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First with Franklin

Sunday, March 11, 2012

1st Grade Favorite Apps

In our classroom, we have 3 iPod touches and 1 iPad.  My students love to use these, and I try my best to let them use them often.  When we use these during center time or AR time, I have specific apps that students must use, but at other times in the day I will let students choose what he or she would like to do.  I arrange the apps they can choose from into folders, so that it is easy for students to know exactly which apps are approved.  *Tip: To make a folder, just touch the app icon until is shakes.  Then, drag the app on top of another that you want in the same folder.*
Here are a list of some of my students' favorites.  
The #1, all-time favorite in my classroom is the Teach Me app.  Using the basic app you can have 4 students registered.  My students loved this app so much that I purchased extra licenses for my students ($1.99 for 10 additional students).  As a teacher, you can choose which skills each child focuses on and track their progress in each area.  Students can also see his/her progress and earn coins.  Using the coins earned, each student can purchase items.  My students favorite store is the fish store, where students can buy their own pet fish.  The cool thing is, the app stores all of their information and purchases, so they can keep building their skills and prizes.  This app is also available for Kindergarten and 2nd grade.  I cannot express how much my students love this app- 95% of free-choice iPod time is used for this app.
Teach Me- $.99

Another favorite of my students is Hungry Fish.  This is a free math app for addition (you may purchase subtraction, multiplication and division).  Students must stack bubbles to make the correct sum to feed their hungry fish.  Cute game that students can easily play independently.  
Hungry Fish- Free Addition

Our school uses Accelerated Reader, so this is another student favorite.  I have a clipboard where students sign up for tests.  I have each student write down his/her name and the title of the book they want to take a test on.  I then call a student's name when there is a free iPod or iPad and he or she logs in to take the test. They do have to bring it to me so that I can put in the monitor password, but my students do everything else on their own.  This takes time to teach them at the beginning of the year, but I really believe every student should be doing this on their own.  It's a great way to teach them where letters are on the keyboard, how to find the title and author of a book, and most importantly- INDEPENDENCE!  I love having self-sufficient, confident kiddos!  (I'll step off my soapbox now...haha)

The Electric Company from PBS has an app called Wordball.  My students and I watch a lot of their videos on the SmartBoard together (they have several that are great for specific phonics skills), so my students are already familiar with the songs.   In the app, students get to choose a video to watch and then play a game with that skill.  The more they play, the more video and skills they can unlock.  

Spelling Test is an app that we've only use a few times, but I have plans to use it much more next year.  My students have spelling homework each night and next year I plan to make this a once a week option.  If students have access to this app at home I'm going to let them replace this with one regular spelling page a week.  
In this app, you (or your students) can record your voice saying each spelling word.  Students can then play back the spelling words and type them out to take a test.  Results can be emailed right to you so that you can keep track of students' scores.  I think this will be a fun option for spelling homework.  

My favorite resource for finding free app is Apps Gone Free.  Everyday it lists apps that are temporarily free.  Kind of like do on Fridays, but this is a new list EVERYDAY!  They are not all kid-friendly, but I have downloaded more classroom apps from it than I have learned about from Moms With Apps.  I have also downloaded a lot of personal apps that I found here. 

So, do you have a favorite classroom app?  Please share!

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  1. I loved using Encyclopedia Brittanica Presidents near Presidents' Day. It's a great app for getting kids reading non-fiction in a really interactive way. The free NASA app is great too!

    I JUST had someone show me that by searching "Learning Technologies, Inc." you can find Reading A-Z stories (leveled!) for free. I also really like Mini Word, and Build a Word is pretty great for sounding out.

    You should try Rocket Math Free, too! (SO engaging!)

  2. Great- thanks for the suggestions!! I love learning about new apps. I have downloaded the NASA app, but I haven't gotten around to checking it out yet.

  3. These are great suggestions! I have one iPad in my room that I get to use with my kiddos. One of their favorite math apps is Splash Math- you can buy it for a specific grade level. Thanks for sharing. Stop by my blog when you get the chance:

    Have a great day!
    Candi : )