school holidays

APPealing and APPropriate APPs for students

Apps are an excellent way to support students with language and learning difficulties at home. They are also an effective way to engage students who are turned off from the traditional methods of instruction. However, we have found that apps can promise a lot and deliver very little. We have also learned that many educational apps are not “set and forget”.

APPsolute holiday fun

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Holidays are fast approaching and kids are usually busy with play dates, trips to the movies and family trips. But it is still beneficial to continue consolidating the skills they have learned at Gameplan. Rather than sitting the kids down to fill in worksheets, we recommend using Apps and games to help facilitate practise of language and literacy skills in a fun and exciting way. It is also important for kids to talk about what they are doing, and discuss their ideas and new vocabulary with you while they’re on the iPad.

Puppet Pals is great for younger kids who want to practice sequencing and narrating a story verbally. The kids can choose their characters and record their story to be shared with family and friends.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/puppet-pals-hd/id342076546?mt=8

Scribble Press is a fun and handy app for writing and illustrating your own story. Practise writing a draft first, then your child can type up the story in this app and illustrate it with their own drawings.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/scribble-press/id487300076?mt=8

World’s Worst Pet-Vocabulary

This game has a number of games that help students expand their vocabulary. Students are required to match synonyms, antonyms, find match words to descriptions and put the words in a sentence. There are a variety of levels and sets and words are grouped by specific categories. This app would suit upper primary to secondary school students and is a great was of learning new words to incorporate into your writing. And it’s free!

Wurdle

Beat the clock and spell as many words as you can! Wurdle requires players to find as many words as they can by connecting letter tiles. You can play against the clock, or against another play in split screen mode. This app can be modified to include a smaller or larger number of letters or to give players a longer amount of time to play. It’s great for sounding out words and spelling. Appropriate from ages seven and above (even adults can get addicted!).

Word Scramble is an engaging word game which involves making words from the letter tiles provided. This App allows kids to practise their spelling and phonics, but can be a challenging game for younger kids.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/word-scramble/id688472435?mt=8

Audiobooks The Audible by Amazon App allows you to listen to books on the go. Audiobooks are a great way to motivate reluctant readers to engage in the process of reading, even if it is just by listening. Children are still able to access a range of vocabulary and practise their listening skills. They’re also great to use during long road trips or flights these holidays.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/audiobooks-from-audible/id379693831?mt=8

Smiley Minds is modern meditation for young people. It is a unique web and App-based program, designed to help bring balance to young lives. It is a not-for-profit initiative based on a process that provides a sense of clarity, calm and contentment.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/smiling-mind/id560442518?mt=8

This website suggests various fun language and literacy activities to do with your kids these holidays:

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/25-activities-reading-and-writing-fun

Language games:

Hedbanz

A fun family game which targets receptive and expressive language. Take turns to describe your partner’s picture using the necessary vocabulary. This is a great variant to Celebrity Heads.

http://www.toysrus.com/buy/active/hedbanz-game-6014151-3909898

Scattergories

A game for generating items within a category while thinking about letter sounds.  You can also download printable score sheets online and modify the difficulty level for your kids.

http://www.hasbro.com/games/swf/scattergories_demo3.swf

http://www.funenglishgames.com/worksheets/scattergorieswithcategories.html

Other games:

  • Rory story cubes
  • Articulate for kids
  • Boggle
  • Scrabble
  • Scrabble Trickster
  • Upwords
  • Quiddler Junior card game
  • Charades for kids
  • Pictionary
  • Rapidough (Like Pictionary using play dough)

 

Gameplan wishes you a wonderful festive season and a great start to the New Year.

Enjoy the holidays!