Curriculum Linked with Apps a Winner in the Classroom

in Books (E)

[] Hot Springs Village, Arkansas - First- and third-graders at Jessieville Elementary School near Hot Springs Village, Arkansas recently participated in a pilot program by a National Board Certified Teacher to use apps in the classroom in alignment with Common Core State Standards and with accompanying custom-designed curriculum.

Retired teacher Cyndie Sebourn teamed with Jessieville Elementary School to correlate children's storybook apps with Common Core State Standards. Sebourn designed "Smarty Activities" - lessons plans and activities - to pair with the apps that students were reading on class iPads.

"Technology in education is an exciting new era for students. It is not enough, however, that educators have iPads and storybook apps; they need custom-designed curriculum to accompany the apps," said Sebourn. "Their prep time is limited, and standards aligned activities promote an atmosphere of Edutainment: education that is entertaining."

On May 10, Sebourn visited Katie Moore Wainscott's third-grade language arts classes to present activities to be used with Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island, an award-winning book app by Karen Robertson. The activities included:

* Clue Poems, which challenged students to create their own poems about a mystery object, using the free app "Draw Free for iPad." Students labeled rhyme schemes and practiced fluency by recording their poems, using the free app "Audio Memos Free - The Voice Record."

* Researching Quicksand, in which students used the Internet to learn about quicksand and report what they had learned using the free app, "iBrainstorm."

* Making Quicksand, in which students used instructions from a Treasure Kai video to make their own quicksand.

After the activities, students participated in a Skype chat with Treasure Kai author Karen Robertson, who lives in Sydney, Australia.

"I feel that iPad apps are a necessary tool in today's digital world to engage my students in learning. App activities make their learning highly interactive and allow them to work independently and project based," teacher Katie Moore Wainscott said. "iPad storybook apps like Treasure Kai combined with free technology apps like iBrainstorm, ShowMe, and others, encourage enhancement of my students' learning and make daily activities fun and exciting in the classroom."

On May 14, Jessieville first-grade teacher Amanda Bean taught the Smarty Activity "My Naptime Day Dream," which aligned with Penelope the Purple Pirate, a storybook app by Melissa Northway.

Students wrote, illustrated, and published their own adventure story using the free app, Scribble Press. The day concluded with a Skype with Northway, who lives in California. Northway spoke with the students about her characters who represent that we do not all have to be the same; it's ok to be different.

Sebourn works as an educational consultant for app developers and is publishing a case study titled Apps with Curriculum in Education, which will address educators' use of apps in the classroom and their needs for custom-designed activities for apps. Her blog,, discusses developing storybook apps and aligning them to education's needs. Sebourn's own educational app, Smarty Britches: Nouns, about a boy in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas who learns about nouns through a magical pair of britches, will be released this summer.

Sascyn Publishing, Inc. develops children's apps for education, and it creates custom-designed curriculum for other app developers that meets the needs of educators. Copyright (C) 2012 Sascyn Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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