Teaching Apostrophe's to younger Students

Teaching apostrophes can be a difficult concept to younger students but I cam across this great collection of printable resources from skillsworkshop.org.  Download this PDF file here and you will find a great collection of ideas and resources to teach apostrophes to younger students.

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4 iPad and iPhone apps to improve junior literacy and numeracy skills

With over 100,000 apps on the apple market it is important to revisit the latest educational apps available today I have found 4 great apps that will help your little ones improve their reading writing skills without breaking the bank.

Kidcalc - Price $1.99 buy it here

KidCalc teaches number recognition, counting and math to pre-schoolers, kindergarteners and elementary school aged children using flash cards and puzzle games, with engaging artwork, animation and voice-overs.
KidCalc includes animated addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division lessons. KidCalc is easily configurable to adjust how challenging the counting and math puzzles are, with settings for toddlers learning numbers, for preschoolers learning to add and subtract, and for elementary school aged kids learning to count as high as 1000 and to multiply and divide.

KidCalc is jam packed with features and now teaches the following skills:
• Writing numbers
• Number recognition by sight and sound
• Quantity recognition with icons
• Counting forwards and backwards, with voice-overs, by increments of 1, 2, 3, on up to increments of 100
• Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with operands up to 1000
• Reading numbers spelled out, up to one thousand

Grover's Number Special  $1.99 - Buy it here

Hello Everybodeeeeeee! It is I, Grover, your cute and lovable waiter, and I need your help. Charlie the cook did not come in to the restaurant today, and the Customer wants his lunch right away! Join me in the kitchen to catch—and count—ingredients to make delicious and nutritious meals. 

Cooking with me is easy! All you have to do is tip your cute little iPhone or iPod touch back and forth, and my adorable little hand will move the tray. I will tell you how many things to catch, and we will count them together. It will be so much fun! Oh, pleeease play my little game—The Customer is getting very hungry!

"Elmo loves this game! Elmo can play all by himself. And Elmo’s friend Grover is so silly!" -Elmo

"This game look so good, me try to eat phone!" -Cookie Monster

"I thought this was the worst game ever, until Grover made a HUGE mess. Heh-heh!"
-Oscar the Grouch


Features:

•Part of the Count with Sesame Series!
•Original Sesame Street video!
•Easy to play
•Just tilt your iPhone or iPod touch to catch the ingredients!


Curriculum and Skills:

This educational application combines learning and fun! As your child plays with Grover, he can also build important school readiness skills, including counting, number recognition, and object identification.

•Visual discrimination
•Counting
•Number recognition

 

abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words Price $1.99 Buy it here

abc PocketPhonics was designed and reviewed by teachers who use phonics (letter sounds) to teach children to read. It is primarily aimed at preschool kids and those aged up to 7. To understand the best educational practice underpinning abc PocketPhonics, order the free guide to teaching kids to read from the app.

Phonics was recommended by the Australian Federal Government's Teaching Reading report in 2005.

LETTER SOUNDS
Simply put, phonics (letter sounds) is about helping children learn to read by understanding the sounds that letters make. 

abc PocketPhonics teaches the letter sounds for all the letters in the alphabet. It also teaches over 30 letters sounds that come from combining letters together (like “sh” and “ch”), because they are key to reading so many frequently-used words. Most apps only teach A to Z.

LETTER WRITING 
PocketPhonics visually demonstrates how to write each letter. Children enjoy practising their writing by tracing the letter with their finger (similar to a Montessori classroom where children learn first to trace letters with their fingers). PocketPhonics also works with iPhone-compatible styluses.

abc PocketPhonics will also (optionally) check the accuracy of your child's writing. 

170 FIRST WORDS
Using a unique, "letter sounds make words" spelling game, children learn how to sound out and spell over 170 frequently-used words.

 

 

iWritewords Handwriting Game Price $3.99 buy it here

iWriteWords teaches your child handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game. Help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger - and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears. Tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch and watch the letters slide into the rotating hole and advance to the next level.

Features:
• Learn handwriting the fun way
• 70 words/levels of uppercase letters
• 70 words/levels of lowercase letters
• 20 levels of numbers
• 26 levels (A to Z) of individual letter tracing for uppercase letters
• 26 levels (a to z) of individual letter tracing for lowercase letters
• Playback the accomplished words featuring your child's own handwriting
• Realistic physics and gravity for falling letters
• Play the ABC song by tapping or shaking your iPhone or iPod Touch like drumming
• Each letter and word is spoken as it was completed


I am sure that you know of plenty others so please post your suggestions below.

Video Tutorials for Teachers: Making Pictographs

Welcome to the first of many video tutorials.  I have deliberately kept this weeks very simple as I am trying to learn some new technology myself.  Pictographs are a great maths lesson for junior students to explore graphing and data in the early years of schooling.  This video tutorial below explains all the steps to get you and your students to produce a pictograph in no time. The aim of these video tutorials is that you can sit back and learn alongside your students.  Enjoy and feedback is always appreciated.

 

Here is the example I produced if you want my template, and here is an old school link to a written lesson plan if you need further assistance.

Zoodles: An Age Appropriate web Browser for Kids aimed at Learning

I'll start straight off by saying that Zoodles is aimed at parents more so than schools however I will definitely be installing this on all of our school computers due to it's depth of features and content:  Essentially Zoodles is an Age appropriate web browser that is linked to a massive database of educational games and web sites. You can either let children surf Zoodles in the freedom of knowledge that they are both safe and gaining a learning experience or you can tailor zoodles as a parent or teacher to have a specific focus on say mathematics or reading.

Kids will find this pretty one cool as they now have their own browser, which they also have an element of control over and parents will love it will keep all the nasty content on the web out of site and feel confident that their kids are not aimlessly wasting their time on the web. 

Zoodles offers both a free and subscription based package.  But definitely take 2 minutes to check out the video below of what Zoodles could offer you in the classroom.  Check it out here.

 

Create Amazing Picture Story Books Online with Bookr

What is it:  Bookr Is a tool to create picture story books using images from Flickr.  Simply find images from Flickr through their search engine located on the same screen as the book editor.  It is extremely simple to use and would be a better option for junior school students as you can not add large amounts of text to each page.  No sign up required.  Very Simple to use.

The finished books are presented as animated flash Files that look great on an interactive white board.

How can I use this in the classroom?   Show your your students the layout of bookr and how to search for images.  read them a picture story book and explain to them that the pictures tell a large amount of the actual story and emphasise that words should be used with a minimalist approach.


Also talk to your students about the best placement of text.

find a theme or topic that your students will have a large range of photos of and are comfortable in writing about.   A perfect example would be "A day at the Zoo." 

I would love hear from anyone else who has tried Bookr.  Check it out here.

Little Bird Tales - Create your own Narrated Storybook with Juniors

What is it?  Little Bird tales allows you take photos, scanned images or to draw straight into a picture book and add text to support your images.  It's biggest feature however is that it allows you to then narrate your story and pop it up online for others to see.  It is incredibly simple to use and operates all from within the browser but the biggest downfall I see is that it does not allow you to embed your story into webspace.

How can I use this in the Classroom?  I would really recommend this for your junior students due to its simplicity and limited options.  Grade preps to around grade 4 will find this a pretty useful tool to create a narrated picture-book or story but older students may tire of it's simplicity a little too fast.

Check out the video below for a full demo of what it can do and click here to access little bird tales.

 

 

Kideos - Safe videos for Kids

Youtube for kids is probbaly the best description for kideos. It is full of video content, both educational and non-educational content that has been screened and scrutinised by a panel that has givien it approval as a safe haven for children to access video.

Kideos goal is to empower parents to feel comfortable allowing their child to spend time on Kideos, while also making sure children have a thoroughly entertaining experience.

Kideos was created by Earlier Media, a company dedicated to providing a trustworthy destination for children of all ages to learn, watch videos and play games online.

You might want to use Kideos in the junior school as a lead in to learning activities Kideos can be accessed here.