Popplet can be used to build background knowledge or to help students remember and organize the textual information. For example, Popplet can be used to help students connect the vocabulary terms being covered. Students can insert pictures and create a graphic organizer to illustrate connections and relationships between terms and ideas.

Subtext. To help students increase their understanding of non-fiction information, the app Subtext could be used. For example, additional public domain texts (such as Project Gutenberg) are selected and pasted into the app. Portions of the text can be highlighted, linked to other sources, or used as a basis for online discussions.

Story Buddy 2 Lite. To have students demonstrate their understanding of the text, Story Buddy 2, Evernote, or WeChat could be used. These apps allow students to create a document summarizing their understanding of the topic. Using Story Buddy 2 students can type or speak, add pictures, and add other effects such as a border. Evernote and WeChat are two apps that allow for collaboration during the writing process.

Another app that students of all ages enjoy using is Smule Auto Rap. This app can be used to create a rap of students’ oral reading of a passage or their summary of the text.

Many free apps are available that can be used to scaffold instruction and help students to individually or collaboratively understand the rigorous more complex texts as a result of the implementation of the Common Core state standards.

App App description* taken from iTunes Preview How to use for scaffolding CCSS
Popplet “Helps students think and learn visually. Students can capture facts, thoughts, and images and learn to create relationships between them” Show relationship between concepts being taught. It can be used as a graphic organizer or outlining to build background knowledge
Subtext (free until July 2015!)  “encouraging them to analyze what they read, articulate what they think, and make connections between texts and the outside world” Develop knowledge of concept being covered. Compare multiple texts on a topic.
Story Buddy 2- lite “Create, read and share multi-page ePub& PDF stories right on the iPad” Respond to text and summarize information being covered
Smule Auto Rap “If you can talk, you can rap with AutoRap. Select from over 100 beats from artists like Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Tupac, and Snoop Dogg. Then listen as AutoRap transforms your speech into a lyrical masterpiece! With Smule’s proprietary “rappification” technology, AutoRap maps the syllables of your speech to any beat, creating a unique rap every time”. Create a rap of students’ oral reading of a passage or their summary of the text
WeChat “WeChat is a free messaging & calling app that allows you to easily connect with family & friends across countries. It’s the all-in-one communications app for free text (SMS/MMS), voice & video calls, moments, photo sharing, and games” Establish “epals” with students from other countries
Evernote “Evernote is the modern workspace that helps you be your most productive self. You’re on the path to something big — Evernote is where you do the work to achieve it”. Collaborate during writing process

 

About the Author:

Denise Skarbek is a professor and Melinda Carver and Keya Mukherjee are assistant professors at St. Leo’s University in Florida.