Long ago, I surrendered to the fact that my iPad is “our” iPad. Good or bad, immersion in technology is part of life today and sorting through the muck is a teachable moment. I wanted to share a few of my favorite apps, many of them we enjoy as a family – especially Toontastic (more on that later).
With iPads becoming so prevalent in early elementary classrooms, I’ve been excited to see engaging apps that go beyond the rote drill games seen in previous years. Here is a sampling of what is installed on my iPad at the moment:
GROW YOUR GARDEN
Finally! A math program without a flashcard feel to it. I love puzzles and those looking for an excellent edtech infusion for their math program should check this one out. This is a really engaging logic puzzler game. The automatic difficulty progression works well, but there are no hints which might frustrate some kids. The flowers placed in your garden as rewards are kind of hokey – but in a good way, Claire eats it up! The completed number sentence/equation flashes on screen as the operation is complete but is not an integral part of the experience. Simple concept, elegant execution. I really like this application.
|(3 – 1 + 3 = 5) This is a screenshot from one of the first levels|
It’s not often I cough up money for an app, but the 6 month subscription I purchased for full access to all Reading Rainbow’s books and videos has been worth every cent. Claire loves being read to and has a voracious appetite for new material. With literally hundreds of books in this app, neither of us have grown tired of it. I appreciate the quality of books RR has chosen to feature, it is a well curated collection with diverse illustration styles and topics.
The interface is fantastic, there are different “islands” to fly in your hot air balloon each featuring a different genre of books. I grew up watching Reading Rainbow on PBS and this is a wonderful crossover to a new platform…but as LaVar would say:
“Don’t take my word for it!”
I cannot get enough of this app. If I was back in the classroom I would have this program in the hands of each and every one of my students. Storytelling is just the tip of the iceberg here – which the capability to animate and narrate a multitude of characters and places (including hand-drawn creations) this app has possibilities outside the realm of language arts. The only thing missing is the capability to export files. Boohoo!
A few others that I’ll write reviews for in the coming days: Leo’s Pad, MOMA Art Lab, Umi Numbers and Bob Books Magic. Happy “Apping!”