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Friday Five: 5 Favorite Teaching Apps

Jacqui Murray

Friday Five: 5 Favorite Teaching AppsIn my last Friday 5, I provided extensive insight into how I pick apps for my classroom. I was mega-thorough because selecting the programs that will fuel a multitude of K-8 subjects is an important responsibility.

Some readers felt my steps were too complicated (a sentiment I don't disagree with as I slog through them on a regular basis). How could any teacher have time for all those steps when hundreds of apps are required?

Here's the abbreviated list of criteria for teacher apps:

Does the app support classroom discussion

Is the app intuitive to the age it's intended to serve

Are there minimal/no ads

If you are satisfied with the answers to these three questions, test it on students. If they come back to use it a second and third time, if they tell their friends about it, if they ask their parents to download it at home, you have a good app.

Here are five that passed this abbreviated review process with top scores:

Speech and Language Apps from Mobile Education Store

This is designed for elementary-age special needs students who need assistance building language skills. Created by a father who was continually dissatisfied with educational software available for his special needs daughter, the suite includes Conversation Builder, StoryBuilder, Tense Builder, Rainbow Sentences.

Splash Math - 2nd grade worksheets of Numbers, Addition, Subtraction, Time & 9 other chapters [HD Full] - StudyPad, Inc.

There are so many math apps, but this one stands out. With separate apps for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and priced between FREE and $4.99, Splash Math makes it fun to study math

AIRR MATH - GHL ASSOCIATES

Besides its straightforward approach to teaching math, what I like particularly about this 1st grade math app is that it is aligned with NCTM Content Standards. The full version includes numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, and problem solving. Note: The iTunes app is FREE, but includes only a list of what's available in the rest of the apps. Add-ons are priced between $1.99 and $5.99.

Learn Spanish with Spanish Smash (Personalized) - Native Tongue Pty Ltd

This app teaches Spanish in a fun and engaging manner. I like that there are no translations--just 240 Spanish words taught the way you learned language. I haven't found many second language apps that are as appealing and effective as this one from Native Tongue.

Murky Reef : 1st - 2nd Grade Reading, Science & Math - Frolyc

The series covers english language, science, reading, and math for grades 1 and 2. Apps are priced between $1.99 and $4.99 currently. The link here is to the science and reading comprehension app for grades 1 and 2 which encourages critical thinking via conceptual game play

That's it for this list. I'd love to hear what your favorites are.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, and IMS tech expert.