Teaching with iPhone Apps
Clifford's BE BIG with Words
Scholastic has a great word game application that kids will love, called Clifford's BE BIG With Words. It stars that lovable big red dog. As many of you may know, Clifford is a favorite among my students! Students can use this application to experiment with letters and letter sounds by helping Jetta paint spelling words. This application really delivers its promise to engage kids in "word building, spelling, and vocabulary skills." Take a look at the video demonstration to see how you can use it as a fun learning tool with your students.
After receiving this application to try out, I recommended it to my students' parents for educational practice on the go! Many parents already have an iPhone or iPod Touch and were excited to try it at home with their child.
In the classroom, I put my iPhone on my document camera and we use it to play the game with the whole class. I love using it to show my students how changing the last letter of a CVC word can make a whole new word. In this game, students choose a first letter and then the vowel. For example, we chose "C" followed by "U". Then we talk about what words we can make. The choices the game provides is "T" "P" or "B." As a class, we can figure out what the words would be with these letter endings. Next we vote on the word we want to make and select the correct letter. An animated part of the application shows Jetta painting a picture of the word we just made, C-U-P!
As I teacher, I love that it gives my students an immediate visual confirmation of the meaning of the word that we made together. It helps my students, especially English Language Learners, make the visual connection with the printed word.
WordGirl Word Hunt
WordGirl Word Hunt is more advanced educational iPhone/iTouch application that provides a wonderful way to help develop and enhance student's vocabulary. It is recommended for upper elementary grade students. In each adventure, students must choose and collect ten correct words to help WordGirl defeat the villains. Even if the child selects the wrong word it gives the definition, and tells whether the word is correct or not.
Although this application is too difficult for most of my kindergartners, it was fun to try it out with two of my very high readers in my class. We have been working on developing their vocabulary skills in the classroom, so I had these students try the game. It was interesting to see them work together to try to figure out which word would fit best. As they played, they got increasingly better at figuring out the correct words. I would recommend this application to upper elementary teachers and parents that would like to enhance their child's vocabulary.
My 15 month old son plays some of these Toddler Teasers on my iPhone. He is a total digital kid and loves computers and phones. I purchased the Quizzing application and I have installed the free shapes game about two months ago. My son is able to manipulate these games on his own. I love how the Quizzing game goes through letters, colors, shapes, and numbers. The best part is when he touches the wrong answer it says what he touches. For example, if it asks him to touch the star and he touches the circle, it says, "Circle. Try again." I have recommended this application to several friends and parents with younger children. If you are a preschool teacher or you have kindergartners that need additional support working on these skills, this is a great educational application to have and recommend to parents.
Do you have any other great iPhone or iPod Touch applications that you find useful in the classroom or that you have recommended to parents? Please share them here! I would also love to hear if you have tried any of the application discussed in this blog.