3 Non-Fiction Story Apps

by Rochelle Tkach, OCT

 

 

Looking for apps that focus on reading?  This blog highlights three non-fiction story apps recently shared in Cube for Teachers.

One Minute Reader App: Fluency, Vocabulary, & Comprehension App!


The One Minute Reader app offers a fantastic digital platform for students to improve their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. It is designed with 6 different levels for students to work between and read a variety of non-fiction books. I would generally recommend this app for grades 3-6, but it can definitely be used in other grades depending on your students’ reading levels. The app has a placement feature that helps teachers determine where students fall within the One Minute Reader levels. After students have been placed, this app calculates students’ initial fluency by timing how many words they can read from a story in one minute. The app then scaffolds students to build their fluency by reading along with the app and practicing vocabulary. The app provides immediate feedback to show how well students improved after practice. One Minute Reader further builds students’ comprehension by asking 3-4 questions after the story. There is also a great reward system built into One Minute Reader! This app has been shared into the Cube for Teachers database as a curriculum resource for Language Arts. To read the full review of One Minute Reader, go to Teaching with EdTech blog.

News-O-Matic App: The Daily Newspaper just for Kids!  


News-O-Matic is a daily newspaper just for kids! It is a fantastic app to enhance global literacy because students are reading age appropriate non-fiction articles about events happening all over the globe. Daily, there are 5 new articles for students to interact with and read. The app goes beyond just text on an iPad screen. Students can tap difficult words to hear a definition. They can click the “Read to Me” option to differentiate their own instruction. The app further provides a picture slideshow and video for every article to make the experience multi-modal and interactive. A fantastic feature of the app is the little globe in the corner that students can click. This globe takes students to the place in the world where the article is situated in. This is such a great way for students to learn about simple facts from around the globe and provide some context for the article they are reading. News-O-Matic further has a school app (as shown above) where teachers can track students’ progress of what articles they have read and how well they did with the multiple choice questions at the end of each article. I have shared the News-O-Matic app as a curriculum resource for Language Arts in the Cube for Teachers database. Discover more about News-O-Matic on their webpage.

HMH Readers APP

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HMH Readers is another fantastic app for students to practice reading on the iPad. This app has a variety of leveled books and the option to sort books based on your students’ current grade level. Once you know the leveled books that fall under your students’ grade level, you can then sort them by this level to discover even more books. This app provides a variety of non-fiction and fiction stories for students to read. The app has built-in features to differentiate instruction such as a “Read to Me” option. HMH Readers further provide a glossary at the end of books to help build students’ vocabulary. Many of the books also have extension activities at the end of the book that students can complete to expand their understanding and demonstrate their comprehension of the text. I have recently shared the HMH Readers app as a curriculum resource for grades K-6 Language Arts in the Cube for Teachers database. Discover more about HMH Readers on their webpage.

Have you registered for Cube for Teachers yet?

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. There are now over 25 000 web resources that have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators just like you.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers or sharing your blog, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.

 

6 Great Apps to Support Pre-Writing

by Rochelle Tkach, OCT

 

Here is an overview of six apps recently shared in Cube for Teachers that support Language Arts Writing (pre-writing/ brainstorming) and potential cross-curricular connections to other subject matter.

Corkulous:

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Corkulous, is where your traditional bulletin board meets the digital world!  This virtual bulletin board makes a great digital brainstorming environment for students to throw around ideas, make connections between information, and classify points. Some of the app features include sticky notes, cue cards, label arrows, checklist templates, and more! Students are also able to upload photos to help support their brainstorming ideas and spark inspiration.  Learn more.

MindMeister:Image result for mindmeisterMindMeister provides a more advanced digital platform to brainstorm and even pre-write. One of the best features of MindMeister is how it supports a collaborative network. People can be added to edit and share on a mind map using their email. Through cloud technology, students, teachers, or administrators can edit and share their ideas together around a particular topic. Learn more.

Popplet:

Popplet is another wonderful mind mapping app for students to brainstorm ideas on potential topics or to demonstrate what they have learned. An important feature of Popplet is its’ ability to have students collaborate within the same network. Much like the app, MindMeister, discussed above, students can share their ideas by making comments, uploading pictures, and connecting information. Learn more.

Pic Collage:

Pic Collage provides a unique and more simplified way for students to organize their ideas through pictures. Pic Collage could be used as a way to differentiate the pre-writing stage for students who may struggle to express their thoughts in written form. Pic Collage at least gets the ideas flowing for these students and could help scaffold them towards richer ideas for a story. Learn more.

Stickyboard:

On Stickyboard, students are able to use sticky notes to write their ideas and begin to make connections about a topic. One of the unique features about Stickyboard is its dual function as a white board! Students can then organize their sticky notes through connecting lines, diagrams, columns, or through arrows. Learn more.

Inspiration:

Inspiration allows students to begin pre-writing through mind-maps and further provides many pre-made mind mapping templates in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math. All of these mind maps have built in graphics and symbols to support the pre-writing or brainstorming process. The app further allows students to record audio within the mind map to explain their thinking and communicating of ideas. Learn more.

Have you registered for Cube for Teachers yet?

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. To date nearly 25 000 web resources have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.

Gamify & Digitize Math!

by Rochelle Tkach, OCT

 

I recently shared the following Mathematics resources into the Cube for Teachers database under ‘Curriculum Resources’:

1) Prodigy
2) Digitize Math Manipulatives
3) Playpower

Are YOU Ready to Make Math Magical? Try Prodigy!

What student doesn’t like wizards, duels, rewards, and challenges? With over 1.5 million student users and growing, Prodigy has designed an engaging and meaningful way to gamify math for students. While students play Prodigy, they will have to duel against other players (other computer players not other students). The duel means that students are required to solve a math problem. Prodigy has a database of over 300 curriculum aligned math questions that target grades 1 through to 8. Furthermore, teachers can choose specific math questions to include in the game and assess students on these concepts without them even knowing they are being assessed. It all just seems like a game! Prodigy includes other features to differentiate instruction based on individual students, inform teachers based on data driven assessment, provide scaffolding throughout the game, and engage students through fun reward systems. Read the full review of Prodigy on my Teaching with EdTech blog!

Digitize Math Manipulatives!

Why not combine hands-on activities with the digital world? Clarity Innovations has created a set of free high quality math manipulatives for the Math Learning Center. These apps still provide the visual/symbolic representations of math concepts that traditional manipulatives have for years. However, now with the math manipulative apps, educators can support the unique learning needs of students today in the 21st century! Furthermore all of these math manipulatives have a whiteboard feature built in. This means students can not only use the digital manipulatives, but they can further write numbers, equations, or explanations of their thinking as they work with the manipulatives. Read the full review about these high quality math manipulative apps on my Teaching with EdTech blog!

1, 2, 3…BLAST OFF to the Math Planet App by Playpower!

Playpower is an organization that creates many high quality math education apps for grades 1-8. Playpower has really jumped on the trend of gamification in learning to make math more meaningful and fun for students. Math Planet was developed by experts at Carnegie Mellon University and has been tested across hundreds of classrooms to improve and enhance the richness of math learning. It has also won many awards! This app provides a gamified learning environment to learn many math concepts in a virtual outer space. The strands Math Planet focuses on include: Number Sense and Numeration, Geometry, and Measurement! With 9 different games and over 100+ levels, math planet makes a great addition to reinforce important math concepts. Read the full review of Playpower’s Math Planet app on my Teaching with EdTech blog.

Cube for Teachers is a community of thousands of educators sharing, searching and saving their favourite web resources into a free curriculum-aligned database. To date nearly 25 000 web resources have been shared in Cube for Teachers by educators.

If you’re interested in writing for Cube for Teachers, email us with your ideas.

For additional inquiries, contact Susan Kwiecien, Co-Founder of Cube for Teachers.