Here’s a simple app for a last-minute Thanksgiving activity with elementary school students. Hand Turkey is a free iPad app that brings the classic elementary school art activity of drawing hand turkeys to the iPad. Students can use the Hand Turkey app to decorate turkeys, name their turkeys, and play a simple turkey game. The turkeys make realistic turkey gobbling sounds.
Teach Your Monster to Read is a fun game designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters, sounds, and words. Teach Your Monster to Read originally launched as a free web service (it is still available online). Recently, I learned from David Kapuler that Teach Your Monster to Read is now available as an iPad app too.
In Teach Your Monster to Read students play the roles of friendly monsters in a make-believe world. As they move through the game they have to complete short activities based on various letters, sounds, and words. As they move through the game, students can earn prizes for their monsters and customize their monsters’ appearances.
Imagistory is a neat iPad app on which children can narrate picture books. The app provides children with a wordless picture books. Children are free to record themselves telling a story about the pictures in the books. Children can record and re-record stories as often as they like.
Imagistory is easy to use. To get started open the app and select one of the free picture books (additional picture books are available through in-app purchases). When you’re ready to record allow the app to access your iPad’s camera and microphone. The app asks for camera access so that you can take a picture to use as your author profile. As soon as you open the book the app is recording your voice. As you swipe through the pages the recording continues. At the end of the book you can save play the story back, save the story, or record a new version of your story.
Imagistory could be a good app for young students to use to practice developing the plotline of a story.
TinyTap is one of my favorite free iPad apps for elementary school teachers. Through TinyTap you can create your own educational games to share with students. Throughout the month of August, 2014 TinyTap is running a game creation contest for teachers. Every week TinyTap will award an iPad Mini to the teacher who creates and shares the best educational game on TinyTap. The complete contest rules are available here.
To create a game on TinyTap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. I created a small game about objects in my house. I took four pictures of things in my house. Each question asked players to identify the objects in my house. For example, when a player sees a picture of my kitchen he or she has to identify the tea pot by touching it.
If you don’t have time to create your own games or you just want to see what others have done, you can browse the TinyTap Market. The TinyTap Market is where the games that you create for the contest mentioned above will appear.
Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliation with TinyTap. I just thought this is a good opportunity to pass along.
Alphabet Organizer is a free iPad app offered by Read Write Think. The app is designed to help students learn the alphabet and learn new words.
Once you have created a profile or selected a profile on Alphabet Organizer you are ready to start building alphabet charts and books. In the first screen you will given the choice of making simple word lists or making word lists with pictures and definitions. Should you choose to use pictures you will have to find the pictures somewhere outside of the app and import them to the app. You can make lists for every letter of the alphabet or make lists for just a few letters at a time. After making your lists you can move on to having those lists used in printable charts or picture book pages.
Alphabet Organizer supports multiple users on the same installation of the app. That makes it possible for students to share an iPad and not affect each other’s work. Creating a profile only asks for a first name and that name could be a pseudonym. No information about students is stored by Read Write Think.
Read Write Think offers an extensive list of lesson plans that incorporate Alphabet Organizer.