Leveled Reading Apps, App Recommendations & App Evaluation
Below are three documents that will hopefully be helpful to educators & administrators. The first document includes the criteria by which children’s librarians are using to select apps to use in storytimes, load onto library iPads, and recommend to families, and a list of websites where librarians go to learn about/find apps to consider adding to their resources. Most librarians agreed that the apps produced by publishers of leveled reading books are the best leveled reading apps. Therefore, the second document lists several publisher produces leveled reading apps with links to where they can be purchased and downloaded.
In my research, I found Free Must-Have iPad Apps for Leveled Readers by the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA). I have attached that document too, but I want to be clear that I’m not familiar with TCEA and I have no idea how they vetted these apps to determine they were good enough to include on this list.
Typically children’s librarians recommend apps based on what kids are interested in, usually favorite storybook character apps like Piggie and Elephant, Franklin, Fancy Nancy, National Geographic Weird But True, etc. These are easier to find if you do a Google search with the favorite character’s name followed by ‘iTunes app’ than if you search within the iTunes database directly. After you find the app(s), then use the attached App Selection Criteria to determine whether or not the app is a good fit for the child and their need.
Children’s librarians may also recommend apps based on what skills parents want to help their children develop, like Toontastic for narrative skills, Aesop’s Quest for comprehension, Same Meaning Magic for vocabulary, etc. The best way to find these is to use second page of the attached App Selection Criteria which has links to websites with app reviews. The three examples I just listed all come from Reading Rockets Educational Literacy Apps which is included in the attached document.