Today’s Tuesday Teaching Tip comes to you from the incomparable Heidi Butkus of HeidiSongs. We are lucky enough to be able to claim her as a CKA Board Member as well. Do you have some kids in your class still struggling to learn the alphabet? Here’s Heidi with some apps to help!
Best Apps for Teaching the Alphabet
Fish School By Duck Duck Moose $1.99
This is a great app for pre-K, TK, or younger; my kindergartners were initially happy with it but quickly got bored. It’s not really a game, it’s more of an exploratory app in which the children watch as the fish form themselves into “letter schools” and other fascinating things happen when you touch the screen. It’s all alphabet related and fishy themed; it’s just not a game.
Touch and Write* $2.99
This game is a big HIT with my students because they get to choose things like shaving cream, ketchup, mustard, jello, and other messy things and then write their letters with them! Each one of these items sounds as though it is being squirted onto a plate as you draw with it, which makes it all the more fun. The best part of all, though, is that the mess is VIRTUAL. (No cleaning! Yeah!)
Letter School* $2.99 (And totally worth it!)
This is an incredibly fun app that my students chose to play again and again- even after they already knew their letters! Children choose a letter and then the app traces how the letter should be drawn, but it traces it in a variety of interesting ways, such as with a lawn mower, a burning fuse, or with a crawling caterpillar, etc. Unless it is drawn correctly, the letter does not animate, which can be frustrating for those with poor fine motor skills (or motivating!) Endlessly fascinating for my students!
Feed Me by Pencilbot Preschool* This app is FREE but contains lots of in-app purchases, so watch out for that. Includes drills on alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. I purchased some of them, but frankly, I like the free component best! Most of my students REALLY liked this game! Best for the first half of Kindergarten, TK, Pre-K, or preschool. This app is NON-VERBAL- meaning that there are no spoken directions; all of the instructions are implied and the children figure out what to do by experimentation. That means it will work well for ELL students, but then it doesn’t “feed” or teach them any language either.
Duck Duck Moose Reading $1.99
This is a high quality app (Winner of the Parent Choice Gold Award!) that takes kids from beginning sounds and letters to sounding out words. You’ll have to watch the level, though, to make sure that it doesn’t get too hard for those that are struggling. There may be settings to prevent that, but I haven’t played with this one enough to know for sure! It does segue nicely into teaching kids to blend sounds into CVC words.
Want more amazing apps to help support your teaching? Check out HeidiSongs for some great resources to get your kiddos learning with those iPads!