I am always looking for educational apps that are FREE! Teaching at public schools has taught me that funds are tight, and by the time the money rolls around my students may have graduated or the app will not be relevant anymore. Here is a list of apps we use with our K-5
Nearpod is an interactive classroom app for teachers to use as a tool to teach students with interactive lessons in any subject. It is customizable and very user friendly. It is reliable and gets students iPads connected to the classroom without a fuss. Try using Microsoft SWAG lessons to add the virtual field trips. The free lessons allow you to understand how it works and how other teachers use the app.
2. Sphero Edu
Introducing coding to a class of 24 can be challenging especially if they are not reading or writing. The Sphero Edu app does a great job in teaching K-2 graders the concept of code. We use the ipad to draw with our fingers and program the robot SPRK. Then they transition to using block code. I love this app, because I don't need to explain anything at this point they just get it!
3. Doodle Buddy
Making an art app can be challenging. The doodle buddy gives the kids many options of colors, pens, backgrounds and themes for them to let their imagination run wild. We use the stencils to color it and count by 2's, 3's and 5's making the Math lesson an Art lesson.
4. Google Expeditions
Just as the name suggests the little guys turn into explorers. They are diving into the great Barrier Reefs or strolling the Great Wall of China. What a great way to learn! I hear them sharing about the textures on stones of the Great Pyramids or the difference in blue shades between the lagoons and the oceans. This is the kind of learning that has depth.
5. Pattern Shapes
This app can be used for kindergartners all the way up to Grade 8. I use it to teach shapes to the younger group. We make objects with shapes and deconstruct a shape to smaller shapes. it can be used to teach fractions and geometry for the upper grades. It has a great user interface. I love how intuitive it is for a child to follow along.
6. Number Frames
When the day feels long and you are tired use this app with your child. It reminds me of the dominoes game pieces. You can play the game dominoes as intended or stack the dominoes to make a castle or fortress. Two very different uses with brilliant outcomes. There are more ways than one to teach the math concepts with this ingenious app.
Doodling on the side of your notes or playing with your fingers or laces were never encouraged during my school days. I look back and call it, "a constructive waste of time". The best part of my childhood that gave me the best ideas. Geoboard can be used for art, math and science lesson. It is a peg board with rubber bands (maybe stretchy yarn) that you loop over the pegs. It addictive and a complete constructive waste of time!
If there is a word school kids hate it is "QUIZ". When I say, "Kahoot Quiz today" I am greeted by loud shrieks of excitement and a sudden burst of enthusiasm. It never gets old. Why on earth do they like taking a quiz? This simple quiz maker is effortless to use. It turns tests into a game. We all feel we are on a TV game show and we leave the classroom feeling like we are carrying gifts from the show Price is Right.
9. Make Beliefs
I have always loved comic books. The artist must convey his message through dramatic, exaggerated expressions on his characters faces. Give them a few bubbles for dialog and use the limited space at the bottom as narration. The meticulous sequencing, so that the reader never falters on the chain of events has also amazed me. The writer & illustrator becomes the director and editor too. This multi layered reasoning of actions and visual language is very important for our kids to learn. They may never be cartoonist, but this app makes them get acquainted to a wonderful comic land world and promises to be effectual language arts lesson.
10. Merge Cube
If your students are still asking questions about the lesson at dinner time or the next day, you have pretty much done a stupendous job as a teacher! The questioning mind is the best one and this app only leaves students enquiringly for more. This is an AR app. See the human heart as a 3D object and travel through the veins. Kids don't need to memorize information, now they can recall it through an experience. They grasp information quickly and retain it longer. What a great way to learn!