Wednesday, May 7, 2014

12 iPad Apps You Should Consistently Use in Your Class Next Year

As I near finished my first year having 1 to 1 iPads with my 5th graders, here are twelve resources my class will be using regularly next year.

1.  Kahoot!  My students beg for us to play this app / game.  I use it to review every grammar concept, Social Studies chapter, and more.  Read about more reasons you should play here.  Also, this is technically not an app.  You can use this resource from any web browser!

2.  Subtext (through Edmodo):  This app is great for close reading.  You can create discussions, polls, and multiple-choice questions within text that students read.  Use it with Edmodo, and students sign in using their Edmodo accounts and it's very easy for the teacher to share specific texts with different classes they have set up.  Click here to view a tutorial by the creators of Subtext.

3.  Vocabulary Spelling City - I have my students take their spelling tests on this every week.  There are also some practice activities you can use.  I have parents that rave about how much they love this website/app, as students use it to study for their words all week!

4.  Front Row Math - This is a Common Core aligned app that automatically places students at their ability level following a pretest.  Students enjoy using the app, especially the pig with the top hat that throws coins every time they get a problem correct.  (It takes about 1 minute to set up your class here.)

5.  Audioboo - My students use this app every day for their daily podcasting show.  You can read about and listen to their 200th episode here.  However, you don't need a full podcasting studio for this app.  Students can easily create audio posts by simply pressing record, as their recording immediately is published to the web.  This could be perfect for fluency activities and more!

6.  Aurasma - This is my favorite augmented reality app because students can actually create their own augmented reality.  Read about how to set up your own augmented reality word wall here.  Other augmented reality apps you should look up in the app store include Daqri, Blippar, Toyota 86, Colar Art, and Space Craft 3D.

7.  Decide Now! app - This paid app is a spin wheel that people can use to decide what tasks to complete.  However, I have my students use this to keep track of their vocabulary words.  You can read about that here.

8.  Explain Everything - This is my favorite screencasting app on the iPad.  It has more options than the very simple, but similar app, Educreations.  However, my students have not had a problem learning their way around this app to make very creative screencasts.

9.  Three Ring - This free app and website is very simple for setting up digital student portfolios.  Even with one iPad, a teacher can easily document student progress with text, pictures, and videos.

10.  Kid Blog (the website, not the app) - In the past couple of months, my students have really taken to blogging.  Kid Blog has been a great site for this.  Teachers can easily approve posts and comments that students submit.  Students love reading comments from their classmates, but it's even more powerful when they occasionally get comments from worldwide readers of their blogs.  You can read our blog, Hagedornia, just make sure you leave a comment!

11.  Pic Collage - This free app is the go-to app for my students when creating anything with both text and pictures.  In fact, this week I'm having my students write Career Day thank you notes, as well as a Top Ten list document for Mother's Day.

12.  Notability - I have barely used this app, but all I've ever heard about it is that it's the best note-taking app out there.  Even better news is that it's free this week only, until Thursday (5-8-14).  Get it free while you can, I'm glad I did!

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