With so many apps to choose from, what’s a teacher to do? Four teachers from the 192/193 Program previewed their favorite apps at a recent staff meeting.
Florence Nieuwenhuis, ESL teacher, previewed the following three apps:
Teach Me First Grade, which teaches four age-appropriate subjects to first grade children: sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling.
iSentence , for upper grades, which focuses on correct sentence structure by allowing the user to choose between different words to make the sentence grammatically correct.
Grammar Up, also for upper grades, a multiple choice quiz system which provides over 1800 questions across 20 grammar categories and helps learners to improve their grammar, word selection, and vocabulary.
Gina Nerotto, supplemental instructor, previewed the following three math apps:
Coop Fractions: students learn to ace fractions with this suite of hilarious chicken-themed educational games.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory: students learn place value concepts and practice math facts as they count, add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit numbers on their way to a global cookie empire. Common core standards are addressed.
Fill the Cup: four challenging math games allow children to experience math concepts through manipulation. The games provide instant feedback and allow correction.
Rawaa Nejad, ESL teacher, showed four apps:
ESL Word Plus offers charming memory games to build vocabulary and spelling skills in many categories, such as animals, body parts, clothes, colors, days of the week, etc.
WH Questions is an educational app from Super Duper Publications that helps children learn how to correctly ask and answer WHO-WHAT-WHEN-WHERE-WHY questions with four entertaining learning games for each WH set of cards.
Amazing Coin: 9 interactive games about USD coins: learning, counting, paying, making change, matching and etc. Students earn quarter rewards for each correct answer, and with the rewards, they can buy food in the store.
Toontastic is a creative storytelling app that enables children to draw and animate their own cartoons. Toontastic records the animation and voice and creates a cartoon video to share with family and friends.
Tina Brightly, supplemental instructor, previewed these two apps:
Wolfram Alpha, a computational knowledge engine app that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally sourced "curated data" rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.
Kahn Academy: allows the student to learn almost anything for free. With this iOS app, you can view Khan Academy’s complete library of over 4,200 videos and articles, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities, with playlists on art history, civics, and finance and SAT prep!
Although the meeting was primarily about instructional apps, Corina Drozdowski, supplemental instructor, spoke about Gamification and how some teachers gamify their classrooms. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to any area of activity, such as the classroom. Finding effective strategies to engage students in the learning process is a challenge. Games are an integral part of students’ daily lives. Corina described how some teachers are using gamification elements to improve their students’ educational experience.