iPad apps for the Elementary Classroom

Image from TeachThought


StoryKit enables students to design, create, and edit an eBook.  This app allows students to write text and illustrate their creation through uploaded pictures or photographs.  Students who are perhaps not proficient in writing are able to record their own voices or sounds, whilst other students may use this tool to enhance their book.  Pages can be easily added and deleted making this app user friendly for elementary grades.

HOW IT CAN BE USED: This app would be a great addition as it can be implemented into most subject areas.  Some examples of how this app could be incorporated into the classroom could be creating an electronic story book about:

  • Art: A particular artist, including pictures of some of their pieces.
  • L.A: An author study
  • Science: Planets and the solar system


Mathboard is a math app targeted at all grades throughout elementary school, including Kindergarten.  This app can be configured for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems using numbers ranging from -999 to 999.  Settings include a random problem generator (up to 250 questions per quiz), timed quizzes that can be saved, and immediate feedback showing students the correct answer should they get the answer wrong.

This app allows teachers to customize settings to best suit the individual needs of their students.  Students learn at different paces and via different methods.  Mathboard provides multiple ways to answer the questions, a scratch pad area where students can work out the problems by hand, and a help section for students who may still be having difficulty.  Mathboard is available in multiple languages, helping overcome the language barrier for some students.

HOW IT CAN BE USED:  This app can be used in multiple ways, but one may be for the teacher to set the parameters for the individual students, and set them a timed quiz to ascertain what level of understanding each student has based on their test/quiz results.  These tests can then be saved and taken again at a later date to see how far the student has progressed.


Dictionary.com is a valuable free reference tool for all students.  This app offers audio pronunciation (which would be highly useful for students who are learning the English language), and is also available offline.  In addition to explaining what words mean, there is a thesaurus, example sentences, and spelling suggestions.

HOW IT CAN BE USED: Teachers could make use of this tool to help students build on their vocabulary.  For example, instead of always using "said", a grade 2 student can search the thesaurus for synonyms.  Students are also able to see working examples of how a word is used in the proper context.  This is an app which may also be useful in multiple subject areas.

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Image from The Gadgeteer

Bill Nye the Science Guy is free app that has games and experiments that can be done both at school and at home.  This is an engaging app that has the students learning through a hands on approach, as well as watching clips, and working through the various games.  This app is fun, interactive, bright, and user friendly.  Teachers can use this app as part of the science curriculum in elementary schools, to offer the opportunity to learn through a different mode, perhaps reaching more students.

This app offers multiple ways for the students to learn:

  • videos
  • games
  • reading
  • audio clips

HOW IT CAN BE USED: Teachers may wish to use this app during science lessons to learn about rock and minerals as part of the Grade 3 science curriculum.  This would offer a different mode for students to learn about the Earth, where it is in our Solar System, and to play games relating to this topic to enhance learning.

Professor Garfield

Professor Garfield: Cyberbullying is a free app developed to help educate students on cyberbullying; how to recognize when it is happening, and how to respond appropriately.  This app is part of a larger free resource consisting of Online Safety, and Fact or Opinion (teaching students to recognize the difference between a facts and opinions).  In addition to the apps, there is also the option for students to do the activities online, which would allow the students to continue learning at home even when there may not be an iPad available to them.

This app takes the format of different comic strips and games that educate the students on the topic of cyberbullying, and gives scenarios for the students to answer that will hopefully reinforce how to respond to cyberbullying.

HOW IT CAN BE USED: A grade 4 teacher may choose to install this app onto the classroom iPads to be used as an interactive and engaging method of learning in conjunction with other materials during the unit on "bullying" which is covered in the Grade 4 curriculum.  

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