Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Great Apps For iPad

In my session at Summer Academy this week I'm teaching others the basics of how to use iPads effectively in their classrooms in a variety of ways. I'd like to share a few ideas with you and offer some suggestions for apps I really like!!

1) Make digital class or student books- I found My Storybook Maker recently and fell in love with the ease of use of it. It's totally kid friendly and allows students to easily manipulate a template and insert photos, clip art (the library of clip art is great), and text. There is also a feature where students can record themselves reading the story so it will play back when they publish and read it. If that's not enough to make you love it you can even e-mail it to yourself or parents and have an amazing student work sample to show writing progression. It also covers almost every technology standard for early grades. It's $3.99 but worth the money.
2) Use for student assessment- Have you heard of Evernote? If not, you need to know about it. Evernote is an amazing way for you to take anecdotal notes of students and insert photos, videos or audio and save in a digital portfolio. It is a free app and is one of the top rated apps in the education world. I still don't even know everything this app is capable of but found a great free tutorial on Pinterest. You can capture it here.
3) Use it to take running records- Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how excited I am about this next app. If you're using Fountas and Pinnell for balanced literacy and assessments I am so happy to tell you that they are releasing their running records app in August. You will be able to take running records on your iPad, e-mail them to your computer and save them in student folders so that you only have to print the one you need. Are you half as excited as I am about this???? As far as I know it will be $14.99 but will be well worth the money. Cannot wait for this one.
4) Use it for individual student work. That one's kind of a no brainer, I think, but here are some good apps I like for student skill practice.
Great Apps For Skill Practice
Montessori Crossword- It's a great app for students to practice phoneme segmentation or focus on spelling words using particular sounds/blends/diagraphs/vowel patterns. Love it. If you use RTI with your students it aligns very well with the skills used in the program. It's visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic so you've got all your students covered. You will not be disappointed with this $1.99 app.
Ten Frame Fill- Can I just say, "Wow"? This app is so aligned with Common Core that it's scary. Students practice making groups of 10 using a tens frame. You can set the parameters so that the frame is filled in in sequential order or in a random pattern. Students can either count the empty spaces to figure out or they can use the chips that are on the board to physically fill it in. There's also a feature that allows you to show the number sentence in 6 different ways to model addition AND subtraction. It's great and one you absolutely need on your iPad.

This post is super long so I'll stop there for today. I'll post an update later this week with more recommendations for apps and technology tips! Have fun playing with these! Got an app you love? Share it in the comments.

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