Curious Words is a visual storytelling app from the makers of Oh No Fractions! and Curious Ruler. Random words stimulate the child to explore the world around them, illustrating such words with what they see. Instead of drawing the word with a still picture, they can shoot a one second video – just the right length to capture a gesture, a movement, a shadow, or a smile. A final movie is assembled with voice over and music once the child has “illustrated” up to 12 words. The final results are unique mini films that capture the way a child sees the world.
The interface of Curious Words is clean and simple, allowing the child to focus on the visual exploration creative task. Kids can even control the sequence of words by double tapping on a word to pick one from a list. Parents, teachers, and peers can collaborate with children in their visual exploration and creation.
Watch this video to learn more, check out some Curious Words creations, and visit their website to learn more!
Gepeto is an app that makes storytelling truly interactive. Kids can use puppets to craft and record stories instead of writing or typing. It has a uniquely open platform that allows kids to create narratives the way they would during play – using their voices and physical movements.
With Gepeto, kids can use characters they draw, ones they take photos of, or ones great illustrators from around the world have made for them. Gepeto empowers kids to not just be passive consumers of media but instead be active participants in making, and sharing content they invent. Their goal is to give kids, parents, and teachers easy to use, yet powerful creative tools and then see where their imaginations will take them.
Gepeto is currently crowdfunding and is looking for support from lovers of storytelling. Visit their campaign page to learn more!
You may know TIME For Kids from their classroom magazine and now their Classroom App makes it easy to view this content on a tablet. Their app for iPads can help students build digital literacy skills while learning about current events and reading high quality informational text. Students can access multimedia including video, photos, maps, and other interactive features.
With The TIME For Kids Classroom app educators have access to reporting and lesson plan tools and can accommodate different reading levels. Select content is translated into Spanish and there is also a read-aloud feature. Students can access definitions of keywords throughout the text.
The TIME For Kids Classroom app has a free trial through 12/31 so teachers can check it out before signing up for the subscription service!
Last month I shared some of the great features from News-O-Matic‘s new update and there is one more you are sure to love. Teachers using this app can choose between different reading levels for students. Each article is adapted by News-O-Matic’s editorial team to fit three reading levels (400L-600L, 600L-750L and 750-1050L). These categories are connected to ranges of Lexile levels – a readability measure that helps measure text complexity. Teachers can assign different reading levels to each student in their class so they automatically receive news articles on their tablet that are the right level for them.
This new feature makes it simple to differentiate reading instruction in your classroom with a few taps of your screen. There is also a Read-to-Me option that directly connects with each reading level. So each article has been recorded three times, once for each reading level. Students can listen to the article read aloud at their individual reading level.
Enter to win a full free year of News-O-Matic promotion by tweeting: “Hey @ClassTechTips! I want to try out @News_O_Matic in my classroom because ___________”
*make sure to follow @ClassTechTips to enter – a winner will be announced on 12/15/14
Academic Help is a great resource to share with students preparing for mid-year or end of term exams. Middle school and high school students will find that Academic Help has tons of guides to help young writers. Their website provides free writing guides and samples of different types of papers. This includes examples of critical essays, narrative essay, application letters, and even tips for creative writing. The resources on Academic Help are totally free and work for a range of age levels.
There is a section of Academic Help’s site dedicated to general writing tips and do’s and don’ts for each type of writing assignment. Teachers can use the samples on this site as mentor pieces for a writing unit or direct struggling students to Academic Help for extra examples.
Explore their website to see how they can help students prepare for exams this year!