Apple picking, Art Prize, and pumpkin spice everything. It's officially fall. To celebrate, I'm going to spend the next four weeks spotlighting some of the best free apps on my ipad. Only the best of the best will make the cut. Check back each week for more great apps to try. Happy Apptoberfest, everyone!
Apptoberfest App of the Week: Teach Your Monster to Read
It's hard not to speak in hyperboles when I describe this game. Teach Your Monster to Read is everything you could ask for in an early literacy app for kids. While many apps focus on just a piece or part of early literacy, Teach Your Monster to Read has everything needed to support kids and push them along as early readers. It's not just another app, but a complete reading program. This playful and silly set of adventures guides students through letter names, letter sounds, blends, site words, and ultimately results in players reading full complex sentences and developing comprehension skills along the way. From level to level, players collect non-decodable site words or "trickies." Should they forget what a word is, they can always look in their "pocket" and listen to all of the "trickies" they have collected. Kids feel encouraged and engaged throughout their time making the real work of reading more enjoyable. After they play it the first time, they will request to play it again. With Teach Your Monster to Read, I think you'll find that not all screen time is created equally.
I was introduced to the Teach Your Monster to Read website about a year ago at MACUL and have been using it with my own 5 year old daughter at home. It is unreal to see how much she has picked up in such a short time, and how much of what she learns has stuck. My daughter loves the game because it it colorful, upbeat and it has just the right amount of silly mixed in. She got to design her own monster, collect little tricky critters, visit interesting planets and, best of all, she sees how much she has grown as a reader. As a teacher, I can see how intentional this app truly is. The pacing is just right. The complexity builds at an appropriate rate. Throughout the game, players learn new skills while also constantly reviewing skills from the past. Though each level is unique and engaging, there is a familiar pattern that develops creating a sense of consistency that feels comfortable but never monotonous. It's really something you need to experience for yourself.
Teacher friends, this app would be a great addition to the literacy work you are doing at school. While you could throw this app on the devices you have in your classroom, it might work better as reinforcement at home. I strongly encourage you to encourage your students' parents to give this app a try. While you may not be able to fit the 15-20 minutes into a school day, this could be just the guided practice your students could use at home.
I realize that for many of us, $5 is a pretty steep price for an app. However, looking back at how much progress my daughter made in her reading this past summer, I can tell you that it was easily worth ten times that much to our family. If $5 is still a tough pill to swallow, you can try it out for free on your computer online by clicking here. When you decide its worth adding to your iPad or Kindle at home, you can download it using the links at the bottom of the page.
Where Can I Download the App?
Access "Teach Your Monster to Read" On Your Computer: www.teachyourmonstertoread.com
Upcoming CSI Webinar: Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
You don't have to be a 1:1 classroom in order to effectively integrate technology and engage students. I invite you and members of your school community to join me at "Making the Most of One Classroom iPad" a live CSI webinar on October 13th from 7:30-8:30 EST. In this session, I'll share simple Monday morning strategies for how to make the most of your classroom technology, even if you have just one iPad or other tablet device. Follow this link to register: http://linkis.com/gotowebinar.com/O9zNP
Support Classroom Tech
Bookmark This Link: http://thethriftytechteacher.weebly.com/support-our-classroom-tech.html
By regularly using this link as your primary way to access Amazon, a portion of all of your purchases will be applied to technology in the classroom at no extra cost to you. This is a simple way to support our class over and over again without much time or effort. Thanks for your help!
Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review