50 Apps in 50 Minutes- Elementary

By: Melinda Hadley & Bethany Blake (August 2014)

Productivity Apps

Dragon Dictation

Use your voice to dictate a text message or email, and anything in between – simply speak and see your text content appear.


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iOS audio editor that lets you manipulate audio.


Hokusai, part 1

Explain Everything

A unique interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool.


Similar apps: ShowMe (FREE), Educreations (FREE), ScreenChomp (FREE)

Explain Everything 2.0

Cute Cut

A full service video editing tool.


Cute CUT Tutorial Video - Getting Started


Storehouse is a wonderful new iPad app for creating, sharing, and discovering new stories. Students can use this app to create beautiful stories to share with others. Storehouse allows them to combine photos, videos and text to design their stories. They can easily add photos and videos from their iPad Camera Roll, Dropbox, Flickr, and Instagram.


App of the Week - Storehouse


Vintagio features seven different filters allowing you to create videos for various decades from the twenties to the eighties. There are 11 soundtracks to pick from, five transition types, and seven title cards. The title cards are great additions to provide the true silent movie feel. There’s also express or pro mode with express allowing you to create a movie in a few taps, and pro mode offering an iMovie style timeline.

$1.99 (iPhone app but will work on iPad)

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Miscellaneous Apps


Augmented reality app using a smart device camera to recognize images and then overlay rich media on top of them in the form of animations, videos, 3D models and web pages.


Link to blog on how to use Augmented Reality/Aurasma in the elementary classroom

Below is a video of how Aurasma has been used in a high school, but is easily adaptable to elementary school.

Teaching with Aurasma


Turn a photo into a talking, dancing, crazy 3D character. You can use Morfo on people, pets, or just about anything you can imagine.


Morfo: How To Make Santa


Learn languages completely free with no ads or hidden fees. Voted 2013 iPhone App of the Year by Apple.


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Word Lens

Translate printed words from one language to another using your smart device's camera.

FREE (for limited time while they transition to Google partnership)

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Assessment Apps

Class Dojo

A classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.


Student Introduction to ClassDojo
Class Dojo Set Up and Tutorial


Student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.


Socrative Overview Video

Social Studies Apps

Mission US: Think Fast About the Past

A fast-paced role-playing adventure that introduces hundreds of fascinating facts about different eras of American history. This app uses characters from the online role-playing game Mission US, which you can find at mission-us.org.

Contains two different missions for students to complete. Each mission includes approximately 100+ questions randomly served during the course of the game. The first mission is set in Boston in 1770 to explore colonial history. The second mission in Think Fast About the Past is set in Kentucky in 1850 and helps students learn about slavery and resistance in the pre-Civil War era.

Grades 4-8


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Infinity Ring: Revenge of the Redcoats

Set in Washington, DC, during the War of 1812, Dak, Sera, and fellow Hystorian Riq must convince Dolley Madison to leave the White House--before SQ burns it to the ground.


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Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere's Ride

Filled with interactivity, animations, stunning visuals, word-class music and thematic mini-games, Ansel & Clair ride with Paul Revere changes the way History is taught and learned by kids. Exciting new features include a fun Who’s Who Photobooth, pop-up quiz to test knowledge, integrated maps to see the actual maps of key places and events, abilityy to type your notes in the Travel Log and much more. Popular 18th century Rebus puzzles, rendition of H.W. Longfellow’s “Midnight Ride by Paul Revere” poem, licensed art from museums and original period music enhance immersion into history.

Ages 7+


U.S. Geography by Discovery Education

Learn about the 7 geographical regions of the US. The topics that are covered include: region overview, bodies of water, culture, climate, landforms, and major cities. Students can watch videos, read key information about the regions, participate in interactive gameplay, earn rewards, and access news stories that relate to current events in both text and video formats.



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Science Apps

Bill Nye The Science Guy

Students can watch Bill Nye videos, play games, and discover kitchen table science experiments to do at home.

Students enter the app by “scanning” their thumbprints. After entering the app students select an object on Bill Nye’s desk. Each object launches a new element of the app. My only complaint about the app is that in the video section it looks like you have to buy the videos (it’s an option) even though you can watch them for free.


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Color Uncovered

Explore the surprising side of color with Color Uncovered, an interactive book for the iPad, featuring fascinating illusions, articles, and videos developed by the Exploratorium.

When is yellow yellower than yellow? What color is a whisper? How is Monet like a honeybee?


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Sound Uncovered

Explore the surprising side of sound with Sound Uncovered, an interactive collection from the Exploratorium featuring auditory illusions, acoustic phenomena, and other things that go bump, beep, boom, and vroom.

Hear with your eyes, see with your ears, test your hearing, make and modify recordings—this app puts you at the center of the experiment.


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Science 360

High-quality science and engineering news and information app published by the National Science Foundation. The scores of videos here -- including scientists interacting with jellyfish or mathematicians studying how snakes move to help create new mechanical engineering programs -- will appeal to science- and nature-loving kids.


iPad App Quick Overview: Science 360

Life Cycles

Each cycle is illustrated and has written & voice-over description. Cycles include:
  • Life Cycle of a Frog
  • Phases of the Moon
  • Life Cycle of a Butterfly
  • Plant Life Cycle
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Rock Cycle
  • Water Cycle
  • Photosynthesis
  • Nitrogen Cycle
  • Oxygen Cycle


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Daisy the Dinosaur

Introduces children to basic computer programming. A challenge mode tutorial shows how to make the dinosaur move, jump, shrink and grow using drag and drop instructions. Without explicitly using the terms, it demonstrates looping and conditional programming. But for children playing with this free app, it’s all about making a cute green dinosaur move at your command. It builds problem-solving and analytical skills, it’s fun and empowering for young programmers.

Grades K-5


Daisy App teacher tutorial


An app that let's kids drag and drop blocks of code to create their own programs. They can create games, animations, apps, … They will learn problem solving, critical thinking, and the fundamentals of computer programming.


Hopscotch App tutorial

TinkerBox HD

Teaches basic engineering concepts, asking students to play games created around physics and engineering problems.


TinkerBox App Demo

Monster Physics Lite

Build working contraptions with over 68 different parts including wheels, rockets, propellers, cannons, magnets, claws, wings and more. Choose from different materials including metal, wood, plastic, rubber and ice. Connect parts together by welding them, drawing a rope or chain between them with your finger or using special dynamic joints to bring them to life.

Once your invention is complete, Monster Physics™ Lite will render it with it's built-in physics engine and let you actually operate your creation in real time. You can drive your car, operate your crane, guide your rocket into space or fly your helicopter! The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Think outside the box! Monster Physics™ Lite comes with 20 missions for you to solve including simple tutorials as well as mind-bending challenges. Players learn problem-solving and creative-thinking skills while having tons of fun.

FREE (Paid version available $0.99)

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Reading/ELA Apps

Book Creator is a free digital Storytelling app that allows you to add photos, text, sounds, audio, and then share it through ebooks, pdf's, or publish to ibooks!
Book Creator App Tutorial
Puppet Pals HD allows you to create your own animated shows with audio in real time. (free)

You can use existing photos for characters, select a character embedded in the program, or create your own!
- Use a photo as a backdrop for your storytelling
- zoom and rotate your characters using two fingers
- flip them around with a double tap
- a wide variety of creative characters to download (including famous talk show hosts and politicians)
- limitless possibilities of story creations

My Story Tutorial
Create and share ebooks and stories by adding drawings, photos, and stickers. Then record your voice on every page and share your story with friends, family and classmates.

My Story combines drawing, stickers, photos, voice, and text to promote literacy and creativity in ebook format. Then share the book on the web, social networks, email, or directly to iBooks

Superhero Comic Book Maker - Duck Duck Moose
- 27 background scenes: skyscrapers, space ship, the moon, wild west and more
- 170+ animated stickers with sound effects
- 29 crayons and 29 colored pencils
- Drag and drop multiple scenes to create a comic strip
- Narrate the comic book story using the self-record feature
- Tap the stickers to make their mouths move
- Move the stickers to create your own movie

- Save your comic books to your Photos to share with family and friends!

Graphio ($8.99)

How to use the Grafio App
Make neat, clean diagrams and schemes easily. Explain your idea or just clear it out for yourself mind mapping it. Teach. Present.

Draw, sketch and drag objects on the canvas.
Make connections and add text and images. Everything you need for visualizing your idea.

Some diagrams require more advanced objects. Grafio provides hundreds of shapes you could easily drag in from the library. You could also Insert images from your camera roll as shapes and connect them to your other shapes.

Recording audio notes to your shapes could be a way for you to collect your thoughts or you can use this feature for something more creative, like taking an interview or recording your riffs for example.

Puppet Pals HD Tutorial

Story Buddy 2 ($3.99)

Create, read and share multi-page ePub & PDF stories right on the iPad. Draw directly on the iPad's screen with your finger as you create your very own picture book - page by page. Add customizable text with the built-in keyboard and import images from your photo album.

Compile your story and experience the excitement of interacting with its pages like a real book. Listen to your very own audio narration for each page.

You can share your story by ibooks, printing it wirelessly through airprint, send it through email as a PDF, and/or through itunes itself as an Epub.

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Phonics Apps

Phonics Genius (Free)

Phonemic awareness app that helps students learn how to speak, read, and recognize words through sounds. Customizable so that you can add your own list of words as well as the 6,000 that are already included in the app. This app highlights the parts of the words, they can record the word and listen to the recording, challenge themselves with the quiz feature, and then is adjustable to your student's learning preference and style.

Phonics Tic Tac Toe (Free)

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Children race to get 3 in a row…as they identify blends & digraphs, count syllables, recognize vowel sounds & more! This game provides focused practice with phonics skills, plus it’s packed with interactive features, exciting sound effects and kid-pleasing graphics that add to the fun. Players just take turns selecting squares and answering phonics questions…and the game tells them if they’re right or wrong. We’ve even included printable assessments, so you can track children’s skills.
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The Phonics Word Family Free provides the word phonics spelling, beginning sound, word family phonics, short vowel sound, and images with a lot of animations and interactions for each word. The app includes in-app-purchase. The full version includes 56 word family groups which focus on the short vowel, long vowel, two vowel, and combination vowel word family phonics learning. After children complete the phonics spelling in each group, the matching game follows and children can review what they learned.

The game helps children recognize common word patterns, and understand how the initial consonant, middle vowels, and ending consonant affect pronunciation. These are all important stepping stones to becoming a proficient reader.

-Phonics Spelling
-Beginning Sound
-Ending Sound
-Word Family Phonics
-Short Vowel Sound
-Word Pronunciation
-Matching the word with the image
-Touch and Hear
-Progress Report
-Multiple User Account

Phonics Word Family Basic is a Universal App, so it works with both iPhone and iPad.

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Voted best learning to Read App $3.99 (proven phonics-based approach)

Reading Raven is an extremely engaging learn-to-read educational game that provides step-by-step reading lessons designed to help young children build a solid foundation for reading.

- Self-paced lessons take kids all the way from pre-reading to reading sentences!
- 11 types of super fun games/activities that teach critical sub-skills!
- Configure profiles for multiple children!
- Fully customizable by age or reading level!
- Speed and tolerance dynamically adapt to motor control ability!
- Sticker rewards that reinforce what was learned!
- No pressure tactics!
- Extremely effective voice instructions and feedback!
- Free form letter and word writing!
- Children can pause and save their progress anytime!
- Beautiful hand-illustrated artwork!
- No third party advertising!
- No external links to social network sites!

Math Apps for Elementary!

Pizza Fractions app (Free)

Players presented with randomly generated fractions to identify by counting slices of pizza

- entry level simple fractions build confidence with denominators 1-12, excluding sevenths and elevenths

- adjustable level of difficulty allows beginners to start with easier fractions and progress as they learn

- option to advance questions by shaking the device or using a button

- score data and round timing allows you and your child to compete by alternating rounds

- animated cartoon chef and comical sound effects lend appeal to the learning process

Best iPad Apps For Kids: Pizza Fractions

Khan Academy (Free)

It covers a massive number of topics, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities with playlists on art history, civics, and finance.
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This app has video tutorials, assessments, and interactive learning environments on all subject content areas. It also gives your students pre-assessments before starting their online learning and keeps you up to date on their progress and data.
Splash Math - Fun Math Practice for Grades 1 to 5
This app provides interactive Math lessons for elementary school students at every grade & skill level. It is based on common core state standards and covers every topic in grades 1-5 mathematics. It adjusts its individual lessons based on the students learning style. Splash Math Reinforces Key Math Skills and tracks student data in real time and gives weekly reports.

Number Line Math (Free)

Number Line helps students visualize number sequences and model strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It can be used to represent sequences of numbers, including whole numbers and multiples of a variety of numbers.

• Mark the number line with multiples of any whole number from 1 to 100.
• Add and manipulate forward and backward jumps.
• Hide and reveal numbers on the number line.
• Use the drawing tools to annotate work and show understanding.
• Write equations and expressions with the text tool.

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