Since I am fortunate enough to teach in a school with 1:1 iPads in every classroom, I thought I would share some of my favorite apps.  These apps can also be useful if you only have a teacher iPad in the classroom – they can be used as a part of centers, small group, or whole group instruction (with iPad attached to Smartboard).


This common core app is FREE!  It is a great resource to have at your finger tips.  Carry your iPad to trainings and have all subjects right there – rather than having several notebooks.


Endless Alphabet is one of my favorite apps.  There are updates regularly and that keeps the content fresh.  Students are exposed to new  vocabulary in a fun way.  They spell the word with “monster” letters and then watch a short skit performed by the monsters showing what the word means.  Cost: FREE


ABC Magnetic Board can be used in a variety of ways.  I use it for making words, assessments, vocabulary, math, writing… The students enjoy spelling sight words and word families, making each others’ names, and creating pictures to be used in other projects. Cost: FREE


Phonics Awareness has different categories to practice segmenting and blending words, as well as vowel sounds.  I like to use this app in place of Elkonin boxes in small groups.  I have blogged before about phonemic segmentation… And while I don’t always agree with the method – I want my students to feel successful if being assessed in that skill.  The students like moving the bugs around and the ability they have to check themselves on their progress.  Cost:  FREE


I have professed my love for the Storybots on numerous occasions.  Their newest app puts all their fun in one place.  With this app, you have access to learning videos, classic songs, and the Storybots alphabet videos.  Many videos within the app are free, with the option to have a monthly membership with unlimited access to additional content.  For my uses, the free content works just fine. Cost:  FREE (with additional in app purchases if wanted)


Scribble Press is a creation app that I use for writing workshop and the reading center (response to literature).  Students can choose writing/drawing utensils, add text or stamps, and then save to their camera roll.  Creators have the option of making a singular drawing or creating a book.  We use it mainly for single drawings.  This is one app of many in the writing folder that my students use to create.  Cost:  $3.99 (but keep your eye out – sometimes it is temporarily cheaper, even FREE)


Our dynamic duo of writing!  My students use doodle buddy and book creator to write and create their own books that they then upload to their iBooks app. They draw their own illustrations in doodle buddy and then save them to the camera roll.  The images can then be uploaded into book creator and edited to fit the way my little authors want.  Audio and links can also be added into books through the book creator app.  Cost of Doodle Buddy:  FREE  Cost of Book Creator:  $4.99 (and worth every penny)


Pic Collage is an excellent app for showing many different examples of the same skill.  The collages can be saved to the iPad camera roll for easy emailing, etc.  My students use this app to show knowledge in math, writing, vocabulary, science… Doodle Buddy helps us with this app as well.  Stamps are included, some free, some as in app purchases.  In the end, most students choose to add their own works of art from Doodle Buddy.


Let’s build some math literacy, shall we?  Hungry Fish is a favorite in my students’ math folder on their iPads.  They enjoy being able to customize their fish.  The app also builds in difficulty as the students excel.  Their task is to feed the fish numbers that equate a particular sum.  When fed correctly, the fish gets fatter and fatter (the giggles get louder and louder).  When not fed enough, the fish loses weight (which causes concern) and the students know to feed him more. This is a great app to build number sense. Cost:  FREE (also available for iPhone)


Montessori Numbers is one of those apps we jumped on while it was free.  I find the versatility of this app beneficial for small groups and center time.  Students have the choice of building numbers and counting numbers using base ten blocks.  The fun music helps keep them engaged.  Difficulty levels range from 1-20 to 100-999 (depending on the activity chosen). Cost:  $3.99 (keep an eye out for discounted pricing)

Yes – apps can be pricey.  However, Apple does offer discounted pricing for bulk purchases of apps.  Also, check out the Technology in Education page on Facebook and their appy mall website (mentioned here).

Want more ideas?  Check out my colleague Billie Ann

Her 2 most recent posts are all about apps she uses with her fourth grade students.

Another great source:

Happy App-ing!

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Filed under iPads, Literacy, Technology

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