6 FREE Apps to Encourage Lifelong Learning

Winter blahs? Try adding one or more of these apps to your daily classroom routine. Students will love learning something new each day!

This Day in HistoryOne of my favorite FREE resources… WORLD BOOK  – This Day in History for iPad is a great FREE resource for the classroom. Historical events for the day are displayed on a calendar page. You can click on links to related media such as articles, photos/illustrations, music, speeches and more! When I was teaching, I had students  do “morning work” (correct punctuation, capitalization, & spelling in two sentences) while I took attendance, did lunch count, etc. This educational app would have been perfect for that daily assignment because I always used information about something interesting that happened that day. After correcting the sentences, the kids and I would discuss the history of that day. I was always amazed at how well kids retained what we had discussed during the opening minutes of every day. Throughout the year they would often remark, “We learned about that in our morning work.” You may want to try making this educational app part of your classroom’s morning routine. 🙂

WORLD BOOK - This Day in History for iPad - Software MacKiev

WonderopolisFREE – Wonderopolis, a fabulous educational app. Explore Wonderopolis (the website) with your mobile device.

Wonderopolis (Wonderopolis | Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease) is a fantastic website that provides a daily Wonder of the Day®.  A fun & intriguing question is featured every day. The website/app includes a written explanation of the answer, vocabulary words, and a gallery of images & videos – all to foster learning and inspire curiosity about the Wonder of the Day®. Other daily features include a “Try It Out” section which suggests activities based on the day’s question, a “Still Wondering” section which gives additional/related information, and a quiz. There is even a section for teachers/parents called the “Educator Sandbox” with additional resources and opportunities to connect with the Wonderopolis community. It’s such a fascinating and wonderful resource – I enjoy reading it myself!

Using this website/app would be a fabulous addition to a daily classroom routine. Kids could read (or listen to) the daily Wonder of the Day® as part of their independent work time. They could journal about what they learned and/or what they are still wondering about. A class discussion could be scheduled for later. What a great way to encourage THINKING! Wonderopolis is a fabulous resource to ignite the natural curiosity and imagination of kids!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wonderopolis/id505247028?mt=8&uo=4

BrainPOP has been around for more than a decade as an educational website. The site features short animated movies – 750+ lessons covering science, social studies, math, art & music, etc. The content is geared for grades 4 and above but I found that many movies were also suitable for third graders. When I was in the classroom, it was one of my favorite online resources.

Now you can download the BrainPOP Featured Movie, the educational app for FREE! Your child can learn something new every day. After watching the daily movie there is a short interactive quiz. And… if your child can’t get enough of this app, there are two subscription options: $1.99 per month/ 4 movies & quizzes a day OR $6.99 per month/full access.

Teachers could add the BrainPOP movie of the day to their daily routine. Watch it at a transition time – right before lunch, after lunch, while waiting for buses to called, etc. Interesting and educational!!

BrainPOP Featured Movie - BrainPOP®

Also available for FREE is BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week, another educational app. Every week Annie and Moby (two lovable characters) help 5 to 9 year olds learn about a different subject. There is also a quiz and activities to accompany each animated movie. BrainPOP Jr. has been on the web since 2006 delivering content for younger students in science, social studies, reading, writing, math, and more.

Again, teachers could add the BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week to their routine. Start your Monday off with the “Movie of the Week” or use it on Friday. BrainPOP gives teachers another way spark kids interest in learning!

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week - BrainPOP®

weirdDid you know that hippo’s lips are about two feet wide? Get ready to learn all sorts of wacky facts with this app. Just updated and FREE – Weird But True, an e-book from National Geographic Kids. Over 625 kid-friendly, wacky facts are presented in a fun & interactive way. Kids can swipe to move from fact to fact or shake their device to generate a random fact. Sound effects and surprises add to the fun! There is a fact finder which kids can use to locates facts by subject – animals, weather, space, etc. The app also includes a “Weird-O-Meter” which kids can use to rate the level of weirdness for each fact. Additional fact packs are available as in-app purchases –  $.99 each. This app won the Spring 2012 Parents’ Choice Award and was chosen as New & Noteworthy, What’s Hot, & Staff Favorites by Apple. Kids will LOVE this app. 🙂

Weird But True - National Geographic Society

newsCheck out a FREE trial of News-o-Matic, an educational newspaper app for kids 7 – 11 years old. A new edition is published every Monday through Friday. Each edition features 5 articles from the news – sports, science, world news, wacky events, etc. The articles are kid-friendly and age-appropriate. Kids can read on their own or have the articles read to them. Important vocabulary words are underlined and linked to their definitions. The articles also include fun facts, a map for locating where the news is happening, videos, and games. Once registered, kids can connect to the News Room to draw pictures, express opinions, or ask questions about the news. This app helps kids become informed citizens of the world!

The FREE trial lasts for 2 weeks. After that, you must subscribe: yearly – $19.99. monthly – $1.99, or weekly – $0.99. If you subscribe before the end of your free trial, you get a special rate. Teachers, there is also a News-o-Matic School Edition. It comes with a teacher’s guide which includes discussion prompts, comprehension questions, Lexile reading levels, and more. And, it’s a great resource for non-fiction reading!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/news-o-matic-daily-reading/id578023255?mt=8&uo=4

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