|By Shelly Palmer||
|July 10, 2014 07:27 PM EDT||
Many articles and studies endorse summer reading as a beneficial and necessary experience for all students. While book options have the potential to change from year to year, it remains that readers equip themselves with tools that foster their understanding of key terms, characters, plot, themes, comprehension and critical thinking. These five apps, appropriate for diverse student age groups, can jumpstart summer reading and book analysis.
Reading Rainbow (iPad, Free)
Forbes reports that the Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow raked in over $5.4 million. While many of us grew up with Reading Rainbow on PBS, listening to LeVar Burton reading magical stories, it seems a new generation will have the opportunity to interact with the show on various levels: mobile, Android, consoles and free subscriptions for over 7,500 classrooms. This iPad app is a solid primer for the literary and multimedia magic that awaits young readers. A subscription allows elementary school kids to pick and choose from hundreds of fascinating and age-appropriate stories.
Curated by Brad Spirrison
SparkNotes (iPhone, Free)
The SparkNotes app affords students an in-depth look at a multitude of modern and classical titles. Summaries and analyses on a chapter-by-chapter basis aid in understanding without replacing the reading experience. Included in the initial app download are fifty pre-installed study guides. More titles are available for free download for on and off-line use. Conveniently, users merely need to search for the desired title.
Curated by Angela Wagner
Reading Friendzy (Android Handheld, Free)
Students can choose to take quizzes offline, or they can challenge friends or students around the world. In the Learning Center students work through quizzes in order of difficulty. Because the app contains material from first through eighth grade, some of the material might be a review for students, but passing each level will unlock additional levels so they can move from Beginner up to Brainiac. One of the great things about the Single Friendzy mode, where students challenge other students around the world, is that it is adaptive. As students win games, they move up levels, and if they lose, they move down a level. This ensures that students are playing games at their ability level.
Curated by Megan Samarin
Grammar: Figures of Speech (Android Tablet, $1.99)
This app allows users to take lessons or quizzes over literary terminology including: synecdoche, personification, metonymy and much more. With 300 questions available, students have the opportunity to practice identifying literary terms instead of merely memorizing definitions. One has the ability to choose the number of questions on a quiz, providing quick study opportunities for students on the go or longer study sessions for those focused on acquiring a skill set. Progress is given to students at the end of each quiz, documenting the number of questions answered right and wrong.
Curated by Angela Wagner
Reading Comprehension at the Paragraph Level (iPhone, Free)
Reading Comprehension at the Paragraph Level contains 36 short passages followed by comprehension questions and a critical thinking question. Students can view their quiz results and questions that gave them trouble. A nice feature is the ability to erase all previous data and start a new set of scores. The reading selections are short and readable with questions that build critical reading skills. This app is helpful when using it independently, rather than working in a classroom setting.
Curated by Megan Samarin
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