A few parents have asked us about Apps that will appeal to children and help educationally. We have compiled a list of ones we think are useful, this list is by no means exhaustive but we hope you find it helpful.
Developing Concepts of Print and Phonemic Awareness
As children listen to stories and learn to read, they learn subtle information about how print works. Concepts of print includes an understanding of letters and sounds, the left-to-right nature of reading, front to back, turning pages one at a time and recognising that print differs from pictures. Helping young children develop print knowledge can help them learn other literacy skills. (While these Apps are fabulous nothing can beat reading and talking about a real story book.)
ABC Spy HD
ABC Spy challenges children to create their own ABC experience by taking photos for each letter of the alphabet — take a photo, choose a frame, give it a name. Then make a movie of all your photos to share with friends and family! (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
Me Books offers a wide selection of interactive stories ranging from traditional Ladybird titles such as Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella to Peppa Pig and Charlie and Lola. Children can have the stories read to them, can read the stories independently and record their own reading, illustrations are interactive, pages can be turned . . . . lots of fun! (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch,
Phonics instruction helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. These apps will help children recognise letters and the sounds they make and how letters “stick” together to make words.
ABC Pocket Phonics
ABC Pocket Phonics introduces children to the sounds each letter (or letters) makes, demonstrates how to form letters correctly, asks the child to “write” the letter over the template and then “builds” words. This app supports synthetic phonics which is the approach we use in school. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
Montessori Crosswords encourages children to “build” words using a moveable talking alphabet. There are three levels: 3 letter words, 4 letter words and words of any complexity. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
Alpha Writer, by Montessorium
Alpha Writer encourages children to “build” words using a moveable alphabet. There is an “I Spy” section and a section which lets children use letters and images
to write their own story. Stories can be saved. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
As well as being able to read regular words (words that are spelled the way they sound) using phonic skills children have to be able to read irregular words (words that are not spelled the way they sound) e.g. the. The strategies children use are complex but it helps if children are given lots of opportunities to practise reading these tricky words. There are a variety of apps to support this; many of these apps can also help older children with spelling.
Word Bingo reads words for the children to identify on a Bingo grid. The words are ordered into levels (American school levels). This app also has a spelling section. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
Sight Words has lists and lists of words ordered in a variety of ways e.g. most frequently used in writing. Children are expected to read the word, then tap on it for it to be read to them and then record their success using smiley faces. To move to the next level each word has to be read correctly three times. This app requires some adult supervision for the children to use it really effectively. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
There are lots of good apps available to make spelling more exciting!
My Spelling Test
Children can create their own spelling tests by typing words and recording themselves saying the words. Scores are recorded. (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)
The ultimate goal of reading is good comprehension. There is a range of reading comprehension apps but many of them are very similar to the paper and pencil activities we do in school. We want to encourage the children to enjoy reading, whether it is a real book or using an electronic device, and too many follow-up reading activities could switch them off from reading – which we definitely don’t want to do!
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in USA has produced a number of really interesting apps, many of which are free. (These are all compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad )
Either on his or her own, or against a friend, children are asked to match whole numbers, shapes, fractions, or multiplication facts to equivalent representations. This app is really good fun.
Deep Sea Duel
Children are challenged to collect cards with a specified sum. The level of complexity can be changed and numbers can either be whole or decimals.
This app asks children to find their way through a maze by completing puzzles which will test your understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, negative numbers, fractions, decimals and more. Suitable for children aged 8 and over.
This app allows children to make equivalent fractions by dividing and shading shapes, and matching to a number line. The instructions are quite complicated and it is fiddly to use and not very exciting.
This app allows the children to measure and understand the relationship between different objects and varying angles. It is recommended for ages 8 to 99!
This app will visually represent a fraction as a decimal on a pie chart. It is recommended for ages 8 to 99!
Classroom Focused Software – These Apps complement the work we do in school; though for them to be effective the child would need to work alongside an adult.
Line ‘em Up
Practise ordering number tiles– can be set for numbers from 0 to over 100
10 Frame Fill
Helps develop counting and a deep understanding of numbers to 10. Really useful app for children in early primary.
Helps develop a child’s ability to use a number line to solve addition and subtraction problems. The Options menu allows you to choose the types of problems as well as the range of numbers to be used. Useful for children in early and middle primary years.
Pattern Color and Shape
Allows children to complete different repeating patters. (Many other Apps contain similar activities.)
Helps children to count items “one at a time,” recognise numerals, identify sets with more or less, count sets of items and use a ten frame (something we use a lot in school). This App would appeal to children in nursery and early primary.
Helps children recognise the number of items in groups which is a really important numerical skill. This App has benefits for children in nursery, early and middle primary years.
This App helps with counting and addition and subtraction skills. This App has benefits for children in nursery, early and middle primary years.
This App helps cement knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. The Options menu allows you to choose the operations and the range of numbers to be used.
Just the Facts
This App helps cement knowledge of number facts. This App has benefits for children throughout the primary school.
This App helps with basic counting and numeral recognition and is best suited to children in nursery or very early primary.
Games based Apps really appeal to children and lots of them are really good. However the mathematical problems in many can get really difficult really quickly.
This App helps cement knowledge of number facts. Children are asked to “pop” a balloon with an answer to its’ corresponding operations balloon. As you progress through the levels new operations are introduced and numbers increase. This App has benefits for children throughout the primary school.