As the nation is undergoing one of the biggest educational shifts in history, the Common Core Standards have been weighing heavily on the minds of educators and administrators across the United States. Luckily, the digital revolution has created a number of technological resources that have been designed to help schools find new ways to adapt their curriculum to meet these new rigorous standards.
Not only can technology be extremely helpful in evaluating students’ progress in alignment with the Common Core, but it is also beneficial for teaching technical skills, furthering knowledge of content material, and keeping students engaged in an entertaining manner. Read on to learn more about the 10 must-have iPad apps that are available to ease the transition into the Common Core Standards for students across grade levels as well as teachers, educational support staff, school administrators, and parents.
1. Common Core Standards
Through MasteryConnect, the Common Core Standards is a free convenient app that is an excellent reference for teachers, students, and parents to easily comprehend the guidelines established through the new core standards. With an easy-to-use interface, the app allows users to quickly search through the standards based on subject, domain category, and grade level. In addition to the Common Core Standards for Math and Language Arts K-12, the app also synthesizes all of the standards with the current College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRs) for beyond graduation as well. Furthermore, the app utilizes familiar pinning tools to find a multitude of educational resources in curriculum maps that have been aligned to the new standards.
2. Virtual Manipulatives!
With the distinction of being one of the top 50 free educational apps offered through the Apple Store, Virtual Manipulatives! provides teachers with a virtual set of fraction bars that can be useful when teaching hands-on mathematics lessons in the Common Core Standards. Since math can often be an abstract concept for many students at all grade levels, this app enables students to compare fractions, percentages, and decimals in a more concrete way for increased understanding. Interacting with these fun manipulatives will help make complex math concepts come alive while students explore how parts make up a whole. The current version of this “Apple Staff Favorite” app is compatible with iPad, but will require an update to iOS 3.2 or later.
Download Virtual Manipulatives! here
3. Word Wizard
In order to provide students with spelling practice from childhood through later elementary school, the Word Wizard enables students to hear the sounds of letters and words through using a talking alphabet on a magnetic, movable grid. With advanced text to speech capabilities, this unique app has the ability to pronounce an unlimited number of words as well as highlight unrecognizable words with a spell-checker. The Word Wizard also includes over 1,400 questions that can be used to create spelling quizzes and keep detailed reports on students’ progress. Without sacrificing fun, this app helps educators with teaching letter recognition, spelling, self-correction, and phonemic awareness in the Common Core Standards.
4. Activity Spot by Frolyc
Within the web-based platform of Frolyc, the Activity Spot by Frolyc app allows teachers to utilize iPads within the classroom through meaningful and stimulating lesson plans aligned with the Common Core Standards. For grades K-12, the app gives teachers the opportunity to supplement lesson plans with high-interest educational activities in any subject area and publish them in real-time to their students’ iPads. Educators can create activities that require students to draw in response to a question, compose a paragraph, take interactive quizzes, develop visual organizers for concept mapping, or read multimedia content. While the app is free, teachers will need to sign up for an account through Frolyc to create and share classroom activities.
Recently featured in the New York Times as an Editor’s Choice award-winner, the Mathmateer app is designed to take elementary school kids on a journey through 56 different math missions aligned with the Common Core Standards. As the rocket is floating through space, students have to race to collect touchable floating objects and solve math problems before the time runs out. Math topics range in difficulty from counting and shapes to fractions and square roots for hours of interactive learning fun from grades K-6. At the price of just $0.99 for either iPad or iPhone, this app will keep children engaged in more than 15 exciting space-themed adventures to build their very own rockets while building solid mathematical skills.
As a free app for iPad and iPad mini, Scootpad has been designed as an adaptive learning platform aligned with the Common Core Standards for grades K-5. With an online subscription, the app enables teachers to deliver individualized learning experiences for each student in math, reading, language arts, spelling, writing, and vocabulary. Even more importantly, the app keeps track of all projects, assessments, progress reports, assignments, and behavioral tracking measurements without the need for a paper trail. In order to strengthen connections between the school and home environment, the app also presents parents with the ability to stay informed on their child’s progress and keep track of all homework assignments online.
7. Splash Math
Along with in-app purchase and enrollment options, the free Splash Math app series provides teachers with a vast collection of interactive math games for grades 1-5 that have been aligned with the new Common Core Standards. As the recent winner of the “Gold Stevie Award” in the education and reference category, this app is currently used by more than four million children around the world within a self-paced math practice program. With engaging sound effects and many HD problem-solving pictures, the app is a useful tool for teaching math concepts to students across all learning styles. Splash Math is also highly recommended for teachers seeking to monitor real-time progress across multiple iPads as well as on laptops or desktops.
8. Alphabet Zoo
Primarily aimed at pre-school and kindergarten students between the ages of two and six, Alphabet Zoo was designed by educators to help teach letter-sound association as a crucial step for learning how to read under the Common Core Standards. As students enjoy playing with the brightly colored animals and creative sounds, they will barely realize that they are mastering phonemic awareness for how letters sound in real words. With the latest update, the app also features scroll interaction and larger font size to accommodate the learning needs of all types of learners. At the low price of $0.99, Alphabet Zoo is a simple yet engaging app that teaches children how to recognize letter sounds on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
9. Grammar Dragon
After the Grammar Dragon has suddenly captured friends from the castle, students are placed on the task of rescuing each person on various levels by correctly solving grammar problems in this dynamic learning game. In an effort to help children in grades 2-6 with developing the cognitive reading and verbal language skills under the Common Core Standards, this app creates a hands-on learning process with kinesthetic learning based on grade-level appropriate reading materials. Depending on their particular grade level, students can join in interactive games on homophones, antonyms, synonyms, reading comprehension, spelling, fractions, decimals, binomial equations, and parts of speech. Through the Apple Store, Grammar Dragon is available for $0.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with iOS 6.1 or later.
10. iTooch Elementary School
Featuring more than 18,000 exercises for grades 1-5, the iTooch Elementary School app is one of the biggest collections of educational practice activities based in the U.S. Common Core Standards for learning in math, language arts, and science. With a colorful interface that attracts children to have fun in their learning, the app provides comprehensive activities that help teachers as well as parents in home-based teaching with addressing children’s unique learning needs in an engaging manner. iTooch Elementary School is best known for having speech-to-text capabilities, font size adjustment, a virtual blackboard, and a free lesson summary that is attached to each chapter for easy progress monitoring.