2. Kidspiration is a learning software designed for grades K­–5 that uses visual learning to teach math, reading, writing, and thinking skills in a cross-curricular environment. There is a visual mode, a writing mode, and a math mode that helps student understand concepts like place value and geometric thinking.

Why it’s essential:

When you have a diverse classroom full of students with different learning styles and skill levels, it is important to have tools that can be modified based on these factors. Kidspiration activities are highly visual, making it a powerful tool to use with ELL students, as well as any student who may need additional support in a given subject. The cross-curricular nature of these activities also helps root student learning in real-life situations and thinking skills.

3. Popplet is a virtual idea map, available on the iPad and the web, that students can use to form connections between concepts in a visual way.

Why it’s essential:

The web-based format helps students connect their learning from one area to another. Students can input facts, thoughts, and images, making it a very visual way to form these connections. This can be helpful for ELL students, since they can form these connections at their own pace and see a whole idea laid out before their eyes.

These flexible tools can be used to enhance learning for students with different skill levels, learning styles, and native languages, all important factors in our increasingly diverse classrooms.

About the Author:

Camille Cavazos teaches 4th grade at Long Elementary in Harlingen, TX.