5 awesome back-to-school literacy appsSlideshow
Ages 5 and under
A “must have” for parents of preschoolers, the free Endless Alphabet challenges kids to drag and drop letters—comprised of colourful, animated and noisy monsters—to spell out various words.
For example, if the word is “Sky,” kids will drag the “S,” which makes a slithering snake sound, into the right spot on the screen; when the entire word is completed, kids (and perhaps their parents) will be treated to a cute animation tied to the word.
$6.99; for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android. Originator Inc.
Alpha Writer is a Montessori-style learning app for toddlers. It helps teach kids to read, write and spell phonetically, identify consonants and vowels, and practice sounds, pronunciation and composition.
Along with the fun illustrations (created by three renowned artists) and sounds, kids physically manipulate the onscreen letters as they learn how to read, write and make their own stories. A new feature called Alpha Spy is a take on the “I-Spy” game. Also check out the Montessori Crosswords app ($2.99), also for iOS.
$4.99; for iOS (iPhone, iPad). Montessorium.
Just because your grade school-age child is reading well doesn’t necessarily mean they understand the words completely. A fun comprehension app for iOS, this app is a fun word game that challenges kids to match up as many pairs of opposing words as they can—before the screen is filled up.
It starts off easy, such as “In and “Out,” but gets much tougher as the game goes on. Android users might consider downloading a similar app called Kids Opposite Words Game ($1.02).
$0.99; for iOS (iPhone, iPad). Mindshapes Limited.
Word Tree 3D Free
Ideal for students in Grades 5 through 7, Word Tree 3D Free is a fun and fast-paced game that has kids quickly create words with varying lengths, before the time runs out. Each apple on the tree contains a letter and players will pluck the right ones to form words—before the fruit falls to the ground.
A tutorial level will teach players the basics before they get going, and by playing well they’re not only rack up a high score but also earn rewards and unlock special goodies, too.
Also from Arb Studios is 3D Magic Words Free for iOS and Android.
Free; for iOS (iPhone, iPad). Arb Studios.
Shakespeare in Bits
When you’re talking about apps for English students, there needs to be at least one Shakespeare pick. Good thing it’s a terrific one.
This tablet app features Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar—all in digestible "bits" with translation, analysis, summaries and notes.
Each play is fully animated, too, therefore not only can students read the complete unabridged works, but can also watch the plays in high-resolution animation and voiced by professional actors.
When the plays are running, text is highlighted so you can easily follow along, or pause at any time should you need to click on a word or phrase to get the modern English translation.
Free, but $14.99 to unlock each play; for iOS (iPhone, iPad), Mac and Windows. Mindconnex Learning.
For more education apps, check out these five awesome math apps.