Common Core Apps for Special Needs Students, Part One

Here are a variety of apps to meet all of the first grade standards, as well as other grades.

Reading Literature and Reading for Information

Reading Literature

Key Ideas and Details
RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Explain Everything $2.99 This is a presentation app. Students can make 5 slides using audio and illustrations to answer the 5 w's or specific questions the teacher has prepared.

RL.1.2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
My Story Book $1.99 Perfect app to have students retell the story by creating their own storybook. Students can add pictures and recordings. Students are their own author and illustrator.

RL.1.3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Popplet $4.99 A graphic organizer.

Craft and Structure

RL.1.4. Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Feel Electric FREE This app has three components- my stuff, my games and my life. Each area has students identifying their emotions. My life has one component called mood tales. Students read and write stories dealing with their moods. The app also introduces students to a wide variety of emotional vocabulary words with wonderful explanations.

RL.1.5. Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
MeeGenius FREE- additional books $2.99 Ebooks for young children. The app comes with 6 free books. Books state author and illustrator. Students can choose to read books by themselves or have it read to them. The book is read highlighting the word being read. The free books include Pinocchio, Rapunzel, Ready Get Set Race, Field Mouse and the Town Mouse, Mary had a Little Lamb and When Pigs Fly.

RL.1.6. Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Mee Genius FREE Teachers can read this story out loud and ask who is telling the story.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Mee Genius FREE The books are full of illustrations. Teachers can use Inspiration Maps Lite FREE (allows you up to 5 diagrams) or Popplet to organize characters, setting or events.

RL.1.9. Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Inspiration Maps Lite FREE- Full Version $14.99 This app is a graphic organizer app that parallels the web-based Inspiration software. The full version of the app contains 29 templates. The free version only allows up to five diagrams.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.1.10. With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.
If Poems
$4.99 Nicely broken down by ages. Many of the poems can be listened to or read independently. The app contains 12 categories, allowing teachers to choose poems based upon theme. Poems also include a biography about the poet. Students can also record themselves either reading the given poem or making up their own. Students who may be visually impaired can also increase the font size or use the audio component.

Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details- Matching to RI.1.1, RI1.2, and RI1.3.

RI.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
1st Fiction $2.99 This app contains 20 stories about children's daily life. Each story is about one paragraph on a first/second grade level. Upon completion of the story students have 10 multiple choice questions to answer. Questions include: What is this story about?, "Wh" questions, main idea, etc. Matching to RI.1.1, RI1.2, and RI1.3.

RI.1.2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. 1st Fiction
RI.1.3. Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Craft and Structure
RI.1.4. Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
Wordweb Audio Dictionary $3.99 A dictionary that offers 70,000 audio pronunciations. The app includes settings to turn on or off synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, similar words, etc. For visually impaired there is the ability to change font size. Most important, it has a block option for vulgar and offensive words.

RI.1.6. Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
Tumblebooks to go- Munsch-6-pack $5.99 Similar to the TumbleBooks website, this is one of a few six-pack tumblebook apps. Books are read to the student. Illustrations are animated that will align with this standard. The audio uses a human voice with appropriate inflections, making the story enjoyable for grade K-3.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
Inspiration Maps Using a graphic organizer for each of these points helps students visualize comprehend RI.1.7,RI1.8,RI.1.9. Students can color code, use different pre-made templates or create their own.

RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.1.10. With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
National Geographic Kids One free sample, individual magazines $3.99, full subscription $19.99 Animal Stories, Weird but true facts, word games, videos and more.

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