Thursday, April 7, 2016

Top 10 Kindergarten iPad Apps!

I LOVE iPads. 

I love using iPads in my kindergarten class.  I have a set of 5 for students, and one for me.   There is talk about our school going 1:1, which is incredibly exciting.

We are an apple family, so I have been a big fan of iPads for a long time.  They can do SO many cool things.  There are endless apps to try.  But not all apps were created equal.

There is more to the iPads than just games.

So, here are my top 10 favorite iPad apps!

1) Sight Word Ninja

This is a free sight word game that the students love.  The sight word is said aloud and the students slash it.  I love that you can change the words to the correct level for your grade level!  Check out Sight Word Ninja HERE.  

2) Math Slide 100

Math Slide 100 is one of my favorite math apps.  Up to 4 students can play on one iPad, so it is great for classrooms who aren't 1:1.  The above picture is from Game 1, with numbers up to 10.  It is a fantastic game to help students subitize, with dice, hands, and ten frames.  Check it out HERE.  

3) Popplet Lite

Popplet Lite is a great organizational app.  Students (and teachers!) can use it to organize facts on virtually any topic.  I love that in each box you can draw, type, write, or add photos.  So awesome for my Kinders who aren't all reading yet.  I used it with a small group to retell facts about bears!  Check out Popplet Lite HERE.  

4) Sesame Street's Alphabet Kitchen

Ok, so this isn't a free app.  But can I tell you how much my students LOVE this game??  I love that it exposes them to CVC words with great vowel sounds and picture support.  It goes with a set of iPad manipulatives called Tiggly Words.  However, it can be used without the letters and only a finger to manipulate the words.  Check out Sesame Street's Alphabet Kitchen HERE.  

5) Shadow Puppet Edu

Shadow puppet is an awesome and super easy to use slideshow app.  Use pictures (or videos) to create a story, add narration, or even music!  I love sending home videos of special events to parents so they can see what we are doing.  Check out Shadow Puppet Edu HERE.  

6) Words for Osmo

I love Osmo.  It is an amazing iPad tool that allows students to interact with the iPad in never seen before ways.  If you don't have one you need to get one RIGHT NOW! I have 4 for my classroom, and the kids love it.  My favorite is the Words for Osmo App.  As seen in the picture above, students are given either a word with the beginning letter missing, or a picture and empty letter bubbles.  Students have to identify the missing letters and complete the word.  I love that I can make my own word lists, or download different lists from their website.  My students are working on spelling basic CVC words next week!  Check out Words for Osmo HERE.  

7) Chatterpix Kids

Chatterpix Kids is a neat app.  Kids take pictures of virtually anything, draw a "mouth" and then record their voice speaking.  It makes it look like the object is talking.  The kids love it.  I've used it with leaves, where the students tell what they know about fall.  Too cute!  Check out Chatterpix Kids HERE.

8) Epic

Epic is like the Netflix of books.  Students pick their interests, and age, and voila!  Students have endless options to fantastic books, both to read and to listen to.  For families there is a paid subscription, but it is free for teachers! I love having it as an option for Literacy Stations.  Check out Epic HERE.

9) Class Dojo

Class Dojo has changed my classroom culture.  I have had more positive communication with parents in the last few years than I have had in the last 8 years of teaching.  I update parents about students behavior (mostly positive!) every day.  I send home pictures and videos and little messages of encouragement.  I have had overwhelmingly positive reviews from parents, you should really try it.  Check out Class Dojo HERE.  

10) Seesaw: The Learning Journal

And my absolutely favorite app of all time is Seesaw.  It is an online portfolio where students can collect their work.  Parents can log on to see their child's work.  They can comment and like the items.  But the best part is that students can use it to document their understanding with pictures, photographs, videos, dictation, and text.  It does everything.  I have students use it for journals, for math stories, for taking pictures, for retelling stories, etc.  It is amazing.  A game changer.  

I know there are millions of apps out there.  Some decent.  Some awful.  The best you can do is your research to find out.  I'm a huge fan of Graphite, a website dedicated to evaluating educational software, websites, and apps.  

In the meantime, what would your top 10 apps be?? Let me know in the comments!  I love learning from my colleagues :)


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