Looking for ways to “tech it up” with your readers? Here is a list of favorite websites, apps, and online resources, all recommended by teachers and librarians. Feel free to add your favorites!
Free iPad apps I love:
Chicktionary Coop: rearrange the lettered chickens to make words. Challenge yourself to see how many words you can make in 2 minutes! My 13- and 11-year-old kids love playing this one with me, especially because they can earn points to dress up the chickens.
Little Writer for Kids: young ones can practice tracing upper-case letters, lower-case letters, shapes, and the letters to make short words. I like that this app won’t let kids just scribble a finger over the screen – it guides the kids to make the letter or shape correctly.
LetterSchool: recommended by a Michigan teacher, this app teaches letter- and number-writing skills and is highly motivating with its cool graphics and rewards kids can earn.
Bluster: kids can play alone or against a partner on one iPad. Choose from grade level 2, 3, or 4. Kids can match rhyming words, prefixes, synonyms, suffixes, word roots, homophones, or adjectives.
Magnetic ABC: (capital letters are free, buy lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, for $1.99): Students can drag “magnet letters” to practice letter recognition and make Word Wall words. These letters won’t get lost, and you always have as many of each letter as you need!
Toontastic: (free or $1.99 for additional characters) Use this fun cartoon-creator app for students to “show what you know”. After reading a text, students can create a cartoon where characters discuss key plot points or information gathered from their reading.
Websites that make life easier:
Goodreads.com – this is how I keep track of all the books I’ve read. I can organize my own shelves, like “preschool and kindergarten”, “upper elementary”, “winter”, etc., and keep the same book on multiple shelves. I can rate the books and write my own review to remind me how I want to use it. Best of all, I can see what other people thought of the book, and search my friends’ shelves for books I might want to read. Friend me as Kris Remenar and you’ll see my reviews on over 1,000 books!
Mrs. P’s Magic Library – mrsp.com – An award-winning FREE interactive digital storybook destination. Classic children’s stories brought to life by TV star Kathy Kinney as Mrs. P. Thanks to the Cleveland teachers who recommended this one!
Starfall.com - From ABC games to comics and plays students can read online, this website is a great K-3 reading resource. Teachers can also print worksheets for offline practice.
Funbrain.com – Games like Alphabet Mad Libs Jr. and Stay Afloat Guess the Word (like Hangman) will keep even older kids playing to practice. You’ll also find cool comics here like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Amelia Notebooks!
HMHbooks.com – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s website has some great free resources, including an awesome printable kit to go along with Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet.