As I read the Common Core Standards, I want to find apps that students can use to increase their imagination or assist them with an area of difficulty. We want to develop mastery—but we also need to let students use their imagination and have fun while learning.
Sago Mini Doodlecast (opens in new tab) $.99 designed for the iPhone and iPad. Drawing is not always easy for many students. When students are told to draw whatever they would like, the response is “I don’t know what to draw." Sago is great for K-1st grade students meeting ELA Literacy SL.K.5, SL.K.6, SL.1.4, and SL1.5. Students are provided with over 30 templates with a picture and a verbal prompt. An example is a picture of a mouth. Students are prompted with a built-in voice and the written words are also included. The prompt asks, “Whose mouth is this?” Users can both draw on the template and speak into the built-in recorder to share their thoughts about the mouth they are drawing. Upon completion of the drawing, students can watch their video drawing. Send your videos to your camera roll and import into your digital portfolio.
Toca Builders (opens in new tab) $1.99 for iPhone or iPad. Toca Boca continues to WOW the educational community with their apps. Toca Builders is another innovative app that promotes creativity, motor coordination, and identification of colors and can even be used to meet the Common Core Standards. The goal of the app is to build cities using six different Boca characters. If you are a Kindergarten teacher working on K.CC.B.4a students can count the number of blocks they are building within the app. Students can take turns building blocks and counting. After a child is done the teacher can incorporate K.CC.C.6 to see which child’s block tower is greater than the other. Students can also meet . K.G.B.5 as they build within the app. Teachers can screen shot the student’s work and add it to their digital portfolio. The best part of this app is the students are having fun while learning to count and identify shapes.
Write to Read (opens in new tab) $4.99. This app is great for beginning and struggling writers. Students can make their own book importing pictures from their camera roll or taking a photo while writing. The app includes a color-coded keyboard with vowels being red and consonants being blue. Students add their own title and author and input their sentence on one line. The teacher can make corrections as needed below the student’s sentence. This app meets the criteria for Production and Distribution of writing for K-2nd grade. If you were working with students who may have special needs, this app would also be very beneficial.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South. Read more at appoplexy.wordpress.com