Social Studies (First Nations and Early Explorers)
We found that our students had no background knowledge on First Nations/European Explorers, so we used New World Colony to build some schema. Students were immersed in exploring, settling on and defending new land and trade with other groups. User friendly and highly engaging, they couldn’t get enough of it. $2.99
Science (Human Body Systems)
Human Body by Tiny Bop–this is a great hands-on app to pique student interest in the human body. There are no words, which makes it great for those who have difficulty reading. We used it very successfully in inquiry provocation. Students were highly interested and generated some great inquiry questions. $2.99
Anatomy Browser is a real-life 3-d body that you can manipulate so you can see organ systems from every angle. Some nudity, contains reproductive system. The students were engaged and those that could read the text, can use it for research, inquiry. Low level information. Free
Spongelab’s Build A Body Timed game; simplistic and boring. It is good for finding information but not a “going deep”. Students have to take body parts and put them in the right place. Free
Our final suite of organ system games is our surgery games. We are using some of the apps featured here. Easy to understand, good to show how systems work together. Free
Science (Conservation of Energy)
Electrocity is an online game that has students becoming mayor of a city and deciding which energy sources to use to sustain it. Web-based and java-based, so you’ll need internet and if using it on an iPad, you’ll need Puffin browser. Lots of information about different forms of energy and the pros and cons of each. Students learn which forms of energies are best for their population, considering many factors (cost, environmental impact, sustainability). Free.
Math (fluency practice for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing)
Math vs. Zombies is a fun game where students have to quickly solve math equations before the zombies attack. Basic math facts, no higher level thinking. Use for homework practice perhaps? Free
Sumdog is a web-based suite of games. Web-based and free, so students can easily use at home. When your class is logged in, the site automatically starts a “live class” which means you get a real-time news feed of which students are mastering and struggling. Many features that make assessment easy. Also, teachers can set parameters on skills and difficulty. Free with perks for paid subscription.
3D Math Racing Has users in a truck rally where you have to solve math facts quickly to remain in the race. The equations are changeable (1’s all the way to 15s, easy/medium/hard levels) so everyone can participate. Basic facts, no higher level thinking. Again, homework practice, but I wouldn’t give class time to it. Free
Dragonbox is fabulous. There are two apps: one is for age 5+ and the other is for age 12+. This app teaches algebra by giving clues on how to isolate the box (which is really solving for x). So much fun I played it all night because I couldn’t put it down! We used it as an inquiry provocation very successfully. 5+ $5.99, 12+ $9.99 (worth the price!).
We are using Prodigy, which is now iPad friendly. This is an interactive math game that has participants battling mythical figures by answering math problems correctly. Web-based, so can be done at home. Intuitively matches skill level of user. Lots of teacher-friendly features. Free
Operation Math: Code Squad is a math fluency game with a difference: 4 students play on 1 iPad as a cooperative team. Too many wrong answers and you’re locked out of the mission. 3 levels (easy, medium, difficult) and option to select operation (add, subtract, multiply, divide, or combination). Short-term use, no higher-level thinking. $2.99.
Slice It! is a geometry game where students are given regular and irregular shapes and they have to make the assigned number of lines while making each section equal. Symmetry and spatial awareness. Could work as a provocation/group discussion on symmetry. Free version, but we quickly moved to the full version for 99c.
Word Work (Daily 5 Station)
Anagram Twist is a fun game, much like Boggle without the timer, where students are given random letters and they need to find as many words as possible. Basic, but the kids enjoy the challenge. Con–some of the words in the answer list are ones that I don’t even know, never mind 10 year olds. Free
Word to Word Association is another fun word game where students are given a list of words and they must connect pairs of words by way of their definition. Students love the levelling up/stars they receive. Free
Word Warp X is a game similar to Anagram Twist, but students can play against each other on one iPad. They can play head to head (two boards on the iPad at the same time) or pass and play (students take turns on one board). My students love this one! Free