Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tune into Technology Linky: iPads

Today I am linking up with iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for what might be my all time favorite link up so far. I am a HUGE fan of using technology in the classroom, ESPECIALLY iPads and iPods, and this linky is PERFECT for finding new apps to engage my wonderful kiddos with. Head on over to one of their blogs to find all the wonderful suggestions.

Two years ago, I received a fully funded Bright Ideas Grant for six iPods for my personal classroom use. This same year, my school also purchased an iPad cart and ever since then, my name has been a permanent fixture on the check-out list. While managing the iPods can be a little overwhelming at times, especially in the Summer when I reprogram and update ALL SIX INDIVIDUALLY (roll of eyes), I thoroughly having them and enjoy seeing my students engaged all year long with them.

Okay, Okay, enough of my jibber jabber and on to the best part. Some of my favorite all time apps are below:

1. QR Code: Since others have posted about this I won't spend a lot of time on it. However, I use this app almost everyday. Any website I want my students to visit from my personal webpage to Big Universe, we have a QR Code for them all. They love scanning the code and they also love making their own code. It's excellent for self check activities also.

2. Trading Cards: Our lead teacher found this app last year and I am addicted to it. If you have never seen it, you seriously need to check it out ASAP and the best part about it is it's FREE!! (I love that word)! You will love it, I promise. Students are able to pick an option of the type of trading card they want to make from a fictional character, to objects, to yes, even vocabulary words. Then, they are prompted on how to fill the trading card out and they are able to add a picture. Once they are finished, they can Bump the trading card to your main iPad, or you can email it to yourself. Here is an example one of my students did early this year when we were studying the American Revolution.

3. PhotoCard Lite: This app is a great way to get your students to write. I used this in my classroom when I taught third grade when we were studying Past and Present lifestyles. We taught this unit using Little House on the Praire as a reference point. At the end of the unit, we had our students write a post card to one of the characters from Little House on the Praire explaining the difference between current times and past times. They LOVED this activity and it was much more engaging for them than simply just writing an essay on the difference. You can also have students take on the perspective of a particular character in a book and have them write a post card to another character.

4. StoryKit: This app is just a great one that allows your students to write their own book. I use it a lot when my students finish a writing piece to allow them to "publish" their work. We upload them to our class website and they show them off any time they get. This app is designed for an iPod/iPhone but will work on an iPad.

5. StoryLines: This is just a fun and engaging way to get group work and writing all in one. Ideally this app is designed for students to complete one part of the process and pass the iPad to their partner to complete another part. You can choose to have a group of 3, 5, 7, or 9. Each person will have a job to complete and when all jobs are complete, it plays it. It can be extremely humorous because the third student can't see what the first student did and so forth.  I use this when I teach idioms.

Okay, so far all the apps I have mentioned are FREE. I will leave you with one to purchase that is, in my opinion, well worth the money. It is called POW! Strip Design.  When given an option my students 95% of the time always pick this app to create a project. It is just an app that creates a comic strip that reminds me of the graphic novels kiddos oh, so love. They are allowed to upload their own pictures or pictures from the web and add text and graphics. Go check it out, at $2.99, it's really a steal!

I could literally go on and on forever about APPS (well, maybe not literally) but a long time! I hope this has been a little bit helpful for someone out there. I also want to give a HUGE thanks to  iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for hosting this linky, great job guys! :) I will now go through all the link ups with my iPad in hand and download all the great ideas! :)


  1. I haven't used any of these apps and they all look amazing! I'm especially interested in the trading cards. That would be so cool for social studies! Thanks for linking up with us. Excited to have found a fellow 4th grade blog.:)

    iTeach 1:1

  2. Wow! SOOO many apps to check out! Thanks so much for sharing and telling how you use these apps! Great info1

    Lizzy from *The Teacher Chick*

  3. Storykit is a great app-- my little friends loved creating their own stories and taking pictures for their stories on there. I just pinned your Story Lines pic...will definitely check that out this school year!
    Thanks so much for linking up with us!
    Learning to the Core

  4. Hi Allison! I love your blog! I definitely plan to check out all those apps you've suggested. :) I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Head over to my blog for info on how to accept the award. I can't wait to follow you throughout the school year and get to know you better!

    - Jo Anne
    Teaching in Cardigans

    1. Thank you so much Jo Anne! I am so flattered. I look forward to reading your blog! :)

  5. Story Lines and Pow sound really fun!
    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

  6. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas! I love finding other 4th grade blogs and I am your newest follower! :)

    Adventures in Room 204

    1. Thank you Allison! (LOVE the name) ;) I am now YOUR newest follower! :)

  7. Congrats on your award nomination :) Just found your blog through it. Cute!

    The Sweetest Thing
    Follow me on Bloglovin'!

    1. Thank you Lauren! I am following you on Bloglovin'!

  8. I've nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! The post is live on my blog now! Please check it out!

    Elementary Exploration

  9. I will be "flipping" my classroom this year. Thank you for this!