Apps


Classroom Organizer
Classroom Organizer (Use as a checkout system for classroom library)
This app made my day when I first discovered it!  I was just debating how to handle my classroom library this year as it seems MANY books walked away last year.  I have a fairly significant library and expect some "disappearances," but they seemed excessive this year.  I've resisted doing individual checkouts because it gets to be time consuming and the accountability and followup isn't really there anyhow!  And here is the solution!  

Step 1: Set up your account on Classroom Organizer's website (it's free!).  This is where you will input your class information, student names, and organize the books you will later scan.

Step 2:  Download the Classroom Organizer App.  Enter your password and now you can begin scanning your books.  There is not a specific app for IPad; rather, it uses the Iphone's app which is why that screen shot looks smaller.  It still works the same!  Touch scan and you're off.  HINT:  You need a VERY BRIGHT room.  I did mine right under a light.  The scanner automatically zooms in on the ISBN.  I did have to enter the titles of the few books I did, but they are relatively new.  When the kids are ready to check out, the process is the same, except they select their name. Setting this baby up will be time consuming, but I think I've got the perfect fifth grader from last year to put a few hours in!
Cool stuff:

  • Print class reports
  • Limit numbers of books
  • Limit time checked out
  • Enter various categories by level
  • Have your students' book lists in front of you during reading conferences!

iPhone Screenshot 1
Stickman and Stickman 2
FREE and silly!  You draw a stick man that comes to life.  You have to help him out of some tough situations by drawing other little pictures.  Silly for sure, but I was thinking this could be a really awesome way to reinforce a writing lesson you've already introduced, like rewriting your stick man story using strong verbs or dialogue.  Summarizing using cause/effect key words would be easy too.  And, if you go to www.drawstickman.com, the kids can access the program on desktop computers and have an activity to work on in writing centers. I think the kids would love this one!

$1.99-  There are 250 passages ranging from K-4.  The student can be reading while the teacher takes a running record.  When the student hits stop, you get an automatic calculation which you can then tweak based on errors.  The program then tracks their data.  I thought this would be really easy to document for an RTI intervention and novel for those struggling readers. 



Common Core
FREE!  This is pretty cool!  You have access to all of your common core standards instantly!  Very well organized and easy to access by subject area and grade level.  A must have for teachers!

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Brainpop
FREE! Includes their daily video and access to all of their free videos at your fingertips.  Quizzes, FAQs, and activities are all also available.  If you've got a classroom blog, you can also link to their website to have the daily video available and they have a great teacher section that provides access to IWB activities, blog, and lots more!
BrainPOP Jr.
Brainpop Jr.
FREE!  All the great stuff about Brainpop, but in junior form!  I also like that you can easily transition to close captioning.  This app provides access to a movie of the week, rather than a daily video, but they are so thorough!  Awesome app!

Kids Book Report
This isn't really super fancy app, but I think it is that "thing" that my struggling readers and writers just might need to inspire them!  I know they'd love love love to use the Ipad and the interface of this app is so simple, almost no background is needed.  It's simple enough:  4 parts of the story to select, write about, save, and share!  Besides using it as a planning tool, I think it would be a wonderful way to reinforce story elements after reading the story and helping with summarizing.  If $0.99 will get those guys motivated, I'm in! 
 Review
If you want a little more, this one looks cool.  I didn't buy it- 7.99 too much for a test drive but maybe once the kids come back!  But wow...this has capabilities!  50 different storylines with questions that help guide the child through the writing process.  Even better- multiple students can set up files to archive stories and....they can record their stories!  Seems like a really neat app and it has mostly 5 star reviews.  Great resource for parents too!

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