Apr 14, 2013

Apps for Literacy Workshop

Apps, Apps, Apps! How did we ever teach without APPS? Here's a rundown of my TOP 3 Classroom APPS. I tend to babble when I talk about literacy so I decided to limit myself today. :)

1.  I love the CONFER app!  I use it all day everyday in my classroom.  You can group your kids and take anecdotal notes on a entire group or on individual students.  I use it during my reading conferences to track the books my kiddos are reading, keep track of their reading goals, make notes on their thoughts and growth as readers, etc.  GREAT APP and a must have for reading teachers.  Easily customized to fit your personal teaching style.  Now for the "not so good" part.  As far as apps go, this is a biggie...$14.99.  But when you think about how much you spend on other items for your classroom and you realize how much of an asset it will be, what's $14.99 for a good teaching tool?  Feel free to pin because you are probably thinking that this is too much for an app, but trust me, when you start to notice all the times during the day that you could easily make note of something, you are going to realize how much you need this app! 

2.  Another app we, as in my students and I, love is Fotopedia!  Fotopedia is fabulous and FREE!    My students love to read and enjoy informational texts from the site and I typically have them show a bit of proof from what they learned.  An example of a task they might complete for me to show proof might be our Nonfiction Triangle.  You can grab it here.  It is simple in format, but it gets the job done, and it gives them a bit of focus so they don't get sucked into all the awesome pictures. AND trust me, the pictures are awesome!  There are several Fotopedia apps.  The one we use most often is WILD FRIENDS.

Check it out...Informational text in an engaging format that will entice your readers!

3.  As I said earlier, sometimes simple gets the job done!  I know it may sound silly coming from a fifth grade teacher, but this app truly motivates my kids!  We use STICK PICK after independent reading time EVERYDAY!  My kiddos know that they will need to share: the title of the book they are reading  in case a classmate in interested, a little bit of details from their novel to prove their comprehension, and a lot of thoughts about what they read because they know that is most important to me!  It is so cool to see how excited they get when they know the "can" is coming, and I've been using it everyday all year long, and it's APRIL!  Can you think of anything else that would hold their excitement that long?  We also use it again to close our Literacy Workshop each day.  They know that if they are "picked" they will need to tell me something they learned from one rotation of our workshop, and what reading skills they used to learn that information!  I'm telling you, the best $2.99 I have ever spent!  Truly, they love it...and I get to hold them accountable for their learning in a fun way! ;)  GREAT APP!!

I could go on and on about cool apps, but I would rather hear about the apps you love to use in your classrooms. :)  Leave an example in the comments to add to our list.  :)


  1. I just found your blog from a comment you made on someone else's blog-how nifty is that??

    I see that you like to read-oh, boy do I LOVE to read!! It's almost an addiction!

    I currently teach 5/6 grade history, but may teach ALL subjects next year to 6th graders. If I do then I have made up my mind to do reading workshop instead of the basal so I'm about to head over to look at the confer app-I've heard about it from several teachers.

    Your boys were WIPED OUT!! And yes, that's probably what our students look like, too. :)

    Good luck with your blog-I'm your newest follower.


    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! I love having a literacy workshop! I taught from the basal for many years and had no idea what I was missing. My students and I have a ball together and they are learning, growing, and experimenting with literacy so much more now than ever before! You will love workshop! I'll come over and visit your blog from your link above! :) Keep in touch and let me know if you need anything in your workshop.

  2. Hi Brandee! I found your blog via a post you'd left on another fifth grade blog! I teach year six in New Zealand which is equivalent to fifth grade over there. I love that Stick Pick idea! I will be implementing that this week!
    It's time to go to school now but I'm going to add you to my friends page (hope you don't mind) so I can come back and explore more!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

    1. I'm so glad you found me and I am thrilled that you added me to your friend page! So good to connect and learn with as many as possible! The more the merrier and I am so glad you like the app idea. ;)

  3. Hi Brandee:
    So glad to have found you. I love finding new upper grade blogs!
    I can't wait to add the conferring app to my iPad.
    It will be my first app--after Angry Birds and Teachers Pay Teachers, of course!

    Welcome to BlogLand...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Hi Kim,
      Thanks for the warm welcome! I think blogging may become my newest obsession! ;)

  4. Thanks for all of the tips! Each one of these apps sounds very appealing and useful for the classroom!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and connecting! Glad you liked the apps. :)

  5. These apps are all great, Brandee! I wonder how I can adapt that confer app to math? Have you had a busy day in BlogLand? Happy blogging ;)
    Fun in Room 4B

    1. PS- figured out the link code does work from the iPad since I downloaded the update :)

  6. One app you might like to investigate for your class is Strip Designer. It's a great visual way for kids to create and demonstrate learning. Here's the link to my review in case you want to read more. http://www.thebookchook.com/2013/01/childrens-ipad-app-strip-designer.html

  7. I am so happy I have discovered you....you have created the classroom I can hope to have! Of course I am getting nothing done today as I am reading all your posts. You are AMAZING!

    Lisa (:


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