App Recommendations

Current app recommendation count: 6

1. Toontastic  –  free 

Molly Williams – LPS ELL Coach

This is an application to animate a story. This can be used to publish students’ writing as it provides a very clear organizational structure (scenes, characters, action/animation.) Out of the box, Toontastic can be best used for fiction stories or social stories. You can, however, create your own settings and characters by drawing them instead of using the provided ones, which are mostly fictional. Although it is great to present a model story to students who will be using the application as they begin to write, it is best that they use the application once they have written and are ready to publish their stories.

1. Prior to having students use Toontastic, provide them with a planning sheet to prepare for creating their story. Each story will have a setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and solution.  Click here for the graphic organizer planning guide for students                             2. Open the Toontastic app.
3. Select the option to create a cartoon.
4. From this point on, this app is very good at talking you through the process. You will see 5 different boxes that are labeled with the element of the story. Go to set up first and click on the paint brush to start creating.
5.  When prompted you can select a setting or create one that best fits your stories needs. You will also select/create characters.
6. Then you can begin to tell the first frame of your story by selecting start animation on the top of the screen.. Be sure that you articulate well and speak loudly. Once you are done  click stop animation.                                                                                                                              7. Once you have recorded your first scene, you will have the option to move on by selecting the forward arrow. If you don’t like your animation, you can choose to rerecord it. Just select start animation again.                                                                                                 8. The last step in creating your first scene is to select music. You can move your scene up and down on the music grid to select the music that best fits your scene. Once you have chosen it, press the forward arrow.                                                                                                   9. You will continue with this process until all the slides are completed and your storyhas been told. If there is a slide at the end of the story that you feel does not belong, all you need to do is click on the trash can to delete it.

Instructional use examples: Plan B writing using a graphic organizer– you can scaffold this by deleting some of the slides in the app and just doing beginning, middle, and end if you would like. Students could also use this app to retell a story from class or from and independent reading response to share with the rest of the class. This app could also be used for students to write a “how-to” story.

2. Doodle Buddy  –  free

Holly Tracy – LPS ELL Coach

1.  Prior to the lesson:  Photos need to be taken on the iPads and called up in the app Doodle Buddy.                                                                                                                                       2.  Open the Doodle Buddy app                                                                                                           3.  To call up a photo in Doodle Buddy

  • At the bottom of the app, touch the button that looks like a tic, tac, toe board
  • Tap on the button that says “photos”
  • Tap on the photo that you would like to use to for the activity

4.  Students will work either individually or taking turns with a partner to find objects in the photo that they can label either with an initial letter sound or spelling out the word.      5.  First, you may want to tag the student’s picture in some way, by writing student initials in the lower corner of the screen, for example.  This will help keep photos organized as you extract them.                                                                                                                                          6.  Tap on the wrench in the lower right corner of the screen                                                      7.  Tap on “Save to Photo Album”                                                                                                       8.  Find the photos under the “Photo” app in the photo stream

Instructional use examples: students can use this application to create sketches of a story as a pre-writing activity, to trace writing templates, to trace sight or vocabulary words, to create math proof drawings, to seek and find shapes or patterns.

3. Show Mefree

Laura Bartels – LPS Instructional Technology Coach

Similarly to Doodle Buddy, this app is for drawing and writing…but that’s not all! “Show Me” allows for speech recording so allowing your students another modality to show you what they know. “Show Me” is also a great teaching tool since you can use it to record directions or to teach a concept. It can be a great management tool to support re-teaching, practice and student who may miss instruction and work with paras or independently to catch up.

Create a “Show Me”
Teacher app-etiser: presentation of concepts and instruction
Student app-etiser: practice and speaking (and listening) verbalizing meaning and presenting concepts.
1- Plan your “Show Me”  – Example of “Show Me” student planning sheet.

  • What will I draw?
  • What will I say?
  • What will the audience (students/teacher) learn with this “Show Me”

2- Launch the App
3- Tap the red recording radio bottom when ready and begin drawing and talking at the same time.
4- Tap the square -stop radio bottom. You may also pause the recording by pressing the pause bottom.
5- When you stop the recording, you will be prompt to say if you are done of not. Once you are done, click on “yes, I am done” and name your project.
*If you are prompt to share, hit “cancel” if this is a PM-iPad. You may choose to share it if this is a TM-iPad.

4. Popplet  –  free

Laura Bartels – LPS Instructional Technology Coach

Create concept webs/maps, bring in pictures to write about them, save webs as pictures in the camera roll for later reference. This is a great app for vocabulary instruction in any subject.

Popplet Practice:

  1. Open Popplet Lite
  2. Double tap on the screen to create a “Popplet” bubble.
  3. Select the “pencil” icon and write your name with your favorite color. The box will adjust to your writing, but if you need more writing space, stretch the Popplet using the arrow at the bottom-right. Try your cursive writing skills and don’t forget to shrink the Popplet back when you are finished writing by using the same arrow at the bottom right. *there is no eraser for the handwriting
  4. Create another Popplet (double tap) and write one burning question you have about iPads in general.
  5. Create another Popplet and this time select the “T” icon and use the keyboard to type your objective for our time together. What would you like to leave with today?
  6. And just to practice, create another Popplet and this time select the “mountain landscape” icon to add a picture from iPhoto to your Popplet. Scroll to find your grade level sight words and select any word you would like to talk about on your Popplet.
  7. When you are finished, lock the Popplet and export >> save jpeg. The picture will be saved on iPhoto, under “photo stream.”

Instructional use examples: students can use this application to create webs of connecting words, one vocabulary word poster, story sequence of events (drawing or writing sentences) – save as a photo and use with other applications such as “Show Me” where students can talk about their popplet and annotate over it.

5. Story Builder  –  $4.99

Laura Bartels – LPS Instructional Technology Coach

This application helps students create a story orally. It clearly supports story organization (level 1&2) and the use of complete sentences. The applications had three levels -see more info about this below.
The use of this application will best when modelled by the teacher. It may also be helpful to brainstorm and pre-teach some key vocabulary words represented in the story pictures, which anchor the oral practice.
Level 1: question prompt (oral and/or written), story line introduction (oral and/or written)
Level 2: questions prompt and story line (oral)
Level 3: independent storytelling level. Prompt: “Tell a story about the picture”

6. AudioNote Lite  –  free

Michelle Kohl – LPS ELL Coach

AudioNote is a notepad and voice recorder.  You can type or write your notes as well as record your voice for up to 10 minutes per note.  The free Lite version allows you to store up to 2 hours of audio.  Students can record themselves then playback their recordings to evaluate their reading and/or oral fluency.  If multiple students share the same iPad, you can create separate folders to store each student’s “notes.
Practice fluency with AudioNote.  Students can record themselves reading to try and improve reading fluency speed.
Click here for instructions on how to use AudioNote for fluency practice.


 Additional Resources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *