It’s that time of year – back to school! Kora is heading to middle school this year and she’s a bit nervous but very excited too. We start school here in Michigan after Labor Day, so it’s given us some time to enjoy the last few days of summer and to prepare. The kids and I went shopping for clothes last week and for supplies this week. Now that we are less than a week away from the first day of school, I thought it would be a good time to share some of our must have apps for middle schoolers.
These apps will help keep kids organized, on top of their schoolwork, and some may even make the school year easier and more fun.
The iHomework 2 app helps students stay organized. They can keep track of everything with minimal effort. Enter information about homework, courses, notes etc. and tag it all for quick reference. There’s a planner view and kids can view calendars inline with planned assignments to know exactly how busy their week will be. The app also syncs between Apple devices as well as with the web version so students can access all of their info from anywhere.
The free Quizlet app for studying flashcards is just as impressive as the online version and students can use it on the go. Students can create their own flashcards easily and quickly. They can then study them in a number of different ways:
- Traditional Flashcards – click to flip flashcards for answers
- Learn – read the word or phrase and type in the answer
- Speller – listen to the word or phrase and type in the answer
- Test – a mix of written questions, multiple choice, and true/false
- Scatter – similar to the classic game, Concentration or Memory
- Gravity – type in the correct answer before the meteor hits the ground
While all of these features are incredible and take the monotony out of studying, my favorite feature is the the audio button. Students can click the button and listen to automatic pronunciations of the words. Brilliant!
There are many other wonderful aspects of Quizlet including the abilities to share flashcards with classmates, to study with a library of millions of flashcards created by others, and when using the online platform easily add images from the Quizlet database to their flashcards with the click of a button.
Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus
The Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus app is the leading free English dictionary app for iPhone with over 2,000,000 trusted definitions and synonyms. It also works offline and other great features include:
- Word of the Day
- Audio Pronunciations
- Voice Search
- Word Trends
- Grammar Tips
- Quiz Widget
- Word Origin & History
- Favorite Words & Search History
- English Spelling Help
- Local Look Ups
This app is perfect for students with its massive dictionary and thesaurus as well as impressive other features. It will help middle schoolers improve their vocabulary in a variety of fun and interesting ways.
National Geographic World Atlas
The National Geographic World Atlas App features National Geographic’s award winning cartography as well as stats and facts about every country on earth. Other features include:
- Flags, Facts, and Stats
- Daily Trivia
- Pop Quizzes
- On-This-Day Information
- Create Pin Lists Of Locations
- Real Time Weather Data
Students can also download maps for offline use. This app is a trusted source of information that will help kids with their geography research reports and more.
NOVA Elements By PBS
The free NOVA Elements By PBS app for the iPad offers amazing graphics and intriguing videos about the elements and the periodic table. Students can use the app to explore an interactive periodic table, play a game hosted by David Pogue, or watch the video “Hunting The Elements.” This app has very high ratings with hundreds of students, teachers, and parents giving it 4 1/2 stars and commenting about the interface, the graphics, how it peaked their curiosity and got them excited to learn about the elements.
The Khan Academy app’s tagline is “You can learn anything – for free.” It offers over 10,000 videos and explanations in math, science, economics, history, and much more. It even includes over 150,000 interactive Common Core aligned practice questions with instant feedback and step-by-step hints. Students can even bookmark their favorite content to their list and download it to keep learning offline. The app also syncs with khanacademy.org so your child’s progress will always be up to date.
DragonBox Algebra 12+
The DragonBox Algebra 12+ app is a game that secretly teaches algebra. Students play at their own pace while experimenting with rules that are introduced gradually. It features 20 progressive chapters and 357 puzzles. It covers advanced topics in math including:
- Positive and negative signs
- Addition of fractions (common denominators)
- Collection of like terms
This app is a fun way for students to learn algebra and get comfortable working with variables.
The WolframAlpha app is great for students working on a homework or a class project. The app is a knowledge engine that instantly generates facts and answers about a wide variety of topics like helping with math equations, telling you the tallest building on earth, morse code for “finish your homework,” the definition of triangulate, a comparison between a T. Rex and a Brontosaurus, details for when the airbag was invented, and much, much more. It’s unbelievable how much information is packed into this app and it’s al presented in organized lists, graphs, and charts that are easy to read and learn from.
Middle School Vocabulary Prep
The Middle School Vocabulary Prep app is full of 300 words and definitions for middle schoolers. It enables kids to improve their vocabulary anywhere and you can practice with both words and definitions to get ready for the final test. Teachers can have students email them their scores from the 100 question assessment for extra credit.
The Focus Timer app can help students stay on task. Kids start the app’s timer by placing their phone face down. If they pick it up, the timer stops. They can set an alarm as well to take a break or stop whatever activity they are working on. In today’s day and age we are all connected to our phones and this is a clever way for students to stay focused and get homework done without being distracted by their phone.
These back to school apps for middle school students do so much including: assisting with homework, understanding difficult concepts, finding answers to tough questions, as well as keeping organized and focused. Middle school can be a tricky time and these apps are here to help.
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