There's an App for That! - National Council of Teachers of English
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There’s an App for That!

There really is a day for everything! December 11 is National App Day. The purpose of National App Day is to celebrate the importance of apps as they change our collective culture by organically promoting creativity and innovation.

Did you know that has mobile apps? Now you can engage your students in literacy learning using tablet devices. Students can download a mobile app and use it anywhere, anytime. No Internet connection is required once the apps are downloaded. The apps are better versions of the beloved Student Interactive Tools.

There are apps for Organizing & Summarizing. which help students with the critical steps that come between research and writing. The apps in this category include:

  • Alphabet Organizer – lets users create a calendar-style ABC chart or letter pages for an alphabet book.
  • Timeline – allows students to create a graphical representation of an event or process by displaying items sequentially along a line, organized by time of day, date, or event and labeled with short or long descriptive text.
  • Trading Cards – invites students to demonstrate their comprehension using a mobile app.
  • Venn Diagram – allows users to compare and contrast information in a visually appealing way.

The Writing Poetry apps take students from inspiration to publication, and then turn students into poets. The poetry apps are:

  • Acrostic Poems –  a poetry form that uses the letters in a word to begin each line of the poem. All lines of the poem relate to or describe the main topic word.
  • Diamante Poems – a diamond-shaped poems that use nouns, adjectives, and gerunds to describe either one central topic or two opposing topics (for example, night/day or winter/spring).
  • Haiku Poem – this app guides students through the haiku writing process.
  • Theme Poems – a poem written within the shape of the subject of the poem.
  • Word Mover – allows children and teens to create “found poetry” by choosing from word banks and existing famous works; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving/manipulating the text.

Students can use the Inquiry & Analysis apps to develop and answer research questions. The apps include:

  • Fact Fragment Frenzy – an interactive model for finding facts in nonfiction text; then invites students to find facts in five sample passages.
  • Hero’s Journey – use the app to learn about the elements of the hero’s journey, analyze a text that follows the hero’s journey pattern, or start creating a hero story of their own.

Learning About Language games and tools are fun, while at the same time helping children learn how letters, sounds, and words work.

  • Word Matrix – allows students to organize groups of words by connotation on one axis and by register on another.

The Writing & Publishing Prose apps can be used whether students are writing essays, stories, or letters. These apps include:

  • Cover Creator – allows users to type and illustrate covers for a variety of media.
  • Flip Book – a tool designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books.
  • Postcard Creator – walks students through the full production of a postcard.
  • Profile Publisher – use to draft profiles for self or other characters.
  • Stapleless Book – designed to allow users to create with ease an eight-page book simply by folding and cutting.

How do you use apps in your classroom?