iLiveMath apps are one of the few apps that work on a Smart Board. You have to buy the correct cable. A good history app is This Day in History. It gives historical facts/events for everyday of the year.
I know I'm very late to this discussion, but I've got to add Puppet Pals HD (with the director's pass) and Book Creator to this list. Neither is specifc to a subject area, but both can be used for any subject matter. They are excellent creation tools and presentation devices.
Puppet Pals allows users to bring backgrounds (either those that come with the app or photos on the iPad's camera roll) and "puppets" (again, either those that come with the app or those from the camera roll) together to create a "puppet show" that can be recorded, sent to others, saved to the camera roll and transferred to a computer, etc. I have seen students get very excited about using their "puppets" to present information they've learned to a wider audience.
Book Creator lets your students become eBook (using iBook) authors! They can add text and images to pages in their book, formatting them to their liking. When a book is finished, it can be sent to iBooks on the iPad, or if it's part of an iPad cart in a school, synced to iTunes and transferred to all the iPads on the cart. I just had third graders complete books about the continents, and they are all now on all iPads on the cart. What a great resource for other students to now use those books if they are needing information on the continents. I've actually used my hand-held scanner to get jpeg images of some pages to put into Book Creator. It was so much easier than having a student retype the information! I'm working with a first grade teacher that wants to create iBooks with her students' actual handwritten pages--again, I'll just scan the pages as jpegs and we'll pop them right in to Book Creator! The developer said voice narration should be added soon, too, so students can then create audiobooks!
Thanks for the great suggestions. I recently ran across PuppetPals and was really impressed with the app. Even I enjoyed creating my own puppet show! Does the director's pass give additional characters and background? Have you had students use their own images? I'd like to hear how you think that works compared to using the built in characters.
The Director's Pass does give many more characters and backgrounds, but most importanly, it allows the user to use their own pictures on the camera roll to create characters and backgrounds. It is super easy to "cut" the characters out with your fingertip. Students figure out quickly that if they pose for a picture correctly, it makes their puppet even better for the show. I do recommend taking your photos with the iPad's camera app instead of directly in Puppet Pals. In addition to using people around the school for characters, students can also photograph props to cut out and use in their shows. (I believe you are limited to eight characters and five scenes per show.) The included characters in the director's pass include subjects like Christmas, entertainers, creatures, fairy tales, farm, pirates, thanksgiving, space, and wild west. You choose which subjects to install.
I think the students really like using/finding their own characters compared to using the built in characters. Some ways I imagine students using this app are to tell the history of their town or important people in the town's past, creating mini biographies on explorers, presidents, inventors, etc., or retelling stories they've read.
I hope this helps! Sarah
Virginia first launched a Mobile Learning Apps Development Challenge for mathematics in 2009. These winning apps are available for free download from the Apple Apps Store:
In 2010, Virginia issued a challenge for companies to develop apps for social studies. These winning apps also are available for free download from the Apple Apps Store:
Pass the Past
What do you think of these apps for math and social studies?
For emerging readers, I love all of Sandra Boynton's book apps. The Going to Bed Book is an absolute favorite! Extremely clever interactions, read alongs, and individual words are clickable. My 4.5 year old son actually chooses these book apps over games!
The apps listed below are all free and available in the Apple App Store for downloading. They are part of Virginia's Learning Without Boundaries--an initiative from the Virginia Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology that incorporates wireless mobile handheld technology into teaching and learning. Anyone is welcome to use these apps for learning.
|Aesop's Quest||Apples in Hour Hands||Beyond Textbooks 2010:|
American History Games
|Beyond Textbooks 2010:|
American History Test Prep
|Beyond Textbooks 2010:|
World History Games
|Beyond Textbooks 2010:|
World History Test Prep
|Brain Flash||C2C! (Coast to Coast)||Cell Defender|
|Computer Carl||Disaster Chasers||Early Jamestown|
|Egberta's Equations||Energy Footprint||Equation Creator|
The Age of Discovery
|Factor Race||Fraction Factory|
|Freddy Fraction||Governomics||Grammar Dragon|
|History Line||iCatch Squares||Master the Math|
|Math Stacker||Nation Creation||Number Line|
|Opposite Ocean||Opposite Ocean Part II||Pass the Past|
|Portion Platter||Professor Garfield:|
Fact or Opinion
Forms of Media
|Same Meaning Magic|
|Same Meaning Magic Part II||Same Sound Spell Bound||Spelling Cat|
|Sticker Shop||Student's Friend:|
What do you think of these apps? Which ones are you using in your classroom?
Thanks for these biology app ideas! I will have to look further into these, and also how to use the phet simulations on the iPad - I got a little lost trying that one. I have found a lot of flash cards/definitions and a few good anatomy apps (Skeletal Head & Neck Pro III and 3D Brain), but nothing for cell energetics or ecology and nothing that I would consider to be a "game". Here are some website "games" that I currently use that I was hoping to find "app" versions of:
Thanks again for your ideas!
I teach middle school in Scottsdale, AZ and we are highly into BYOT = Bring your own technology to school.
My middle school computer group has composed a list of Sites to use w/ Mobile Phones in Education
I thought you may all like to take a look at these sites. I was surprised that Poll Everywhere http://www.polleverywhere.com didn’t make the list. I’ve been using it quite often in my classes. - A great site w/ mobile apps for all platforms, for recording one's voice and then embedding it into a site/blog. - Is an instant mobile network for connecting people and tracking topics. Also, a great way to manage cell phones from a web environment. - CP takes the classroom "clicker" to the next level through the use of text messaging, polling, Q/A, and the ability to update students/parents at any time. A safe and simple way to text students. This is a great way to send class reminders, updates, and allow for parents to receive texts too. - A great site for free group texting. A user can send texts, files, photos, and more. - This is a great site to engage parents for free w/ SS messenger. Also, a user can send class wide updates by text message or email straight from their phone. - A great way to study online flashcards, quizzes, or study guides. Also, there is a free mobile app for SB for all platforms. - A great way to study on a cell phone through text messaging and SMS. - A innovative site for teaching and learning through text messaging. Everything associated w/ this site such as signing up for a class is all done through the use of texting. The good news is that the number of classroom-ready m-learning sites continues to grow! Kingston
I thought you may all like to take a look at these sites. I was surprised that
Poll Everywhere http://www.polleverywhere.com didn’t make the list. I’ve been
using it quite often in my classes.
- A great site w/ mobile apps for all platforms, for recording one's voice and then embedding it into a site/blog.
- Is an instant mobile network for connecting people and tracking topics. Also,
a great way to manage cell phones from a web environment.
- CP takes the classroom "clicker" to the next level through the use of text messaging, polling, Q/A, and the ability to update students/parents at any time.
A safe and simple way to text students. This is a great way to send class reminders, updates, and allow for parents to receive texts too.
- A great site for free group texting. A user can send texts, files, photos,
- This is a great site to engage parents for free w/ SS messenger. Also, a user can send class wide updates by text message or email straight from their phone.
- A great way to study online flashcards, quizzes, or study guides. Also, there is a free mobile app for SB for all platforms.
- A great way to study on a cell phone through text messaging and SMS.
- A innovative site for teaching and learning through text messaging. Everything associated w/ this site such as signing up for a class is all done through the use of texting.
The good news is that the number of classroom-ready m-learning sites continues to grow!
Hi Marcia, I thought this would satisfy some classroom teacher's concerns: The district's "Campus Technology Access" handbook states: "The classroom teacher has the final say. If a classroom teacher asks students not to use their technology devices, then students should follow those directions. Access is only available, not guaranteed, for each classroom situation."
Teachers, have you seen Nearpod, an app designed for creating and delivering lessons on iPads? It is a free app that teachers can use to create quizzes, polls, and multimedia presentations. If students have Nearpod installed on their iPads, they can respond to the teacher-created materials. Then teachers can view students' responses individually or as a whole class. This is a good method for customizing lessons for specific students.
The video below provides an overview of Nearpod.
What do you think about its potential as a classroom tool?
Richard Byrne is featuring 93 Android Apps for Teachers to Try This Summer in one of his blog posts on the site Free Technology for Teachers. He explains that he has divided the list into sections for pre-K, elementary school, middle school, high school, and apps for all.
Byrne added that some of the apps could have been put into one than more category so if you teach middle school you'll want to look at the elementary school and high school categories for apps that your students could probably use too.
Do you see apps in his list that you are using or plan to use? Why do you think these apps will work well with your students?
Common Sense Media has released their 2014 top choices for educational apps and games for children ages 2 to 17. Check out Discover Fun and Educational Apps and Games.
Best toddler apps (14)
Best reading games (20)
Best math apps (18)
Best history games (45)
Best science apps (26)
Best arts apps (18)
Which ones do you think you will use with your students in the classroom?