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Let’s Play Together! A Dozen iPad Games

In the short time that we have had our classroom iPads, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at games that benefit my students.  I have seen several articles out on the Internet, which criticize the use of iPads for playing games in school, but I have to disagree.

Before the iPads came into the classroom, we were already playing games!  Whether those were math games, word games, strategy games, review games or cooperative games; we have been playing them for years!  When students play games, they are more engaged, and their learning is solidified in a way that carries forward through upcoming lessons. It only seems natural to use the iPads for that same reason.

In preparation for a recent presentation at iPadSummitUSA, I created a ThingLink – an interactive photograph – as a resource for attendees.  On this image, I linked to a few of the games I have found to be useful in the classroom:

When I review games, I’m looking for several factors:

1.  Does it match a goal in our curriculum?  I’ve been looking mostly for math and ELA games, but I also like for my students to play games that involve strategy or cooperation.   Both skills go a long way when it comes to problem solving and group-work.

2. Does it have the capability of including more than one player? I love when two students are able to share one device, and play head-to-head, or at least use a pass-and-play feature.  When devices are limited, we are able to share so more students can participate!

3. Cost.  We are trying VERY hard this year to not purchase any apps for our BYOD pilot.  Sometimes that can be a challenge.  The apps I’m finding that are free are sometimes limited in some way. Either there are levels which cannot be unlocked, or there are ads that come up from time to time.  Because I cannot control the ads that come up, I’m not always always crazy about that feature.  In some cases, I’ve spent my own money to put a paid app onto my own teacher iPad.  That way, students can still play it from time to time, and we haven’t had to pay for it on all of our school iPads.

Included in the above image are the following games designed for more than one player:

Mancala Kalah: Free

UNO: Free

Friendle: Free

SET Game ($4.99)

Stratergery: Free

Gomoku: Free

Checkers: Free

Chicktionary: Free (not a multiplayer, but kids can work together)

Math Party: Free

4 In A Row: Free

Bluster: Free

Futaba: Free

As always, this process is a work in progress.  If you have any elementary games you have found to be valuable in your classroom, feel free to share! I’d love to add to our bank of options.

Stay Tuned and Paddle On!

2 thoughts on “Let’s Play Together! A Dozen iPad Games

  1. Alicen Burke, CCC-SLP

    I’m an SLP so some of the apps I suggest below may not apply to you, but many will. Here is a list of just some of the apps I like using. Some are better than others. All are apps I obtained for free. As you probably know, when new apps are coming out many are freebies as promos and become paid apps when they are successful. So some of these apps may not be free anymore, but some are. Also, you can get many free apps from app search engines on holidays/holiday weekends. Also, you can obtain free apps from Starbucks and some websites have free app Friday (Moms with apps?; Super Duper?). I put an asterisk next to some of the ones I use a lot or especially like.

    Puppet Pals HD *
    Toontastic *
    Guess Phrase
    Guess ‘Em
    grammar fun free
    grammar jammers
    grammar lite
    barron’s painless grammar challenge
    grammar dragon
    opposite ocean
    Let’s name things
    Scribblenauts – freebie from Starbucks and it’s really interactive. Great for vocab and spelling*.
    all mobile education apps – paid apps but effective learning tools for kids with language delays
    shopping cart for working memory *
    The Electric Company
    Drawing with Carl *
    Coolibah for retells
    Balloon free for limitless written expressions; thought bubbles vs talking bubbles
    Unblock me for spatial reasoning *
    Insect Lore – a world domination game but great for cycle of the butterfly/retells *
    Garden scapes and Amazon hidden objects games *
    SimonSays for working memory and recall
    all Grasshopper apps have been free
    all apps are great for lower levels
    Idioms * (there are 3 different versions out there. Some have pics, some don’t.
    Pic Collage for retells *
    Pie Maker and Cookie Maker (1 and 2) are great for sequenced retells *
    My Play Chef is great too*.


    1. Suzy Brooks Post author

      Alicen – you rock! Thank you for sharing these, as I’m sure with two-thirds of the year left, we’re going to need more to check out! I can’t wait! Thank you also for the suggestions on keeping our eyes peeled for app deals.

      With much appreciation,

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