This guest blog post was written by Kathleen Nolan-Kasal, a first grade teacher in New York City, and DonorsChoose.org teacher #300! Last spring I got an iPad for my classroom through a DonorChoose.org request. Once I had the iPad in hand I had the daunting task of figuring out which apps I wanted to download for my students to use. There are so many out there, and like everything there are some really useful ones, and others that are not so useful.
I have created a short list of some apps that I have found to be not only educational, but ones my students tend to gravitate towards. These apps focus on early literacy skills.Letter of the Day Interactive by Lakeshore Learning: This app allows young students to interact with letters through chants, letter recognition, and writing. It is a great “center” activity for students to reinforce their understanding of the individual letters.ABA Flash Cards - Alphabet by kindergarten.com: The title says “flash cards”, but they are much more. The photo used to represent the letter is also used in a sentence which can be read or heard. At the bottom of each screen there is an open-ended question to encourage students to make connections with other words that begin with the letter.Beginning Sounds Interactive by Lakeshore Learning: Teachers or students can pick 3 beginning letter sounds and then match them to other words using pictures. The game board is interactive and visually engaging.Spelling with Cimeo (sight words) by Playsmart-Kids: My students love to get the penguin across the water by spelling the words correctly. There are sight words for grades K-3, as well as high frequency and challenge words.Love to Read by Pirate Trio by Next is Great. This is a good app for learning to spell more complex words. The apps gives student support through pictures, sounds and hints.Teachers! We want to know: what are your favorite apps in the classroom?