Apps in Leo's Special Education Classroom

I met with  Leo's 1:1 autism classroom staff earlier this month to talk about how they use the class iPad with Leo and the other students. We talked about the apps Leo liked best, and ways we use Leo's iPad at home that might work in class as well.

The classroom iPad has a good selection of apps already -- six screens' worth, including Leo favorites like FirstWords Deluxe. I showed the staff the apps we had on our iPad, and we talked about which ones the classroom could use. Here are the ones we decided on.
  • Question Builder* For practicing questions. Leo needs help to use this app since it requires literacy, but it actually supports his IEP goal of practicing answering Wh- questions.

  • Conversation Builder* is "designed to help elementary aged children learn how to have multi-exchange conversations with their peers in a variety of social settings." While it's a bit advanced for Leo, the staff thought other kids could benefit.

  • Stories2Learn* Makes creating social stories with pictures and voiceover so easy.

  • Dr. Seuss's ABC* Oceanhouse Media's Dr. Seuss books are great because Leo can tap on any word and "read" himself the book. Supports Leo's literacy IEP goals by reinforcing sight reading.

  • Bob Books* Simple phonics-based spelling and reading. Supports Leo's literacy IEP goal.

  • TouchTrainer* The OT thought this was great -- kids have to touch a moving target a set number of times to proceed to next level/reinforcer. The rate and number of times can be changed.

  • Turn Taker* Helps kids learn to take turns, with intervals of chosen length. Always in season.

  • Quibble Kids* Matching category items via four rotating cubes. Another one that Leo can use with support, and an area that he needs to practice more -- categorizing is hard! The staff thought some of Leo's classmates might really like Quibble Kids.

  • Swapsies* More categorizing, this time using cute figure and uniform tops, bottoms, and hats on "dolls."

  • TallyTots* Leo's current favorite counting app for numbers 1 - 20. Cute animations varied reforcements and counting strategies.
  • Speech With Milo: Verbs*, Speech With Milo: Prepositions*, Speech With Milo: Sequencing* All three apps were developed by an SLP to help kids like Leo and his classmates. The cute animations are motivating for Leo.

  • All About Me* A simple app for writing up and categorizing pictures and information about your child. It lets Leo practice many of the social and personal questions he really needs to know. And, bonus, it works really well with the iPad's built-in voiceover accessibility feature, if, like Leo, your child can't yet read -- voiceover lets Leo "read" all the questions himself.

  • Letter Tracer Trace upper or lower case letters, and numbers. Or practice from an adjacent model on the screen.

  • Moozart Leo really likes exploring basic music notation and composition through this silly barnyard-themed program. This is one he can use as a "break" app.

  • InfinitiTrack Both class staff and the OT liked this one. Track a ball around a figure eight pathway with eyes or finger. Simple but effective.  
I'll write a more general post on iPads in the special ed classroom next week -- my goodness are there a lot of really complicated issues, as well as practically unlimited great resources.
    Starred* apps were donated to the school by the generous developers, whom I approached after the meeting -- usually multiple copies for multiple classrooms.

    The Mobile Education Store has generously donated two copies each of Question Builder and its companion app, Sentence Builder. I'll email them to the first two commenters who 1) suggest other apps that might work in a 1:1 autism classroom like Leo's and  2) state why they want the QB & SB apps.


    1. Hi Shannon! Thank you for posting this list of apps.The two apps that I recommend are ABC Magic Phonics and ABC Magic Reading 1. The QB and SB apps would be great for my son Tyler who is nonverbal and for my son Trevor who is verbal. They are both working on "WH" questions and Trevor is reading at a first grade level and learning how to make phrases and eventually sentences. These apps will help with IEP goals.

    2. Hey I heard of another one- do you know about "Mr Thorne Does Phonics?"

    3. Thanks for these! Our girl has Apraxia and dyspraxia..the ipad has been amazing for her. things like tracing etc she is mastering in the couple months we have had one..I tpp really wish there were more language apps..like Kaufman cards in an app..she too has an amazing visual memory..trying to use this skill to help in the speech area..if you hear anything..I know you will share! Thanks! This is an exciting time to have this tech help..i'm amazed at the benefits we are seeing! Going to share more with our school dist. next week..more kids need these!

    4. My kids simply love this FREE Ipad App named : Lazytown

      It is surely one of the best Ipad apps I have seen so far.


    5. We have over 30 FREE apps listed on our site. Check it out.


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