Downloadable Apps For Practicing Skills
Below is a list of iPad applications (apps) which are helpful for students who need to work on specific skills. These apps are categorized by the specific skills that they are meant to help strengthen. Most of these apps can be used on iPads, iPhones and Android devices.
App for Students and Parents who Need Translating Help:
"SayHi" is an app that can be used for the iPad and iPhone that can translate your voice in your native language to any other language that you wish. This app can translate your voice in up to 100 other languages. This can help during parent meetings, writing e-mails to teachers (just copy and paste the text into an e-mail), writing notes or having simple conversations with someone that does not speak the same language as you. It is a wonderful tool to help teachers communicate with ESL students, as well! If you have any questions please let me know because I personally use this application and love it!
Apps to Help with Spelling and to Create a Sentence:
"Spell Better" (For all grades) Students who need assistance with spelling words correctly or creating sentences will benefit from this app! This app predicts words that the student is typing (just like the iPhone when text messaging) and shows choices of words at the bottom. The student can easily select the word at the bottom of the screen and it will appear where their cursor is helping them finish their thought and/or sentence. This app was designed for students with Dyslexia, however it is great for all students, including ESL students! Once the student places a period at the end of the sentence, the app will read the sentence back to the student, so they can hear what they wrote.
Apps to Improve Reading:
"Raz Kids" App: This app works just like the website www.raz-kids.com where students can sign in with their username and password given to them by their special education teacher. Students can read or listen to books on their specific reading level. After, there are comprehension quizzes.
Apps to Improve Sequencing Skills:
"Story Builder" (For all grades) This app is designed to help children accomplish integration of ideas, improve higher-level abstractions by inference and being able to create a story based on placing pictures in the correct order of events. This app asks the student questions and records their responses to create a story. At the end, the student clicks "play" to hear their story in their own voice.
"Speech with Milo, Sequencing" (For younger grades) This app features basic routines or common activities divided into three steps through pictures. The student is expected to place the picture cards in the correct order. Not only does this strengthen sequencing skills, but at home, parents can practice storytelling and/or retelling through each picture card. Teachers or parents can have their student practice transition words (first, next, then, finally) when telling the story with the picture cards.
Apps to Improve Math Facts:
"Math Zombies" This app is a fun way for students to practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. Students have to solve the facts at a certain pace to keep the zombies from coming closer. There are a number of different levels from easy to difficult in each math topic of addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.
"MyScript Calculator" This app lets students draw math equations with their finger. The program's strength is that it recognizes the person's handwriting and transforms their writing into computer-based text while providing the answer of the equation. Students who practice solving math equations can easily write any math problem and the answer will be given. This application also assists students with making their equations more legible and organized because their handwriting transforms into the computer-based text. This is a fun way to practice math facts!
Apps to Improve Spelling:
"TouchWrite" (Younger students) This application is used for practicing fine motor skills and spelling. Students, parents or teachers can easily create a "word list" by typing words into the app so students can practice their spelling. Then, the student is given a choice to write in whip cream, ketchup and chocolate to spell their words on the iPad screen. It is a fun way to practice spelling! Although this application is meant for practicing words and letters, the program gives them "pointers and hints" as to where they should first start writing their letter on the line. This is a great app to use to practice for your weekly spelling test!
Apps to Improve Speech:
"Speech with Milo" (Younger Students) These apps were created by a licensed speech-language pathologist which teaches children how to correctly say words. There are many different Speech with Milo apps.
"ABC Phonics Word Family Free" (For younger grades)This app provides practice for word phonics spelling, word family phonics, short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, two vowels (e.g. "ea") and three letters (e.g. "art, ink"). This game uses the Montessori Method for students to learn phonics. There is a visual for each word that the child has to spell and at the end the student can play a matching game.
Apps to Improve Confusion Between the Letters "q, d, p, b":
"LetterReflex" This app was made by the creators of Dexteria and is used to overcome letter reversal issues. It has an arcade game theme where students have to roll a ball on the screen into the correct letter. This strengthens the ability to identify the visual of specific letters that the child gets confused on. There is another game on this app that asks students to make certain letters (e.g. "the letter b") when given a screen full of different letters "b,d,p,q." The student has to flip the letters "d,p,q" to make a letter "b," which helps them identify which way the letter "b" is supposed to look. There are games to practice for all the letters that can be easily confused.
Apps to Practice Conversations for Social Settings:
"Conversation Builder" (For all grades) This app has students practice conversations for social interactions. The student is given a picture with the first sentence of the conversation said out loud. Then, three multiple choice sentences appear listing three return responses. The student selects the record button and says the sentence he/she picked. The app does this with 3-5 pictures to create a full conversation. At the end, the student can select play to hear the conversation they created.
The Social Express: This app uses the same set of characters, but in different social situations. The student selects what the appropriate response would be. I feel it is engaging because it is a cartoon where students get to know the characters. This application not only shows what would happen in a social situation with the correct response, but also shows what would happen with the inappropriate response and shows the student the different outcomes. Examples of some scenarios are; cutting someone in line, how to respond when someone is crying, how to make correct eye contact when speaking etc. There are printable worksheets that go along with each scenario which helps parents and teachers review with the student.
Fine Motor Skill Practice:
"Dexteria" (For all grades) Dexteria was created to improve fine motor skills in students who need practice with grabbing objects (e.g. pencils). Various games activities help improve thumb, pointer finger, hand and isolation of finger movements, fine motor manipulation and control. This app times the student's accuracy to see if they are improving.
"Dexteria Jr." (Younger students) This application is very similar to Dexteria, with the exception that the application uses cartoon-like characters to make the application more exciting and engaging for younger students. The various games help to improve fine motor skills.