Scaffold Common Core standards for students with these educator-picked apps

As schools everywhere shift to the Common Core, teachers are now realizing that they must now be able to determine the both the factors within a given text where students will need scaffolding as well as the type of scaffolding appropriate for the activity. Fortunately, there are a number of free apps that can help.

The Common Core app organizes the Common Core standards by subject area (math traditional, math integrated, language arts, history/Social Studies, and science and technology) and grade level. This app also includes the Common Core appendices from the Common Core website. The organization within the app places the information in one single location for ease of use.

Apps for Common Core provides the common core standards and shares apps by grade level and standard. This particular app seems to include more resources for the primary grades and contains more extensive mathematics than English Language Arts resources.

Common Core ConceptBank, another free app, explores K-8 mathematics and English Language Arts standards by grade level in a greater depth. After identifying the grade level and subject area the teacher can identify the domain and the specific standard of interest. Sample questions are provided for many of the specific standards.

Understanding the standards is only the first step. Teachers also need to determine how they will scaffold instruction. Various free apps are available for scaffolding instruction and responding to text. Here are a handful of free apps that teachers can use with ELL students, students with disabilities (SWD), and struggling readers to scaffold instruction to meet these increased academic demands.

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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.