Spelling City

All in one vocabulary, spelling and data tracking.

All in one vocabulary, spelling and data tracking.

Are you looking to customize your students spelling, writing, and assignments for all of your students?  Please check out the app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellingcity/id538407602?mt=8.  The app is free with the ability to use pre-loaded sample lists.  If you are looking to report to parent and monitor student work based upon individual IEP goals the premium membership will allow you to do this.  Log onto http://www.spellingcity.com and create a premium account for $49.95 for 25 students.

I have now created my own lists and lists that align to the Common Core Standards by grade. My students are on four different levels. I have created group lists for each student with assignments that match their goals.  Each student can log on either to the website or use the app to work on designated assignments.  Students can work in class or at home.  Teachers can follow student’s assignments and send data results to parents and colleagues.

Now you can create lists based on books students are reading or social studies and science Common Core words as well as the new Skills and Credential vocabulary for students receiving the Alternate Assessment Portfolio.  Finally an all in one app that can be customized and collects data to share with parents!

SplashMath Kindergarten

Are you familiar with the SplashMath series?  If not this is one series that has been consistent throughout all of their apps.  They have also been the forerunner in aligning the apps to the Common Core Standards. SplashMath Kindergarten by Study Pad, Inc.

Unknownis $9.99. and covers  7 chapters of math that is appropriate for children who are on grade level and for those who need the extra help to understand counting to 20, number representation, addition concepts, subtraction, geometry and measurement.  Most important is the presentation of the app.

First, there is a parents button that you hold for 2 seconds.  Set a goal whether  it is increase concentration or set a number of questions to get  correct.  Next, add a topic from the built in syllabus.  In the settings you can control music in the background, emailing weekly reports, sync data in the cloud and even the sync the timezone.  Under the player’s settings you put the child’s name and the number of attempts the child has made. At the end of a chapter or a quarter you can send a graph of the student’s work.

The app uses a child’s voice to give directions helping those children who need the an audio component.  The jungle theme is enticing as children of this age love looking at bugs and different animals.  The “mistro” of the app is a hippo who tells the child when they are correct or to try again.

This is clearly one of the most sophisticated and detailed data tracking apps for both parents and teachers.  This is a great app for Response to Intervention helping parents see where students are struggling early in the child’s schooling.

IEP Goals:  The student will rote learn addition facts up to :number.
The student will rote learn subtraction facts up to :number.
The student will solve single digit addition problems



Plurality  by Zorten Software for $1.99 takes 24 plural words and creates them into a memory game for 1-4 players.  If you are workingPlurality with children on the spectrum you can create boards from 2×4 to 5×6.  In the settings you also choose how many plural words you feel would be appropriate for the individual child or the group. After a student takes a turn when he/she flips a card you see the singular and the plural of the word.  If you do not get a match you get a peek at the entire board if you put that in your settings.

Memory games are very important for children. They are more than just fun things your child/ student can play with but instead should be consider the starting point of a childs education. A childs memory is a treasure that should be protected and nurtured until they are able to take full advantage of it.  Plurality also encourages socialization which is extremely important with students on the spectrum. This game students learn to take turns and need to focus on their peers turn as it can help them when it is their turn as this is the strategy of  memory games.

Irregular plurals is part of the Common Core Standards.  In second grade under language-Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g.,feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g.,feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).

IEP Goals: When given written material, the student will identify the irregular nouns.

Memory games are always a challenge for children.  It is always a bonus when there is a meaning behind the game.  It would be nice if the game could have a timer and data collection added for future reference.


Toca Boca Store

toca boca store

Are you looking to increase socialization, take turns, exchange money and learn what it means to make a purchase than try Toca Boca Store  by Toca Boca AB $2.99.  This app helps children explore daily living skills and primary money skills.

First the student chooses what they want to sell in their store.  This is an opportunity to decide if the store will be a toy store, a supermarket, or another theme based on the items on the menu  presented at the beginning of the app.  Next, one student is the shopkeeper and the other is the purchaser.  The goal is to purchase items using the given coins and making sure the child stays within budget using “pennies”.  Money should be introduced in first and second grade based upon the Common Core Standards.  Working with developmentally disabled students this app has been a great app to increase student understanding of money exchange and budgeting.

When two students play a game social interaction happens. Toca Boca Store encourages children to discuss what items they want to purchase and how much money they have to purchase an item.  The shopkeeper’s role is to encourage the purchaser to buy the items in their store.  While students’ are role playing other students can watch while the teacher tapes the the scene.  In my class students go out to the supermarket to food shop.  Toca Store is a good activity to use prior to going out to practice asking how much something is and paying at the cash register.  Using apps that offer real life scenarios help students before going out to real world experiences.

This is not a data tracking app but you can develop your own checklist to help students understand what needs to be done when going out into public situations.  In addition Toca Store is fun and allows kids to enjoy an experience that will one day will be a real-life experience.

IEP Goal:   The student will make a correct payment for food or snack in the school cafeteria (change school cafeteria to supermarket)



Teach Me First Grade

As we move onto the fourth year of the iPad it amazes me that everyday more apps are developed and developers continue to come up with new ways and ideas to communicate educational information.  Since I have been reviewing since the inception I have some of my favorites that have remained my favorites because they have been updated and changed because of  consumer requests.  One of these apps is from a series by 24×7 digital LLC known as the TeachMe series. They start in preK and it go until third grade. TeachMe 1st Grade and TeachMe Kindergarten each $1.99 have been staples in my classroom.  Many of my students are working on a K-1st grade level making these perfect for teaching addition, subtraction spelling and Dolch Sight words.  Both kindergarten and first grade teach similar topics but are geared specifically for the individual grade.

image1-225x300teach me

As always you want to set your settings before staring the app. In this app it is done a bit differently.  After you input your students you go to your players.  As you can see you can have your entire class use the app if you are a center based classroom. Next touch the student’s name to set up your student’s profile.  There are rewards and the number of questions needed to be answered for mastery.  If you are just teaching math or spelling you can shut off the other features.  In first grade handwriting is incorporated as part of the lesson.  If the student can not write  or have dysgraphia you can check off the virtual keyboard.

If you want to check the student’s data you have the option to check the TeachMe Topic. It will give you the current level, total number of questions- how many the student has learned and how many they have not learned.  It also allows you to view the questions the student had difficulty with. If you feel the current level is too easy there is the option to advance to the next level allowing those students who need more of a challenge an opportunity to move on.

The students love the math problems because they are interactive. When there is a subtraction problem there is a horizontal math sentence and pictures above for the students to manipulate.   If the problem is 9-2= the student taps the minus sign two items fall in the garbage can.  The student needs to count the remaining items with the help of a voice that count with the child.  In first grade the child taps a pencil when they complete the math problem and writes the number 7.  If the child needs help they can tap the question mark and learn how to draw the answer by tracing the number.  The same is true with spelling, the child is given a picture and then needs to spell the word.  If the child does not know how to spell the word the question mark will help the student spell the word.

If you are looking for a way to help your child who may be struggling with basic addition, subtraction, spelling and sight words TeachMe gives you 4 apps in one with the ability to see how your student is progressing.  This is one of the iPad education classics and a top favorite for my students.  The price is right and it meets Kindergarten and First Grade Common Core Standards.

K- Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
K -Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., theofto,youshemyisaredodoes).

IEP Goals: The student will rote learn addition facts up to :number.
The student will rote learn subtraction facts up to :number
The student will identify and use :number sight words

Bitsboard- Education, Games and Flashcards and more for Learning Reading, Spelling and more

It can not be possible that Bitsboard- Education, Games and Flashcards and more for Learning, Reading, Spelling and more can be FREE by Grasshopper Apps.  If you have a child with Autism, on the spectrum or a developmental disability this is more than a must have- it is a must download NOW!  So you must be wondering why!  As always first go to your settings. There is an option to log in with Facebook.  It is to back up your “boards” and get access to thousands of other boards people have created. If you do use it, it will track the students’s progress and create lesson plans for the individual student- that is pretty nice when talking about differentiating instruction. It is not a must do but an option.   Next choose what you would like to do Flashcards, photo touch, true false, match up and more.  Then choose the amount of items you would like to work with like match up has a minimum or 3 and a maximum of 6 matches.


The interface is clean and easy to use.  You choose the topic and subject/game you want to use with your student or add your own board if you need something that is not there.  If you need to download a board that is in the catalog you need to be in a place where you have wi-fi.  All of the boards in the catalogue are cloud based.  You put in your search and if there is a board for your topic you are ready to go.  I decided to try to find a board on the human body. I immediately found a board that was perfect for my class. Next, I set my minimum images for 5 and my maximum for 10.  Then I chose to play photo touch.  In a matter of seconds a non-computerized voice  came on with 6 pictures asking for an arm.  I touched the arm and got a simple green check.  When I was wrong I got a red x and the picture disappeared allowing me more opportunities to get the correct answer .

Out of curiosity I went to the true or false.  I was presented with a picture of an arm and the voice asked for foot.  I had to touch the red x because it was false.  True and false is always difficult to teach but with Bitsboard it gives you a creative way to teach this abstract concept.

The beauty of the board is it allows you to pick a topic that is part of your curriculum.  Within the board you have 8 different ways to help the child learn the information through both guided practice and differentiation.

As for making your own board you simply press new board give it a title and begin to add photos.  I think I know what I am doing this summer- making a lot of Bitsboards.

Using this app you can meet many of the Common Core Standards in elementary school and IEP goals based upon the child and their particular goals. As I said this is a MUST HAVE app.  You will not regret the download.

Reading Comprehension Non-Fiction for Kindergarten and First Grade

Comprehension is a skill that many students struggle with. It may be because of a Learning Disability or other type of disability.  Many of  these students lack the ability to process information that is written and need strategies to help them understand how to decipher both narrative and expository text.

AbitalkReading Comprehension Non-Fiction for Kindergarten and First Grade by AbiTalk- Emmy Chen- Free and full version is $2.99 uses Science topics that are a few sentences long with a picture.  Students can either practice or take a test to collect data for teacher records.  The student has anywhere from 8-10 multiple choice questions to answer. The test collects the students’ data and can be mailed to the parents.  If the student is not a reader they can press each word and have the sentences read to them which works well for students who are auditory learners.

As students are reading the stories the teacher can stop after each line and ask what was the main idea of the sentence.  Using a Smart Board the teacher can set up a graphic organizer helping the student to organize their thoughts.  After the facts are read the teacher can reinforce  each of the facts before having the students take a practice quiz.  If the child is still struggling they can draw a picture of the theme to help reinforce the facts.

The free version gives you 4 stories to read and test your students with.  If you feel this is a good tool to help your students with Non-Fiction and answering multiple choice questions for $2.99 you will get a total of 20 stories all about Science.  This is a nice basic app that meets the Common Core Standards on Non-Fiction Reading Standards.  If you are working with students who are on a Kindergarten-First grade level this app is a good  introduction to how to answer  comprehension questions.

IEP Goal: The student will answer :number comprehension questions from factual materials (e.g.,newspapers, maps, brochures) and content area textbooks (e.g., social studies, science) that demonstrate understanding of what has been read