Apps to Creatively Challenge your Student

As the middle of the school year approaches, it is time to think outside of the box in order to meet Common Core standards.

ELA- Foundational Skills:

These standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of the concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions of the English writing system. Instruction should be differentiated: good readers will need much less practice with these concepts than struggling readers will. The point is to teach students what they need to learn and not what they already know—to discern when particular children or activities warrant more or less attention.

Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Letter Quiz-learn ABCs (opens in new tab) $1.99 This app incorporates four ways for students to learn their letters - flashcard, letter identification (voice commands requesting a letter), matching upper and lower case letters, and alphabet tracing. There is also a free version to test the app. Letter Quiz Free (opens in new tab) goes to the letter H and does not include lower case letters.

Tracing ABC (opens in new tab) Free- This app offers a guided mode for tracing upper case, lower case, numbers and shapes. Tracing ABC (opens in new tab) Full version $1.99.

Grade 1
Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words

Montessori Crosswords (opens in new tab) $2.99 Three levels within the app- Simple words, Words with consonant blend and words of any complexity. In simple words you are first presented with a picture and then the number of letters. When you touch the first empty square it will make the phonetic sound. If the word is answered correctly stars shoot across the iPad. Word levels two and three can either be done as a single word or as a crossword.

Sentence Builder (opens in new tab) $5.99 Each student has his or her own stats recorded. The app has 3 levels of play. The app gives the user a picture and then asks the user to make a sentence about the picture. Level 1 - the student needs to choose the modifier and verb. Level 2- the student chooses the modifier, verb and adjective.

Grade 2
Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression.

k12 Timed Reading (opens in new tab)- $1.99 Need to check your students reading fluency? Here's the app. Add your students to the app, choose the appropriate reading level, and note the score once your student has completed the reading. This app is appropriate for grade K-4.

Phonics and Word Recognition

Spelling Hero (opens in new tab) $.99 Create your own spelling lists by grade. Record the word; add the meaning, etymology, origin and an example sentence. Each word is converted into a flashcard with the word and sound on one side and the definition and sentence on the other side.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.