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The Brainstormer – iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling App

24 Jun

The Brainstormer - iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling AppNext week I’ll be sharing ideas for storytelling with the Apple Watch at ISTE in Philadelphia.  One app that I’ve been excited about is The Brainstormer  which is available for iPhones, iPads, and now the Apple Watch.  With a tap of the screen users will see a new plot, subject and setting appear.  The dials spin and new ideas pop up.

The Brainstormer - iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling AppWhether students are orally telling stories with partners or using this app as a writing a prompt it’s a neat way to challenge student storytellers. If working with young students you may want to check out the app Writing Prompts for Kids.



4 Word Games and Phonics Tools for Tablets

23 Jun

4-2Here’s a preview of my post for Teachability – click on the link below to read more!

As teachers explore the best uses for tablets in their classroom, there are a range of possibilities for enhancing everyday instruction.  If you have access to just a few tablets you may decide to use these mobile devices in literacy stations.  Students can sign up to visit the iPad center the same way they would join a poetry corner or listening station.

There are many fantastic word games and phonics tools for tablets that will engage students and let them interact with literacy learning.  These apps are available for a range of devices and some simply use a web browser, making them great choices for classrooms with a few computers.  As you get started, think about what needs your students have and how you will introduce these tools to students.

Learn with Homer

This powerful iPad app focuses on…

…Click HERE to read more!

View my upcoming events and workshops!

Reading Library for Kids on iPads – EPIC!

21 Jun

screen480x480-2Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 4.04.08 PMEPIC! is a subscription-based ebook library for students.  This iPad app gives elementary-school aged readers access to thousands of books straight from their device.  Kids can set their preferences, browse the collection and earn badges for their achievements.  This engaging app is great for reluctant readers or students struggling to find a just-right book that also captures their interest.

Users can try EPIC! for free for the first month before committing to the subscription service.  Whether you use this on a handful of devices in your classroom or simply recommend it to families with tablets in their home, EPIC! has lots to offer.

Visit the Apple App Store to download EPIC! or learn more by visiting their website!

Here’s a few list of apps…

Teach Your Monster to Read: Free Phonics Games for Kids

17 Jun

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 9.01.00 AMTeach Your Monster to Read is a super fun, computer-based phonics game for kids.  This completely free online resource has over six hours of content for students to explore as they practice phonics skills.  It includes exercises on letters, sounds, and full sentences.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 9.01.18 AMThis website can be used to supplement school instruction at home or incorporated into literacy stations.  You might use Teach Your Monster to Read with struggling students or children who need a boost with phonics.

Visit Teach Your Monster to Read’s website to learn more!

7 Must-Have Digital Storytelling Apps for iPads

16 Jun

Digital Storytelling Apps for iPadsHere’s a preview of my post for Teachability – click on the link below to read more!


The iPad is a powerful creation tool in the hands of students.  Digital storytelling activities empower children to recount moments from their own life, explain their understanding of a topic, or persuade an audience.  Across the content areas, digital storytelling tasks can provide a real audience for students and a chance for them to capture their own voice.

On iPads there are a variety of apps that turn students into creators and storytellers.  Students can use these apps independently to tell their own story or with a partner to create collaboratively.  You’ll want to outline a task, provide scaffolding where needed and give students space to be creative.  Each app on this list has exciting and unique features that can be tailored for a wide range of learners.

Shadow Puppet EDU

With this narrated slideshow app students can…

…Click HERE to read more!

View my upcoming events and workshops!

Brainspace: Augmented Reality Enhanced Print Magazine

13 Jun
Brainspace Summer 2015I’m a huge fan of augmented reality and want to share a magazine that is using this technology to engage readers. Brainspace is an educational print magazine that is interactive with iPads, iPhones, Android Tablets and Android smartphones. The pages come to life with extra content for 8-14 year old students as soon as they scan with the augmented reality app Blippar.
To get an idea of what this looks like in action, watch the triceratops on the cover of their latest issue by clicking this link.  You can help motivate young readers to explore traditional print resources and give them a way to engage using technology. This magazine includes math, language, french, history, chemistry, biology, and geography content just to name a few.  Brainspace is a Parents’ Choice Awards Gold Medal Recipient and a great resource for informational text.
Learn more about Brainspace by visiting their website!

How-To: Create Reading Guides for Students with iBook Tools

8 Jun
One thing I love about iBooks is how easy it is to take notes and organize your thinking.
I’ve used iBooks to prepare reading guides for student book clubs. If your students are reading classic texts (Treasure Island, Jane Eyre, etc.) these books are free to download.  If students are going to read in a book club with hard copies of a text, you can purchase a copy on iBooks and prepare a reading guide for them. Here’s how:
  • As you re  reading highlight a piece of text and add a note.  This note could be a comprehension or discussion question you want students to stop and answer when they finish the chapter.
  • You can access all of these notes (aka comprehension questions) in one place, no matter when or where in the book you stopped to record them.
  • All of these notes (aka comprehension questions) can be emailed together, and are already organized by chapter.
  • You can then give this list to students at the beginning of a book club with the expectation that this will guide their reading responses and group discussions.

Check out my book club guide for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.

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