April 19, 2014

10 Awesome Apps for the Primary Grades!

1. Letter School
This app is a wonderful way for young students and kinesthetic learners to practice letter names, sounds, and writing!  Students can select a letter, or even a number, and it plays a brief  "song" introducing the letter and the sound it makes.  Then it shows a graphic with that beginning sound.  If you click on the number, it says what number it is.  Then it shows that amount of a certain graphic.  This app gives the opportunity to trace each letter or number.  Each one has something different.  For example, you can trace it with your finger, and it shows railroad tracks as you trace it.  When you're done tracing it, a train will appear going in the same direction as how you traced it.  It also has many other things such as grass, flowers, lights, and much more!  This app shows the correct way to form letters and numbers, and even gives the opportunity to practice without a model.  You can download the free version which gives you access to numbers 1-5 and letters a-e.  If you pay $2.99, you get all letters a-z (upper and lowercase), and numbers 1-10!  It is definitely worth the money if you have young students that need practice in this area!
2. Patterns (EdNinja)
This completely FREE app is the perfect way to practice patterns!  They start out easy, and they increase in difficulty.  I LOVE the fact that you can create an account for each student.  You can even take a pic of your students, and it shows up on the home screen.  They just tap their picture and it signs them in.  All their progress is saved. 
3. SparkleFish
This FREE app is a fun way for students to practice parts of speech.  It's basically like a MAD LIBS app, except you speak into the iPad and it puts it into a story.  The students can select a topic for the story.  Then it asks you to say a noun, verb, adjective, etc.  It plugs the students' responses into the story.  My students love hearing their own voice on there. 
4. Chatter Pix
This is another great freebie app where students can record their voices.  Students can select a pic from the gallery or take their own.  Then they create a "mouth" on the object and can record their own voice.  You can save the videos when they are done.  This is a great way to practice oral story telling.  You can also use this app in the classroom by taking your own pictures and recording your own voice.  Students can provide a written response to what you've said or asked, or they can even write a continuation of the story you recorded.  You can even just have them write down what you said to build on writing skills.  There are so many possibilities with this app!
5. Sight Words
This app helps your students learn the sight words from the preprimer - 3rd grade sight word lists!  It's like a flash card, where it shows the word on the screen.  The students can tap the screen and it says the word, so students can see how it is pronounced or to check if they say it correctly.  You
 even have the option of turning the sound off, if you don't want your students to use that feature.  You also have the option of changing the font and colors, and you can also create specific lists for individual students!  This is also a FREE app. :)
6. Whole Wide World
This fun app is a great way for your students to explore the world!  Students can tap any of the countries listed, and learn about different facts from that part of the world!  The students must earn stamps (and even a postcard) to learn new information about a country.  They can do this by playing the games.  The games do have items in it that represent that specific country, so they do help with recognizing different objects/animals/people they will see in those countries.  This app is great for a 5 minute mini lesson before or after a class to help teach global awareness.  I like to have my students play this for about 5 minutes (enough time for them to beat a level and learn a new fact).  Check it out and see how you can use it in your class!
7. Bugsy K Learn
This adorable FREE app lets students practice letter recognition, letter sounds, beginning/middle/ending sounds, and word recognition!  The space theme is fun, and after completed 4 activities (4 stars), the students can earn a "toy".  The toy gets placed in the app's home screen (Bugsy on the moon with a rocket ship).  They can "play" with the toys by poking them, and they do a little trick.  My students LOVE earning new toys.
8. Splash Math
Splash Math has different apps for each grade level K-5.  Students can have their own login.  There is a free version and a paid version.  The free version limits you to 20 questions per day.  We use the free version; I haven't paid for the full version.  This app is engaging and uses lots of visuals!
9. Chicktionary
This fun app allows your students to make words using the letters provided.  It's a great way to practice phonics and word building.  The app is free, but once you complete a level, you need to pay for additional levels.  This is another favorite of my students!
10. Gazzili
Gazzili has all different apps.  You can download a free version of Gazzili Words, which teaches
about finger prints, balance, and rainbows.  You can buy additional categories for $0.99.  That app is good for pre-k and k, but there is also a math app, shapes, puzzles, and science.  They are different prices, but they are very engaging.  They are colorful and perfect for very low or very young students!
Some other great apps we use are Paint Sparkles, HookedPhonics, ABC Mouse (free letter music videos), Literacy! (Learn with Boing), Hungry Fish, Math!, Addition!, Shapes, Sorting 3, WH Questions, and Play 123.
One more app I want to tell you about (if you don't know it already) is the Common Core app.  It's soooo helpful when lesson planning.  This app gives easy access to all the common core standards at your fingertips, instead of flipping through pages of hard copies.  You just click on the subject area and grade level and it all the standards come up.
Hope you enjoy these apps as much as my kiddos do!  What are some of your favorite apps to use?

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