Adventures in Literacy Land: app

Showing posts with label app. Show all posts
Showing posts with label app. Show all posts

Epic...There's More To It!

Epic.  I am a HUGE fan.  Have you tried it out?  I know there have been many great posts about the features and benefits of Epic.  And I want to certainly echo those points here; however, this year Epic added some additional features and a great summer incentive to families.  I can't wait to share all this information with you!
(If you have not used Epic, check out Jennifer's post about how to set it up-Here!)

But first things first...after a year of using Epic in the classroom and at home, what did I observe?

  • Excitement--students would be so excited to share with me the books that they found.
  • Motivation--Epic provides such high quality texts that my students were so motivated to keep reading and exploring new texts.
  • Independence--the app is really kid-friendly, easy to use, and navigate.  This means more independent students!
As a teacher (and mom), here is what I love:
  • It is free for teachers!
  • Each child has their own account.
  • Nonfiction to fiction ratio is great.
  • Books are based on student interest.
  • Some books are read aloud to students.
  • I can see who is really trying to read the books and who is just flipping though them.
  • New books are constantly being added.
Actually the list could go on and on.  As I was writing this post, I got lost myself in the sea of books that have been added this year.  There were so many that I wanted to click on and read for myself.  But let's move on...

What's new to Epic?  As of April 28th, students can access Educational Videos on Epic.  And they are popular!!  The video that I heard most often at the end of year was "Money" from Flocabulary.

When I doing some research on their site, you do have some controls over these videos because they can be pretty exciting and hard to stop watching.  You can check out that information HERE.

Another addition that occurred in April was the Home Access Program.  Teachers can give their families access to Epic at home for one month FREE without providing any credit card information. This is wonderful because I am always looking for more ways to add to their home library!

Right now Epic is providing free access to families through July 31st with the hope that this will help with the summer slide!  Yes!!  Just direct your families to and they can read, read, read until July 31st!!
Do you have a favorite feature from Epic?  I would love to hear about it!!


Apps to Support Reading Comprehension

Hey everyone!  It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead. There are SO many apps out there to wade through so I wanted to take a look at a few that could support your students as they work on reading comprehension skills. It is easy to find apps for phonics and vocabulary but trying to find apps for comprehension or ways to use apps to support it is not such a piece of cake. 

And of course as with an app or technology, it won't work for everyone in every circumstance so please comment and let us know what you like and what works for you and your kiddos! Additionally, for most of these I have the free versions but there are paid versions so if you have the paid versions let us know what additional features you can access!

First here are a few apps that are straightforward and your child should be able to use it independently.

Inference Ace

Inference Ace is one of a series of apps from Happy Frog. Inference Ace has a cute and simple interface. In it, students are presented with a series of situations and asked to think about "when", "where" etc.

Here are the levels and as you finish level one, yes you unlock level 2. A level can be repeated so a student who needs more practice could do that or this app could be used by multiple students.

Here is an example of  situations and the options for students to decide when it is happening.

I like that if the student gets it wrong, they prompt her, much like a teacher would.

Occasionally I think you would get a situation a student might be confused by like this one. If you have no background information about camp, you might be stumped, but cafeteria is a big clue here and might make up for that.

The only thing with this app is that it does not give an option where the question/responses can be read aloud so your student needs to be a pretty fluent reader. Also of course, no app like this can ever replace skilled instruction from a teacher, but this is a nice option to supplement what you might be doing in the classroom.

Inference Clues is of course another one of the series of apps from Happy Frog. It has a similar interface. On this app, if you click on the person icon, you can sign in so students can play under their names.

Inference Clues asks students to look for clue words or phrases that help them figure out when or where things or happening. Oh, and by the way, the circles on top fill up as students answer questions right. 

There is a user management tool with these but it is not passcode protected so students might access it; however this could be handy for a teacher! 

Here are some apps that may involve more support from you, the teacher and a little more management and supervision but are still possible uses in small groups, independently or even whole class.

Story Creator
I am new to this app but it is great and has a lot of possibilities! If you want to try it, I highly recommend you search for videos on all the ways to use it because I will barely be able to scratch the surface here. But in any case, you can have students read a story - for example an ebook, and respond to it in in this app. 

So let's say you had your students read the ebook Tuggy and Friends (free by the way) in iBooks.  Have them snap some screenshots while they do this. Then you can have them open Story Creator and start by having them either post their name on the cover or post a screen shot of the cover of the book and their name. See how they can add text, images from the camera roll, take pictures, or do drawings? Neat!

Then they can turn the virtual page and add pictures,  text etc. in whichever way you direct them. You can have them summarize the book, respond based on character and setting and so much more. Sky's the limit with this one!

Want your students to have a virtual version of notetaking when they read an ebook, like when you give them post its to take notes? Or maybe note taking on  a tablet is more motivating for reluctant readers? Here are a few apps that may help!

Mental Note
Mental note allows you to type notes, (it gets saved under the first few words of the note so students should type their name first) and then also draw pictures or handwrite notes. The notes can be saved as PDFs, pictures, text, or just in the note app.


Note Master

This is a favorite because students choose a title for their notes and then can type and insert pictures from the camera roll. So if  your student read Tuggy and friends and took some screen shots, she can type a response (here she is giving evidence of how she knows Tuggy is friendly) and then paste a picture! These notes can be uploaded right to dropbox, icloud, emailed, or opened in word or a a .txt file.


I love Popplet. Right now I have the lite version on my phone but my iPad which is at school has the full version. This would be a great way to create a story map, character maps, and endless other reading responses - Cause and Effect, Setting....

I don't have tons of screen shots but when you start a new one you can type text or insert images.
You can add a lot of popples and you can set them up in all kinds of way. This is a very basic one!


And when done, students can save as a jpeg, or email it. There are lots of ways  to customize them too with colors and  themes!

BONUS: Reading Island #1 
I couldn't put it with the others because it is not really for reading comprehension but it is really fun and teaches lots of different reading skills in a fun way.
Here is part of its short vowel sounds section! It has a combination of videos and games. I ran through it for a while and did short vowel sounds, initial, medial and final sound replacement, and spelling. 

So again, these are not thorough descriptions but i just wanted to give you all an idea of what is out there. And not all of these will work for everyone. Comment and let us know below what apps you like for comprehension and  how you use them. Have a great blog post or have you seen a great youtube video for an app? Let us know! Thanks so much!


Creating Stories with StoryKit

Hello, all!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!  I have a fun app to share with all of you today.  Hopefully you can play with it over the summer and use with your kids next year.  Or maybe you need a time filler for the end of the year!

I love a good professional development, and last Friday was one of those great days!  I spent the day learning all about different computer programs and apps. You can find about those apps in this {post}.

Of all the apps I checked out, StoryKit proved to be the easiest and most useful.  I could see where kids could really enjoy using it and creating their own stories or even reports.
The app was created by the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) to help children use technology with reading and writing.  In this day and age, it is becoming more paramount to embrace technology while reading and writing.

I wish I had a chance to let students use this and show you how it works, but I was able to make some fun stories myself.  Here is one I made in just a couple of minutes tonight.  Click on the {here} or on the picture below to take you to it.

As you can see the app is super simple to use.  This was done on my iPhone while the kids played outside.

Some of the teachers were using it to create notes for the students.  The students could even use it when they finish a unit and get pictures off the Internet to use in their stories and tell their facts.  This would be a great alternative to the dreaded research paper or other writing prompt.

The stories can then be shared and shown to everyone through email.  There is no account to set up, and privacy is key.

I really think students will enjoy using this app and have lots of fun with it!  I keep thinking of more ways to use this app.  The possibilities are endless!

How could you use this app in your classroom?