Monday, August 8, 2011

Best Apps for Kindergarten and the Teacher

Note, I will update when I find more apps that are worth paying for.  Check back for the updated list.  I will post a best of the free apps list with links and descriptions later as I load them on my class iPads.

There are so many wonderful free apps (THANK YOU DEVELOPERS- you are helping to change the future of so may children through putting quality learning activities in their hands!) that choosing the ones to pay for is difficult.  My classroom budget has been cut the last few years and my family budget is going to be taking a big hit this year too.  So, I do not take choosing which apps to pay for a class set of lightly.

My criteria: Needs to meet my definition of a Teaching Tool.
*Teaching tools should improve traditional learning activities by:
1.)  saving time.
2.)  allowing for differentiation to meet each child's learning needs.
3.)  motivating reluctant learners.
4.)  make learning fun.
+Ease of use. Ie. Intuitive
+low price (even with VPP it adds up so quickly!)
+teaches and/or reinforces
-lite versions, or in app purchase versions
-obnoxious noises, and even worse 'wrong' buzzers
-expensive... Even with 1/2 off via VPP a set of 24 apps still adds up, quickly.
-Complex menus...
-tells their answer was wrong, but the correct answer is not shown

Recommended paid apps for Student iPads:
MATH
Montessori 100 board
Well thought out 100 board, students can place tiles in order counting by 1's, and by 2's odd or even.   They have a new app out too apparently that has skip counting by 2's-10's that I haven't tried.
Park Math
I love the varied activities and three levels of difficulty.

LITERACY
Word wizard
WOW!  A moveable alphabet that reads what the child (or adult, as I have fun with it too!) writes.  It highlights words that are misspelled or spelled correctly.  You can also do spelling quizzes.  I need to try the full version, I have only used the beta so far but it was amazing.
Pocket phonics
I really like the format, and combination of letter writing and sound pronunciation.  The word games are great phonics practice too.
Montessori crosswords
By the same maker of Word Wizard.  Simple crossword puzzles and a movable alphabet I've used for making words lessons. Has three levels of difficulty and great scaffolding support.



MULTI-SUBJECT
Teach me K, or maybe Teach Me: 1st
for a measly $.99 this is a powerhouse app.  Works on phonics, math skills, sight words, etc.  Best of all it actually teaches and provides support if the child doesn't answer correctly.

Recommended paid apps for Teacher iPad:
Stick Pick 
Throw away your Popsicle sticks!  Pick a student randomly.  Gives ideas of questions to ask and allows you to evaluate and track student answers.
Decide Now!
Make your own spinners
iplanlessons
no more paper planners... use this instead
Creative Genius
fun fun ideas to spark discussions and creative activities
ABC It!
I would like to put this on student iPads (I would if it was free!) but plan on just having it on mine for now.  Has a neat way of presenting ABCs for letter names, sign language and letter sounds.
Dexteria
I may pay for a class set of this, after I test it with students.   You should definitely have a copy for your students who need fine motor practice.
Whiteboard
by Splashtop Lets you control your computer from your iPad and use it as an interactive whiteboard.  You still need a projector but you don't need a $1000 whiteboard anymore.


9 comments:

  1. Hi!
    Thank you for posting your favorite iPad picks and selecting my app "Stick Pick" as one of your picks! I, too, use it in my own sixth grade classroom every day. Good luck with your blogging efforts and sharing your journey with all of us.

    -Buzz Garwood
    Stick Pick

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  2. Thank you so much! These are great!

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  3. Great list! You might also like our Felt Board app for the iPad. It is designed for creative play as well as learning.
    Mindy
    Software Smoothie

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  4. Thanks for the list! I'm a new homeschooling mom so I love to find new apps to use!

    Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

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  5. You're welcome! And the FeltBoard app is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry but what does VPP stand for? I'm new to your blog.

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  7. Pre School is one of the best choice we have made for them as they love going to school. pre school education

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  8. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    ReplyDelete

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