How to get (or keep) kids reading over the summer is a common discussion this time of year. Did you know your child can lose up to three month’s worth of reading progress in one summer? You can help defeat this loss by finding time to read with your child and by uploading some dynamite apps. Teachers With Apps has some super suggestions that will definitely get and keep your kids reading this summer!
Our top suggestion is to get a subscription to News-O-Matic, by Press4Kids. This app has something for everyone and helps keep kids stay in the know. News vetted for children with relevant content, not sensationalized, and geared developmentally for elementary school age children – simply brilliant! News-O-Matic is the first DAILY paperless newspaper! Five new stories are published each day, covering the latest in world news, science, sports, government, as well as the offbeat stories that all kids love. We feel this app has a wide audience appeal. With parental assistance, it can be shared with children as young as 6-8. It’s incredibly appealing to older elementary school kids and middle schoolers, who can use it independently. A must have! Read full review
Speaking of middle school students, we highly recommend the Middle School Confidential series written by Annie Fox. Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, by Electric Eggplant, is a powerful tool to help tweens with the onslaught of issues they deal with on an everyday basis. Annie Fox is not new to this topic and its paramount importance. What behaviors children learn during adolescence are vital to the adult they will become. “We all want, need, and deserve friends who accept and respect us for who we are. In the emails I receive from teens, friendships come up more than any other topic. The questions usually boil down to, ‘My friend isn’t being a friend. What do I do?’” Annie Fox wrote the Middle School Confidential series to empower tweens and teens. Her books help kids deal with feelings and situations common to this population and to help them effectively deal with them. Making and keeping friends is tricky business and social issues don’t take a vacation during the summer. Read full review
iF Poems, by Clickworks Limited, is a collection of 230 classic poems. Easy and fun to navigate; you can search by category. For example, you can help your child search for Humor & Nonsense poems, Lessons For Life poems or Nature, Seasons & Animal poems. You can also search by age, as poems have been separated into three age groups: ages 0-6, 7-12, and 13 and over. It is a carefully chosen selection. There are poems by T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Siegfried Sassoon, Lewis Carroll, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Rupert Brooke, William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, and Edgar Allen Poe. This collection has something for everyone and the iF Poems can be a real motivator for the reluctant reader. These are classic poems that all kids should be exposed to and passed down through the generations, to share, to educate with and enjoy. Students love to have poetry read to them and then, given the opportunity, love reading it themselves. Besides a great vocabulary booster, poetry can spark some great dialogue. Discussing what you’ve read is just as important as reading itself. Read full review
DIY Nano HD is a very cool science app that has kids reading the instructions to set up the experiments. Kids are also getting exposure to STEM while not only learning but having fun! DIY Nano is an excellent tool for families to spend quality time together. The app provides easy to use, hands-on activities with simple instructions, all at your fingertips. This science is being used to engineer and produce high-performance products. These products are not only on the cutting edge, they vary from cars that cost $3000 to phones that flip around your wrist. There is literally something to interest everybody. Many resources are available on the super-cool NISE Network that is available through the app. You may want to use these resources to enrich the app experience. Including Nanooze (pronounced nah–news), an online magazine created by the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology. It’s a great place to learn about the latest exciting stuff in science and technology. DIY Nano is the app where you can learn it all, and it’s not just free, it’s fabulous! Read full review
Meet Wee You-Things, an interactive book and happy app designed to encourage kids (ages 3-7) to appreciate differences. Wee Society‘s newest crew of characters celebrates “you-things” – those little and big things that, together, make you special and like no one else in the world. This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app, every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant! Wee You-Things is ideal, the short rhyming one sentence descriptions of individual differences, accompanied by simple yet surprising interactions, may be just the right thing to get kids reading and realizing that being different has its advantages. At the end of the story, kids can complete a sentence about themselves, giving them an outlet to celebrate their uniqueness. Wee You-Things may be a brief story but the message about appreciating differences is powerful. This unique book app gives kids the opportunity to want to read. Read full review