Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Real Class App

So, if you've read our blog, you know that our favorite ways to use our classroom iPads and iPods is to blog (Kidblog) and complete assignments paperlessly (Edmodo). If you want to read more about it, click here to read the post.

For those out there who have iPods and want to add some apps, here's what I've loaded and why:

  • StoryCubes. Kids roll the dice by shaking the device and pictures come up on the cubes. These are writing prompts for students to write some interesting (and sometimes crazy!) stories.
  • Google Earth. I've said this before. It's just cool. My students have found more ways to use it than I ever did when I played with it over the summer. It's great for working in social studies. It is also useful in science if you are looking up certain geographical features.
  • Memory Match. This game looks silly and cutesy, but it requires kids to pay attention and hone their memory skills. It's wicked hard despite how babyish it looks.
  • Learn Sharks. I have a few kids who are OBSESSED with sharks. This teaches about all the different types of sharks in a flashcard format. It uses great photographs and has interesting information. This would be great to use for informational writing.
  • PBS Kids Player. It has lots of fun videos from PBS Kids like Sid the Science Kid, SuperWhy, etc. These would especially be great in early elementary grade classrooms.
  • Citizenship Test 2012. This fits in perfectly with 5th grade social studies standards, plus it's hard!
  • SparkleFish. Kids can use their voices to record words to put into stories. It's like an audio version of MadLibs with the kids' voices. It's a big hit with even my 5th graders!
  • Prose with Bros. This is for older kids. Students have to create a "poetic" username and password. There are lots of words on the screen and kids can arrange them to create poems with different tones. There are other poems that other users have created that students can vote on. This app reminds me of those word magnets I had on my fridge in college.
  • Doodle Buddy. The kids use this app in small groups to record their answers and their conversations so I don't have to waste sticky notes or index cards. Then they can just shake to erase and the next group is ready to write as well!
  • Edmodo. You HAVE to get Edmodo. It's awesome. That's all I'm going to say. The app is for use on mobile devices once you've set it up for your class on the computer.
  • Pioneer Lands. It's kind of like Oregon Trail, only it's not. Kids have to use critical thinking so that they can plan wisely to continue the game.
  • Cut the Rope. I love this game because in order to get all 3 stars, the kids REALLY have to plan ahead and strategize. This game requires a lot of critical thinking. I challenge the kids to keep redoing each level until they get all 3 stars.
  • Hubble Telescope. There are so many amazing images from space on this app! This is great for a space study or kids who are obsessed with the topic.
  • Idioms. This is a fun way for kids to learn idioms.
  • Scrabble Free. I love that the kids are challenged to create bigger words on this game.
  • Dinos. This is like the shark app, just with information about and pictures of dinosaurs. This one is also in flashcard format.
  • Wordsearch. Another fun word game.
  • BrainPop. If you have a BrainPop account, you can watch all their videos for free on your devices and even take the quizzes! If you don't have an account, select videos are free. Love it!
  • Jetpack. This is a fun game for math practice and language arts practice.
  • Pages. This app is expensive, but it's basically Word for the iPods and iPads. Kids can create documents as easily as they can on the computer with this app.
  • Financial Football. This is a great app for students who need to learn economics. Read my post on this app here.
  • NASA. This is a cool free app with lots of information about the planets and space! Great photos and a bunch of important information for your space study.
  • World History Maps. This app gives you just what it says. Great for social studies!
  • Weird Word of the Day. If you are obsessed with vocabulary and words like I am, this is fun. Also intended for older elementary students (or above).
  • Stellarium. This shows the constellations and other neat images.
  • Common Core Standards. This is great to have for quick reference, for both teacher and students. It makes the standards much easier to locate than trying to click on things online.
  • Dictionary. You can get the free one or the the full version. It's a great quick reference. (Be careful about how you set up your safety settings; this app is rated 17+! Read my tips on how to make your devices safer here.)
  • Classic Books. This has a lot of classics, for free.
  • History Books. This has a lot of historical books, for free.
  • Audiobooks (Free). This has several books available for listening.
  • Flashcardlet. This has several sets of flashcards already made, or kids can create their own. Great for studying.
  • Google Translate. I love this because sometimes in a book I'm reading, there will be a phrase in another language. I use context clues to figure it out (and I've modeled this for my students), but I do still think it's fun to find out the literal translation. If I like it, the kids will too. It's also good for English language learners who need to translate an academic word as they work.
  • Kindle. I've downloaded several kids classics for free for students to read on this app.
  • Video Star. We make videos in class, and this enables kids to make videos (for book reviews, of their poster presentations, or just discussing what they've learned) and add some fun effects to the videos.
  • Where's My Water? This is another thinking game that the kids enjoy.
  • Angry Birds. Another strategy game.
  • Songify. Kids can speak the content they've learned into the app, and it puts it into a fun rap or disco song! We love it.
Whew! That's a big list. Now, I don't teach math or science, but I'm sure there are TONS of apps out there for those as well.

I have also downloaded several leveled stories in reading. There are SEVERAL free ones out there. Let me know if you want me to give you specific titles.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and ask!


  1. I found your blog through TBA! Thanks for offering such great ideas!

    I wrote a post today about behavior management and created a link to your march madness post. I'm definitely feeling the senioritis! I hope you don't mind :o)

    1. Jen, I definitely don't mind! Spring has definitely sprung, hasn't it?! :) I need to go read your blog post!


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