Archive for the ‘Apps.’ Category

Is this my Good Side?

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Apps.

We all love iMovie! Easy to work with, no fuss, no muss and for my teachers who are looking for something to just “work” it is certainly the go-to app. However there are some other groovy ones worth chit-chatting about.

First up, Avid Studio. I have to say this nudges iMovie out of the top spot for me. I find I have a bit more flexibility and control over it. It could be that I am not a hard core iMovie user that I don’t use all the features to their full ability (how many of us do, really?)

iStop Motion.


VideoCamera (i4software) .


Groovy Apps As of Late

Posted: July 20, 2012 in Apps.

I have found some nifty apps to share as we get ready for the school year. Some of these have a cost but I can totally see them being used as a teacher tool so no need to buy a complete class set!

FeltBoard – $2.99 – The app brought me back to the days I was a children’s librarian assistant back in the day. There is something sweet and familiar about this. It will be ideal for a Lower School center for a retell or creation activity.

Barefoot World Atlas – $7.99 – Beautiful, beautiful altas filled with clear information, cartoonish pictures, photo and very easy user interface. I am aware about the expense of this app but I do remember a set of encyclopedias went for a great deal more and this is much more like an encyclopedia than any atlas I know. Unless you had a mother like mine who got our encyclopedia from Jewel – each week a new volume for .99 cents. I still never got Volume S. She must not have cooked much that week.

iF Poems – $4.99 – Just lovely. If you have any affection for poetry you must splurge on this for yourself or your class. Poems read to you by Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy, among others, that just make you drift into the words. But students can also record the poems and hear them read back. There are author bios and poems set into categories, I get lost in the experience of this app.

Interactive Kid Art HD – $1.99 – A darling, interactive app which has children interacting with great works of art. Ever have Mona Lisa wink at you? Or see koi float through Monet’s Water Lilies? I have and it is so much fun!

World War II Timeline – $9.99 – Another big bucks one, I know but if you spend any amount of time with this app you will get sucked in. Videos, pictures, authentic artifacts, letters, short text, longer bits, it just rocks. Honestly, if you are studying WWII in your class this is a must have as a reference and then you don’t have to let the student lose on the scary WWW for info. This app also fluctuates in price so I think I got it for $6.99.

(Dang Sound of Music Soundtrack playing in my head now!)

As I was trying to list the favorite apps at Tarkington, I steered away from ones which are more popular faves, like Popplet, Education &  Toontastic. Dandy apps but we know about them already! And awaaaay we go!

Let’s Do This

Pic Collage (free): Powerful free creation app which has endless possibilities.
Interactive Drawing Pad (free): Best drawing app for Primary folks. Hands Down!
Tools4Students ($.99): Templates for tons of mind mapping sheet you would normally copy for the students.. all right there and then easy peasy lemon squeezy ability to email.
Keynote ($9.99): While costly, I do think it is a wonderful for students to be creative at the same time it aides them in picking out important facts. (Golly I do have slideshows with entire paragraphs on them!!!!!… yes that is multiple exclamation marks, it is how much I hate it) And it also allows them to practice public speaking.

Math-A-Roo Stuff

Geometry Pad (free): – Never need graphing paper again.
Oh No Fractions (free):  –
Math Scribe (free): – This calculator will carry you through every math course you will ever encou
Geom-e-Tree ($.99): – Fancy, wonderful way to see shapes and angles change in relation to each other. At tree completion there is tree-rific overview (I couldn’t resist).
Map Measure ($2.99) or Measure Map ($1.99 ): Both do a pretty cool job of illustrating perimeter and area on a map.
MoneyTrail (free) – Meant to be an app for parents and kids to keep track of money and teach teens a thing or two but I can totally see our math teachers using it!

Games Worth Class Time

Strategic Games are a benefit for kids, it has them thinking and gets their brains working! Here are some that make mine work.

Geared – (Free) – Strategic thinkers required.
Reversi Free (Free… I just duhhed myself as I typed free after it is mentioned in the name…) For those of us who remember playing Othello, this will look really familiar.

Something for the Teacher Peeps – Just some I love…for lil ole me

PhotoSync –  ($1.99): I like it. Install app. Download software on your machine and blam-o. Couple clicks and you are syncing your photos wirelessly. You can also drop them into Evernote or Dropbox or another idevice. No cords. Perfect app for the ever popular – just get it done right now folks – like me!
Band of the Day –  (Free): Awesomest way to hear some new stuff.
Zite – (Free) – One of my most favorite way to stay ontop of techie techie news.

I don’t know Where to Stick this One

ScoreKeeper (Free) – Digital way to replace the tallies on the board and I love the user interface.

And now I officially have to post this and get it out of my draft posts or I will be a mad hatter.

ISAT Prep…. Please?

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Apps., New Idears.

Forewarning, this is one of the posts I had a brainstorm to write about in the middle of the night, started it and then, well lets say I have quite a few “drafts”….
But a few months later I am back at it!

As the 3rd grade iPad classrooms continue to explore and explode their classrooms with these personal devices, one of the most surprising incidents came during ISAT test prep. I haven’t met a teacher who enjoys test prep or a student for that matter, this brings us to a benchmark year in 3rd grade. As I sat in the back of the room observing so that I could give some support to the teacher, our story begins to unfold….

As the teacher begin to pass out papers with an example of an extended response which scored a 4, I sat in the back of the room and cringed! Cringed but jotted down a little note about a new direction we could take for the same task. Then after school we worked and uploaded another example in the form of a PDF up to her website. Again returning to the thinking of  letting go of old ways…which is difficult! This way students could access it whenever they needed and.. and.. and they could annotate on it! Make notes, comments, ask questions. The annotating worked so wonderfully that students weren’t ready to give it up! They began to take pictures of their own work and color code their papers then self-assess. What can it be true…why yes yes it was they were checking their own work! (I can almost hear the angels sing). We gave kids the power and they took charge of their own learning.

I am not even mentioning they were begging for ISAT practice when the teacher used the Socrative app with them! It had them begging from all corners of the room “Can we practice for ISAT again?”

Many of us who have iPads in the classrooms are finding such amazing ways to change our teaching. Old ideas being elevated and new ideas blossoming with the help of these tools. The 3rd grade teachers at Tarkington are no exception.

There are numerous recording apps and some of the best ones are free as bird, which of course we teachers love a dove (two feathered friend references in one sentence… niiice). Back to business.

We have been using the recording apps for a variety of tasks. Some of our bi-lingual students can vocalize but are still struggling with the written word, so they are recording their essay responses. Some are using it to record math concepts they have to memorize and developing their own study guides and so on…

But here is the one that gets a gold star.

Our 3rd graders have an affection for run-ons. I mean who really needs periods or commas anyway? Duh. Even still they do make reading go a bit more smoothly. Just a bit. During writer’s workshop as the editing process begins, the students have a chance to record their work. As they listen back, they are instructed to pay attention for when they take a breathe, when they do it is a very good indication that there should be a punctuation mark there.

Such a simple way to aide in the proofreading process, instead of the students just staring at the words and saying “I’m done.”

Now. I am done.