Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Screen Chomp recordable whiteboard app

A new app is out today that is fun and could be a powerful tool for teachers. Screen Chomp for iPad is a recordable whiteboard (in a previous post I mentioned ShowMe a similar app). Screen Chomp is more intuitive- my 7 yr old was recording a birthday greeting in moments for his uncle.

Use it for assessments, send home homework and instructions to a sick student, record your lesson and play it on the board while you circulate and help students.
As of today it was free, so go get it!

click here >>> for a Screen Chomp recording of me playing with it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Videos of Apps in use by A4CWSN

An amazing resource for when you want to see more than a few screen shots before buying an app.  By my count there are about 300 reviews on here.  http://a4cwsn.com/apps/apps-a-z/  Be sure to check out A4CWSN on Facebook too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Teaching Tools: Spinners and Dice

Teaching tools: spinners and dice
Decide Now! is great!
I spend way too much time making, finding, and passing out homemade spinners and dice... I use them for reading, writing, and math primarily.  So I have been looking for an app that could replace all of those homemade spinners, and dice I have in my room. They are handy for word games, math games, and writing practice, but finding the right ones at the right time, storing, and making new ones is a pain.  I do it frequently as the words/numbers/shapes... kids are working on changes frequently. 

One game is to spin, say and write the word, continue doing that until one word wins. I give the kids a piece of graph paper with the words across the bottom. They can play as a group or individually (great for differentiation). For numbers, kids roll or spin then name and write the number, again on graph paper. Or, have them spin/roll and then circle the word in a reader, magazine, newspaper, or on the board.For easy bingo games, have kids choose numbers or words from the spinner and write them anywhere on their bingo cards. Then choose a kid to be the spinner/caller.
With the Decide Now! app, you can input up to 22 words and have them visible as they spin. I added up to 35, it probably could go higher- and the spinner shows the color, but not the word while it spins. It does display it on the top when it stops spinning. I've been using the spinner on my Mimio IWB, but Decide Now! Is so much easier, and, can be easily used for differentiating learning. Try out the lite version for free or purchase the full app if you like it. I tested the full app when its price was reduced to free... I would recommend it to any teacher who makes their own dice and spinners.
Another app to try is Make Dice Lite, I believe the full version is $.99, but I can't recommend either version wholeheartedly... The lite version has ads and isn't as customizable as it could be, specifically I would want to delete their pre made dice. I have not bought the full version. I would use the Decide Now! app over Make Dice Lite unquestionably.
For various games you might try Game Tools. It does have ads, but on my class iPads I usually have the Internet off or web sense requires a login and I don't log it in, so the adds don't show. It lets you pick up to 6 dice, use a timer, keep track of score, and has a beeeep for when time is up.

I found a dice app yesterday, Decision Dice, that while a little buggy, is simple enough that it could be great for dice activities. You can edit the words on up to 2 dice. I would like to see them add dots too, and to be able to save your word lists. Hopefully the bugs will be worked out soon, if so, I'll be using this for my roll the word games.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Free Fun and Useful Apps

Songify, Magic Numbers, Sand Box, ChorePad
Songify is a simple, fun app that allows you to record yourself (or students) speaking and then transforms the speech into a song. There are three styles that are free, and then more you can purchase. What a great way to practice your elocution skills.
Magic Numbers is plain and simply a fun parlor trick... but it sure is fun to stump my husband and sons. Also, it makes you work on your addition skills!
Sandbox also has a lite version, is literally a digital sandbox... with fun tools for a zen like experience on your iPad.
Chore pad can replace your chore charts, tokens, etc. There is a lite version to try for free, and the full version (keep in mind it is a separate download, so don't enter too many chores in the lite version, you'll have to do it all over again if you opt for the full version) you can add multiple children.

Friday, July 8, 2011

These are a few of my most recent apps...

I have been lazy, busy, unconnected (while in Alaska) lately... but I have still managed to find some new apps.

First,  my current favorite app finder app is App Hits

For those who like grasshopperapps be sure to check out alligatorapps- both developer pages offer several good, customizable FREE apps.  This is one I check out at least twice a week as they usually offer their new apps for free the first couple of days after release.

Great whiteboard apps:  
ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard lets you record your drawings and audio and replay or upload. 
Sketchio  Sketchio is a very basic whiteboard app (NO adds or overwhelming choices) that allows you to "turn the page" and go back,  Great replacement for whiteboards, and it's FREE.  LOVE IT
iDoodle100 idoodle gets on my like list because I love the magnetic boards it resembles.  The only drawback is a reent update added sounds!

Remember, the whiteboard apps are useful instead of smelly markers... paper, etc.  It is also motivation for spelling word practice, math facts, etc.  Sketchio is my favorite basic whiteboard app for class use.  I have several apps like these in my "digital ink" folder.

Decent but not amazing, however, free is still free...
Ladybug addition, subtraction and counting
Gingham Games
Chisenbop (a cool way to count up to 99 using fingers)
Magic Numbers HD (fun guess my number trick, but has kids use addition skills)

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