Literacy Apps for Teachers & Parents
Once I started looking through the amazing apps I have used for literacy, I couldn’t stop writing reviews and that’s why this list is so large. The following 15 apps are amazing. I have tried to include a huge range of apps that will help teachers, students and parents. The best thing for parents and teachers is to simply try these apps and explore the amazing possibilities that they can create. This is a must read blog for all teachers.
Toontastic is a free app, but upgrades can be made for a small fee. This is the perfect app to encourage children to explore their creative side. It is ideal for students that have difficulty writing short stories because it prompts children through the story writing process. Students are able to add animation and music to their production as they create their own cartoons. This app allows you to view cartoons produced by children all over the world, which is also a great way to introduce students to other cultures.
Super Duper Story Maker is a free app that offers many features that are a great addition to the classroom. This app gives children the opportunity to write or narrate stories. It provides the students with the opportunity to practice writing complete sentences and expand their vocabulary through reading short phrases aloud. Students can add their own pictures, write in their own handwriting, or choose options from a database. Students have the option of recording themselves reading their stories aloud. Teachers will find that this is extremely helpful in allowing students to hear how they read aloud. Students may realize they are reading too fast, are mispronouncing words, or a variety of other things. Finally, it allows students to share their stories with others via social media.
Literary Analysis Guide costs $3.99, but it is well worth the cost for middle and high school students. This app provides students with information and examples of prose, poetry, and rhetoric. It also provides definitions for numerous literary terms as well as examples. It is user friendly. Teachers will find that is a great supplement to classroom teaching and students will appreciate the simplistic explanations.
Handwriting without Tears: Wet Dry Try is priced at $4.99, but it is considered one of the Top Ten Educational Apps and is perfect for students learning to write. It provides students with the opportunity to trace capital letters and numbers, then “erase” and “dry” off the blackboard before writing the letter independently. Teachers will find this app is an ideal substitute for writing on paper and will likely find that students demonstrate better penmanship because they are more conscious of the letters and numbers they are writing.
Grammar Jammers Primary is a free app designed for elementary aged children although there are also apps available for older students as well. It utilizes catchy songs and short videos to keep children engaged while they about numerous parts of speech including nouns, adjectives, contractions, verbs, and more. It includes a quiz section to let children test their grammar skills. Students will enjoy it because they can earn interactive rewards as they answer questions correctly. Teachers will find that it is particularly useful for providing students with extra instruction and practice. It also captures a child’s interest far more than a basic worksheet.
KidBlog is a free app that is a great alternative to the traditional journals that some students keep in class. In addition to being able to write down their thoughts, it gives students the ability to upload pictures and videos. It is very safe and teachers are able to keep blogs from different classes separated from others. Teachers will enjoy that they have the ability to read student’s journals at any time from anywhere and not have to carry around the huge stacks of spiral notebooks that were required for journaling in the past. Teachers can correct, grade, and comment on blogs as well. Blogs can be published for each class allowing students to read and comment on their peer’s work as well. Teachers can set it to require their approval before any comments are actually posted.
Story Kit is a free app that gives students the ability to create their own electronic books using drawings of their own creation or photos from their photo album. Students can add text to the book or record themselves narrating their story. Teachers will like the fact that it gives students the ability to practice their writing skills and expand their creativity. It is also perfect for allowing students to record themselves reading aloud and practice their reading fluency. Once the story is complete it can be shared via email with others, which parents will enjoy.
SparkleFish is a free app that is reminiscent of the game Mad Libs. It requests that students record themselves saying examples of certain parts of speech. When the student has filled in all the blanks with correct answers they can, then, listen to the story been read aloud. Students usually enjoy the fact that the stories end up being funny and entertaining. Teachers will like that is a great way for children to have fun while reviewing basic grammar lessons. It also provides children with examples if they are unable to come up with a correct word. Additionally, it is great for any age group because it does not require the child to write anything, only say words aloud.
Wordle is a free app that is designed to aid students in creating word clouds. Students are asked to input text and then a cloud is created of the words. Words that are used more frequently tend to be larger in the cloud. Students can customize font, color, and layout. Teachers will find that word clouds are an ideal way for students to brainstorm topics or to prove their understanding of certain words, standards, or concepts. Students have the option of printing out their results or posting them to a gallery for others to view.
Classroom Magnets costs $1.99 and was designed by a group of teachers in an effort to make the process of learning letters and the sounds they make more fun for younger students. It puts a new twist on traditional refrigerator magnets. A female voice provides the correct letter name and sound that it makes for students. It also provides spoken quizzes to test a student’s mastery. Teachers will find that it a very educational app that can be used by even the youngest group of students. It is a great supplement to classroom instruction and eliminates the need for the cleanup associated with traditional magnetic letters.
Sock Puppets is a free app that gives students the ability to express their creativity by creating their own puppet shows. Puppets, props, and backgrounds can be altered to make them very entertaining. You can record your voice for the puppets to lip sync during the show. Teachers may find that it is very useful to create shows about topics that children might otherwise find boring. For example, it could be an entertaining way to educate a new class on classroom rules, teach students about an important event in history, provide information about a person the class is discussing, and more. It is user friendly and ideal for keeping students interested in even the most uninteresting concepts.
Writers Hat costs $0.99 and was developed by a former teacher and current assistant principal with the intent of assisting children come up with topics for creative writing assignments. There are different categories to choose from and when clicked a new topic will appear. Additionally, it provides a Word Box that gives random nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs to use in a story. Teachers will find that this app is particularly useful for students that never have any idea where to start with a creative writing assignment. It gives them a great starting point to release their creativity.
Kids Write Text Types can be purchased for $0.99 and aims to supplement classroom instruction about the various types of writing. It provides a detailed explanation of numerous writing types including persuasive, transactional, and more. It also outlines the structure that each type of story should follow, why this type of story is written, and short examples. Teachers will find that it is ideal for students that are having difficulty understanding the various styles of writing. As an added bonus, it offers students a “story starter” to give them ideas of where to start and provides a writing planner to allow students to organise their thoughts before they begin writing.
PowerVocab is an app for learning new words and is equipped with a built-in dictionary. It also gives you the correct pronunciation of the word. It gives students the option of playing vocabulary games or looking up an unfamiliar word. For added excitement it allows players to easily link with other players to make games competitive. It also tracks each student’s overall learning statistics. Teachers will like that it will work offline from anywhere. It is a great game to let students play during their free time such as during tests when they are waiting for others to finish.
Easy Bib is a free app that makes citing references simple and quick. It always makes certain that they are in the correct form. It is very simple to use. All you have to do is scan in the barcode of the book you are using and the app will provide the citation for you. It will even email the site to you to make it simple to add to your paper. Teachers will find that this is helpful if they are working towards an advanced degree and have numerous papers to write. It is perfect because it keeps track of all the changes that are made to MLA rules so you do not have to worry that you are citing a text incorrectly.