MontessoriTech Happy child using Stamp Game app

Recommendations

iPads can be a wonderful educational tool in classrooms and outside of classrooms - IF the right apps are used and children are supervised in their use. We at MontessoriTech are assisting schools, classrooms, and parents with selecting apps to enable iPads to be an educational tool for elementary children.

We have found a few apps to recommend for Kindergarten, Lower Elementary and even more for Upper Elementary. The criteria we use for recommending an app is that it:

The list of apps are divided into five sections.

  1. Curriculum Management.
  2. Direct Classroom Lessons are apps that are direct educational tools for lessons taught in a Montessori curriculum. Many of them have been developed by Montessorians, and/or incorporate Montessori principles of simplicity and clarity.
  3. Reinforcing Classroom Lessons are apps that serve as good practice and follow-up work for classroom lessons. Some of these are a bit more distracting with extra graphics, but do reinforce educational skills. Some have external links and advertising included.
  4. Puzzles and Games are apps (without any violence or shooting) that children enjoy perhaps more for entertainment, but they do no harm. Many do not teach academic information directly, but are fun, productive problem solving activities that do further academic goals. Some of these games do have more graphics and sound that can be distracting from the activity, but that some children enjoy.
  5. Book Apps and Videos are virtual books that we have found work well for lower and upper elementary age children.

The links for the apps in iTunes are included in this list. The apps vary in educational level and cost. Some are free, most are $1 to $3. Prices are not included in this document, as prices can change so often. Please check the iTunes Store directly.

While all of these are good educational apps, each individual app may not work for your child or students. Please evaluate if an individual app is one you wish to purchase for your child or students before buying it.

Featured App

Exam Elf - by ZumFun

Exam Elf is a free question prep app that students and parents can use. Students learn a self-monitoring process of answering mathematical problems and word problems. Teachers and parents can monitor progress and use the app for observations to determine areas of needed assistance. Students from the ages 9 to 14 years of age can prepare for an examination with this enjoyable and self-correcting experience that Exam Elf app offers.

Direct Classroom Lessons

Math and Geometry Apps

Hands on Equations Levels 1-3

Wonderful virtual presentation of concrete material to learn pre-algebra and algebra. Beginning level can be used with children at a 3rd grade math level. The program then advances to address more complex algebra for anyone working to gain greater visual understanding of algebra.

iLiveMath Oceans

A nice series of apps that uses real photographs and facts for math word problems with several levels available - ranges from 1st to 6th grade level.

Skip Counting

A wonderful way to begin practicing multiplication facts as repeated addition. The design is a new incarnation of a classic Montessori material developed by MontessoriTech. Great for children who have accomplished counting and are ready to learn to skip count. Recommended for students at a Pre-K to 3rd grade level.

Bead Facts

This app provides demonstrations and practice of addition and subtraction math facts. Settings allow for specific addition and subtraction tables, or the set-up of custom problems. The app, developed by MontessoriTech, is a new incarnation of a classic material with modern concepts. Recommended for students at a Pre-K to 2nd grade level.

Place Value

A great app for students to learn and practice the decimal place value system by reading and/or listening to a soft voice (English, Spanish) and with a drag of their finger move the color-coded numbers to the place value boxes. Developed by MontessoriTech. Recommended for students at a Pre-K to 1st grade level.

Stamp Game

With the MontessoriTech Stamp Game app students develop the mental concept of adding. They create addends on the iPad screen with virtual stamps, just as they can with the Montessori physical material, and then they drag addends together. A true Montessori authentic material made for the iPad. Recommended for students at a Pre-K to 2nd grade level.

Division Board

Learn division by distributing objects (virtual beads) and develop a visual and kinesthetic understanding of division. Division Board app is a virtual rendition of the Montessori Division Board that demonstrates sharing of the dividend beads, across the divisor skittles to discover the quotient - the "share of one".

Montessori Geometry

A fun way for students (K-3) to learn geometric shapes. The app is based on Montessori geometric shape lessons that teach 6 different families of shapes using the Montessori geometric cabinet materials. It is a bit cartoony at times and the app has animated rewards, but the logic and content is very helpful. The app is also useful for more advanced geometry work in future education.

GeoBoard

A free colorful virtual GeoBoard developed for students to create geometric shapes and to make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more. Students from the ages of 6 and up will enjoy making their own geometric creations with this app.

Science Apps

The Strange & Wonderful World of Ants

A beautifully designed and quirky science app for kids. It features a unique adjustable reading level making it appealing to a wide range of children and adults.

Body Organs 4 Kids

Interesting facts and presentation. Children need to be at a 2nd grade reading level to work on this app independently, but students could have the information read to them. This is a good app to use to augment a unit on the human body.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration

Get close to the periodic table and watch the elements come to life. This wonderful ebook/app is a great way to learn about the elements.

Reading Comprehension - Solar System

Good information about the solar system with easy comprehension questions. Recommended for children 3rd - 6th grade level.

A Life Cycle App

A lovely presentation of many natural cycles. The app covers cycles, plant and animal development, and rock, moon, nitrogen, etc. Useful for all elementary ages.

Language and Grammar

iLiveGrammar Botany

A nice series of apps that uses real photographs and facts for grammar practice. Good follow-up for after grammar lessons. This works best as reinforcement after children have been introduced to all basic part of speech.

Compound Words

A word puzzle app which uses real photographs for word associations. Children need to be at or above a first grade reading level. More advanced readers can use the 10 word setting to make the app more challenging. Developed by MontessoriTech.

LetterReflex

An excellent app to help students who need assistance with letter reversals. Recommended for K and up.

The Opposites

A fun game for practicing antonyms - for advanced 1st Grade through 6th Grade (ages 7 to adult). The expressions and tone of the characters is a bit negative, and the screen is rather busy to be a true "Montessori" app, but it is a fun and engaging challenging antonym game.

History and Geography

iWorldGeography Earth's Continents

Pure Montessori presentation of the continent map for memorization. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of the continents. It can be used with children from Pre K-1st grade, if they are working on learning the continents.

iWorldGeography Central America

Pure Montessori presentation of continent maps for memorization. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of Central America. It can be used with children from K-5th grade, if they are working on learning the countries, capitals, and flags of Central America.

iWorldGeography North America

Pure Montessori presentation of the continent map for memorization. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of North America. It can be used with children from K-3th grade, if they are working on learning the countries, capitals, and flags of North America.

iWorldGeography South America

Pure Montessori presentation of the continent map for memorization. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of South America. It can be used with children from K-5th grade, if they are working on learning the countries, capitals, and flags of South America.

iWorldGeography Australia

Pure Montessori presentation of the continent map for memorization. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of South America. It can be used with children from K-5th grade, if they are working on learning the countries, capitals, and flags of South America.

iLearn: US States

Nice series of apps to learn geography, settings to select a group of states to focus on. This is a great follow-up after doing a lesson on the map of the United States. It can be used with children from K-5th grade, if they are working on learning the states and capitals of the United States.

World Atlas by National Geographic

A great virtual atlas to use for researching and viewing the Earth. The app's revolvable globe is a great virtual material. Good for children and adults of any age.

Reinforcing Classroom Lessons

Math Apps

Addimal Adventure

A fun app for reinforcing addition strategies during choice work or at home. The app presents cartoon characters who guide the user to learn math strategies in steps. First by counting and then by counting from the bigger number. Once these strategies are achieved the app opens new strategies, Fact Families and Addition Relationships. The app was developed by a former Montessori Student and her colleagues. Recommended for K to 1st grade.

Long Division

A nice series of apps that shows and practices doing the operations for big problems.

Fraction Line

This fraction app presents fractions relative to each other in a clear way for students to understand.

Fraction Math

Lessons from simple to complex fractions operations.

Name that Number

Practice math facts with orders of operation and problem solving. This app is a bit flashy, but does practice good concepts.

MyBlee Problem Solving

This app is from a new French company that has a whole series of great apps. This one is excellent practice for problem solving and word problems. They also have great apps for geometry, square roots, multiplication facts, and more.

MyBlee Roman Numerals

There are several apps available for this. This one seems very "Montessori". The automated voice is a drawback, however.

Science Apps

Move the Turtle

A great app for teachers and parents to learn computer programming with your students and children. This app presents the basic logic used in computer programming. Adults and children will enjoy learning programming by selecting and dragging simple commands with the touch of a finger and get a thrill in creating your own programs.

Ecosystems

This app has interesting facts about biomes, which children in a Montessori classroom have learned. It is a bit cartoony, but the content is helpful.

Toy Gear HD - MCS game

A "great app" to complement concrete gear materials. Use the app to design and learn the physics of gears.

Language and Grammar

Learn Spanish with busuu!

A good Spanish app. Initially free, but has in-app purchases.

Super Speller

A nice app to reinforce weekly spelling lists by giving activities with the spelling words. Students can create audio tests and take the test. One quirk is that a stream of balloons acknowledges the student when the student completes the test correctly.

Analogy

Nice challenging analogy practice.

Drawing

Crayola DigiTools Effects

A colorful app created by the Crayola we all use in our classrooms and in or homes. In addition to the virtual coloring pages, students can create and print their own creations. Have your students or child use the app with a stylus to improve pencil holding. Recommended for K to 1st grade.

Crayola Lights Camera Color

A colorful app created by the Crayola we all use in our classrooms and in or homes. Say "Cheese", This app is engaging, and brings out creativity. Watch your child or student create art deco from photos they take with thier iPads. I used the app to make a yearbook page.

Drawing Box - Nguyen Tan Hon-Hu

A great drawing app that has a Montessori feel and has an orderly arrangement of virtual objects and colors. Recommended for K to 3rd grade.

Puzzles

Mosaic Tiles - Art Puzzle Game for Schools

An educational game that helps develop memory, distinguishing color and shape patterns, creativity, and coordination. The simplicity of the app engages students in creating their own patterns of graphic art.

BallFallDown Deluxe

Create your own ball maze, sort of like a pinball board, and see what happens. A creative physics puzzle. No levels, no score, just creativity and physics!

NonogramsHD

Complex puzzle game based on a Japanese game, offers options for levels of difficulty.

Bubble Ball

Fun physics puzzle game. Very clean and realistic.

Robo Logic

Fun puzzle game where you "program" a robots movements through a maze.

Percepto

A complex puzzle 3D game.

Cogs HD

A fun puzzle game.

Strategery - Lite

A strategy puzzle game. Lite version encourages purchase of paid version.

Where's My Water?

Fun, cartoony game with a bit of a puzzle to it.

Cut the Rope

A fun, harmless, cartoony game. There are many versions of it, some free, all them encourage in-app purchases.

Games

Green Up

An intriguing game that teaches students the process and care of plants. Planting, fertilizing, pest control, etc. Students will enjoy taking care of a virtual plant and watching the roots and parts grow to full maturity. A great app to complement botany lessons and fun work for home. Recommended for K to 3rd grade.

Addition Top It

A card game to practice math operations.

Operation Math

Math facts for all four operations with a mission plot. Free version, encourages buying the bigger version.

Mancala: FS5

A great authentic looking app of the traditional African game with additional displays. A great strategy game!

Tric-Trac

A two player addition math fact game.

Dabble

A fun word game at a 3rd grade level or above.

HomeBodies

Game for 1-4 players. Good for very young children through adult. Like the old game of parcheesi.

App Books and Videos

Bob Books #1

An app for the wonderful books that have helped so many children learn to read. Beautifully done! For beginning readers.

Auracle HD - Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty

Nicely done picture book with a good story. "Read-to-me" or "Read Myself" options.

eReading: Sleepy Hollow

A nice series of books at about a 3rd grade reading level. Can be read to you or read yourself.

eReading: Gulliver's Travels

A nice series of books at about a 3rd grade reading level. Can be read to you or read yourself.

eReading: Greek Myths

A nice series of books at about a 3rd grade reading level. Can be read to you or read yourself.

Brush of Truth

Fun book where the reader chooses how the plot turns.

BrainPop

Informative educational videos. Initial one is free, then there is a subscription system. Videos are cartoony and have a robot inserted into plot.

BrainPop Jr.

Informative educational videos. Initial one is free, then there is a subscription system. Videos are cartoony and have a robot inserted into plot. Junior level is recommended for children in K-3rd.

Curriculum Management

Common Core Standards

This free app provides the Math and Language Common Core Standards in an easy to reference format. Great for teachers and parents trying to make sure they are covering all the bases.