Monday, August 24, 2015

APPmazing iPad apps that you SHOULD pay for!

I know, I know, I have been promoting free apps for the last two weeks here and here. BUT, you cannot run an efficient iPad classroom on free apps alone.  Investing in the right paid apps can be a difficult decision to make (believe me, I have bought some major fluke apps).

I have also bought some apps that I haaaated, but my kids were obsessed with. Thus, this informal review here is based on two things - age appropriate concepts and activities & engagement level/enthusiasm with the kiddos.

Writing Wizard 
Let your kiddos do some fun and engaging letter, sight word, CVC or fine motor practice. Kids trace learning target and must stay on the lines in order to move on. "Pencil" colors range from rainbow to bouncing Santas. Then kids CANNOT get enough of this one! Add your own word list to differentiate!

ABC Magnetic
Use a virtual magnetic board for spelling, CVC creations, center responses, small group instruction or just fun!

Monkey Math
I had to ration this app. My kids were crazy about it! Math concepts are spiraled throughout the app disguised as games. 

Teach Me Kindergarten
Both math and literacy skills are addressed driven by voice directions. Easy to navigate! Crowd favorite!

Eggy Words
Another app that I have to cut off or my kids would play it exclusively! They love to sit in a circle and time the app just right so they can all play together. There are plenty of sight words they know plus a good number of challenge words too! 

I am going to end here with a few of our other crowd favorites as you and your kiddos really just need to play around with the apps to see if they work for your class...

...A few of the others that we can't do without on our devices are:
-Park Math
-Montessori Numberland
-Hungry Fish
-Little Writer PRO

A more extensive description of most of these apps can be found on Common Sense Media, which is a great resource when you are navigating 1:1 tech in the classroom!

Hope you enjoy these apps as much as my kiddos do. What are some of your favorites? 


  1. Thank you! for sharing your amazing ideas.

  2. Kirstin,

    How do you have students check out iPads/ teach proper use, what we do / dont do? I just got a generous donation of iPads to my classroom and many of my students dont have tech at home. Any suggestions on rules or procedures for these? Colleen ( I dont have an account so if you have suggestions feel free to email me

    1. Hi Colleen!

      Many of my students don't have tech at home either! Our district is 1:1 take-home devices. Each of my students has an iPad checked out to them via the librarian at the beginning of the year. They are then responsible for that device for the year.

      Since you probably won't be sending them home and I don't know if you are 1:1 or not, I would assign a group of students to each of the iPads so that they know exactly which one to use. You can do this by taping their pictures to the front of the case or color coating the cases.

      I would start the year by going over classroom procedures and then expanding those to the iPads - we treat books like this...we treat iPads like this... kind of thing.

      Here are two posts that kind of go into more detail on what I do. Look out for another one in the next few weeks! Also, feel free to e-mail me at - I would love to help you get a smooth start! :o)


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