It’s no secret that students love spending time on their devices. When teachers can find quality ways to have them spend that time at an affordable cost, it leaves everyone happy. These 5 apps recently hit the scene, and at under $5 each, they make for a nice way to offer some affordable digital options with an educational twist.
Zap Zap Kindergarten Math– Early math practice of the foundational elements is at the heart of this engaging math game for young learners. For just $2.99, students are able to practice their skills in addition, subtraction, place value, measurement and data, and more. The adaptive component adjusts the difficulty level for each user, so students at a variety of levels are still challenged. Problems are read out loud to assist in understanding, and users work to receive achievement rewards that move them through different phases. This suite of learning games brings an engaging entertainment value to mathematical practice at an affordable price.
Mindfulness for Children- Meditation for kids– Meditation can be a powerful tool for helping kids and adults improve their overall mental well-being. The Mindfulness for Children app offers multiple guided meditations of differing lengths. A shorter selection may be a great way to introduce the concept to a whole class. With the guided meditation terms being geared toward a younger audience, students could utilize the app on their own to practice mindfulness meditation. These practices can improve attentiveness, the ability to calm oneself, and decision-making. App users have reported a reduction in stress, anxiety, and even a calming of ADHD symptoms. At $4.99, this is a low-cost selection to also share with parents as it is includes guided sleep mediations that could bring this calm and harmony to the household too.
Strike a Chord Premium– This app for learning piano offers the instructional component of learning keys and chords, but it also allows users to enjoy an improvisational component of creating their own songs. After short tutorials, students are prompted to record their own music and make creative decisions about how a piece unfolds. This will improve ear-training, rhythmic integration, and improvisational skills. This app has lots to offer beginners and experienced players. For just $4.99, this would be a welcome addition for usage in the classroom or when a student isn’t in front of a keyboard. Strike a Chord could be for music students or those students looking to explore their musical side without purchasing a costly instrument.
The Sneetches- Read & Play- Dr. Seuss– No one tells a story quite like Dr. Seuss, and this engaging app lets young readers experience his captivating stylings. Three different modes for reading make this an early literacy find for students at a variety of levels where they can read the book themselves, follow highlighted narration, or place the text on auto-play. Vocabulary can be explored by tapping words and pictures. The interactive animations reveal fun activities and playful surprises. There are 12 unique games hidden throughout the book. Make reading fun and interactive with this Seuss classic for only $1.99.
CalorieCrumble– The mind-body link is strong, so finding ways to engage students in keeping their bodies fit is imperative for educators of every subject area. CalorieCrumble brings a unique visual element to eating right and staying fit. Users are able to literally watch the cookie crumble and disappear. This $0.99 app is linked to a pedometer, and when a food is selected, an image appears. Any calorie-burning movement or activity that is sensed will cause the image to slowly disappear as the amount of energy outputted burns off the calories inputted. Nearly 300 foods can be selected, and for those not listed, a calorie card containing a number can be chosen. This app could motivate students to be more active and/or make healthier eating choices.
With a new school year on the horizon, it’s always good for educators to update their digital toolkits. While every app doesn’t have to be purchased, having a variety of options that offer practice in skills, exploration in unique interests, and/or nurturing of the mind-body connection is a great way to help students make good use of time spent on devices. When those offerings are also affordable, parents and teachers can breathe a sigh of relief.