Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Great Apps for the Classroom

Because we added iPads to our classroom technology (replacing ancient computers that worked when they wanted to) I have been searching for apps that work well for my room. These particular apps have either been wonderful or are apps that I know will be wonderful during the next school year.

Socrative: This is a free app that, believe it or not, my kids loved. In fact, they never once complained on a day when they had a quiz, test or activity on this site. Sign up for free and then, create a quiz. You can make it private or public. The answers can be true/false, short answer or multiple choice. They can be random or ordered the way you want them. The best thing is, most of the test is graded for you and you can see the answers immediately or you can print them out in a couple of different ways. Short answers are best done by the teacher because the answers have to match exactly to be counted correct.

Tests can be put on the teacher's page at any time. This year, I will make up all my quizzes for books we read and have them ready to go. The students can only see them when I say so.

Games can also be used to encourage the kids to improve their learning. The thing my kids really loved was that they also get immediate feedback when they do the quizzes.

Quizalize: Write your own quiz or use one on the site. Quizalize looks to be an resource much like Socrative. This allows me to do the same thing with new twists. It can be used on a computer, tablet or Smartphone. It has a tracking feature that allows the teacher to track the kids over time. I can't wait to see my kids reaction to this new resource when the year starts.

Skoolbo: I signed up for this site before the end of the year, but I was so busy, I was unable to get started with it. To make up for this, I figured it all out and played with it this summer. The games are fun and the kids will be entertained while they learn. The programs on Skoolbo are created to help kids improve their reading and math. Like the other two resources, this one is free.

IXL: Truly, this is a great site, although a bit pricey. Unfortunately, it is geared toward learning (my kids would just play if I would let them) and many of my kids groaned when it was IXL time. Because I teach in a multi-grade classroom, this program gave me an opportunity to start kids on worthwhile learning assignments while I worked more closely with other, therefore I rotated the times they used it.

Spelling City: Another great app, I loved this one because I could put my own lists into the program and they create games for my kids based on my words and their definitions. I could even choose the definitions I wanted if I didn't like the one the site chose. Spelling City has a free version as well as a premium version. I have never used the free version, but I know people who have and they liked it. Obviously, the premium account gives you more options.

I am still searching for more apps. We have iMovie because it was free, but it not costs $4.95. This year, I am going to spend time looking for science apps. If you have any that you think are great, I would love to hear from you.