Sunday, March 1, 2015

16 (or so) quality ipad apps to use in a year 2 class

In the next couple of weeks my year 2 children will be using the brilliant Scratch Jnr app to create basic polar bear animations. It ties in with the work that we are doing in class and I believe that the app is easy enough for 6 year olds to use, especially with some careful pairing. 

Update: My year 2s used the app independently, check it out on the class blog!         

After the briefest conversation with my HT I have been considering whether I have been using the iPads effectively this year  - and thinking about the apps I use and whether they are high quality. Am I still using them innovatively and is this possible with year two children?  I am one of those people who lives in the moment and I honestly can forget very quickly the things that I have done. I looked back over our class blog this year and am pleased that I think we have used quality apps effectively, though maybe I could use some apps more often. I'm not sure whether it's innovative use - probably not, but they are being used.

So here are my top apps this year for year 2, in no particular order. All photographs of children have been taken from our class blog this year. 

Number 1: Collins Big Cat apps

Fab for guided reading and writing
I use them for guided reading / writing interventions. They are great at keeping my children focused when working independently whilst I am working with a group too.

Number 2: Book creator

We used these to create profiles of ourselves to send off to a school in London. The expectation was that they just create one page. This will be built on this half term when they create an ibook about polar bears, then in the summer term an ibook about nocturnal animals. It doesn't replace paper work as their writing in the app is minimalist in comparison with paper based activities. That's because they are concentrating on so many skills here!
Book creator

Number 3. Puppet Pals

We used this in the autumn term to create animations from our local fen. They designed creatures, took photos at the den, created storyboards then animated!

Puppet pals animations

Number 4: Comic life

A great little app for creating posters across the curriculum. We used it to show knowledge and understanding of Samuel Pepys.

Comic Life (posters about Pepys!)

Number 5: Brushes

Creating art work in the style of Hockney as part of our environmental artists work. We used the ipad to take photographs of our natural art too.

Number 6: Google maps/Earth
Use in conjunction with atlases! 

Number 7: Skitch

Not just great for planning journeys, it can be used in lots of ways!
Using Skitch to plan routes

Number 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, programming apps:  Beebot, ALEX, Daisy Dino,  Fix the Factory and Scratch

Daisy Dino

Number 13: Twinkl phonics suite

A child in my class uses this daily for the brilliant pairs activity and letter formation as well as phonics practice. Lovely little app!

Number 14: Primary games maths apps

We use these regularly for boosting their rapid recall of number pacts. There are lots of great apps available!

Number 15: Explain everything / screen chomp

I haven't made use of these yet this year. They have been planned for, but my children haven't been secure enough to do what I have wanted them to do. My aim is for my top mathematicians to explain strategies for pencil and paper procedures by using the apps. We will get there by the end of the year!

16: Clicker grids

I can't believe I intially forgot this! Eek! I have used this fabulous app with a child in my class with SEN and it has enabled him to write his own pieces. Equally, a child with ASD who comes to my literacy group has been inspired to use it (he loves tech) and he writes much more quickly with it. I have blogged about the app here, which somehow I reverted to draft after publishing, so have republished it now! I will take a photo very soon.

They are the apps I use regularly - many other quality apps are available and we will be exploring more this year, like Little Fox Music Box and possibly i-movies bu the end of the year. Incidentally, the two top apps that I use regularly as a teacher are popplet and blogger. I also love Nosy Crow books for whole class teaching (they are a little expensive for all ipads).

You can see lots more quality apps from EYFS to KS2 on my ipad site

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