In my last post, I lamented the limited number of quality apps available for middle school students. How many kids are walking around their schools with a MacBook? Several thousand. And that’s just here in Shanghai. Granted, not everyone is carrying around an app-enabled device and not everyone is eager to spend all of their free time developing their wordsmith skills. But, if you are looking to spend a few dollars on an app that has a clear benefit to your middle schooler then the following ten apps get this teacher’s vote (and many of my 8th graders):
You’d be surprised how many kids have never played Scrabble or a variation of it. My students have enjoyed playing against me in each of these games. I set a high score and they try to beat it or we square off against one another. I’ve been humbled by a few of my students when we squared off.
- Words with Friends FREE
- Scramble with Friends FREE
- Hanging with Friends FREE
- Scrabble FREE
- Writer Rumble
- Spellwood FREE
Its bean hard to find an reliable app that’s meets the wide range of grammer issues most middle schoolers’ face. These two apps are essentially workbooks adapted for the iDevice, but Pearson has the most comprehensive set of age-appropriate exercises and a decent progress-tracker.
The iPad. Will it change the way we read or will it be just another clumsy approach to the “interactive book” idea? Take a look at how Alice in Wonderland will be read on the iPad.
What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments.
Whether it’s a short story or short film you’re creating, you need to know a few things about your main character. Try this:
Download this Pages file and interrogate your main character.
Creating a story? Start with a CHARACTER. Give them a GOAL. Create a CONFLICT or a problem that gets in way the of the character reaching this goal. Make sure they STRUGGLE as they take a few different actions to overcome the CONFLICT. If you have all of these parts of a story, you need an ending or RESOLUTION. Does your CHARACTER solve the CONFLICT? Do they change or transform as a result? Do they view themselves or the world differently now?
Try one of these Story Templates to get started. They are Pages files. Download and open in Pages.
Got a Character? Let’s Hold an Interrogation. With a partner or as a whole class, try this:
Questions to Ask
What does the character want to do or get? Goal?
Why does the character want it?
Why doesn’t the character have it already?
What is the character willing to risk to get it?
What has happened in the past to make the character feel this way?
What is the character’s personality?
Does your story have CHARACTERS, CONFLICT, STRUGGLE and a GOAL? (PDF)