The leap in reading comprehension difficulty from Elementary to Middle School can be daunting for some students. These five mobile apps, curated for use by Middle and High School students, assist in refining reading skills. From the transition of learning how to read to being critical thinkers to spelling new vocabulary words and understanding literary terminology, these apps are primed to help your child make the leap.
Reading Comprehension at the Paragraph Level ($3.99 iPhone)
Middle school students, having moved well beyond learning to read, are now reading to learn. Students need to learn to be critical readers and how to look for answers and evidence within the text. If a student gets a comprehension question wrong, the Reading Comprehension at the Paragraph Level app explains why the answer was wrong. The app contains 36 short passages followed by comprehension questions and a critical thinking question. Students can view their quiz results and questions that gave them trouble.
Curated by Megan Samarin
Brush of Truth ($1.99 iPad, iPhone)
The most common reason kids dislike reading is because they find it boring and lose interest in the story. Brush of Truth is a reading app with a twist! It lets you make choices about what you want to happen as you read along. There are 20 different endings, 65 different “choice points,” and even an option to go back and explore different endings than their initial choice. Using illustrations, easy print and high-interest text to grab students’ attention, Brush of Truth focuses on reluctant readers. It’s also well-linked to Common Core standards. Educators can create lessons and use worksheets that match stories in the classroom.
Curated by Amy Estes
iTooch 7th Grade Language Arts (Free iPad, iPhone, Android Tablet, Android Handheld)
We can’t say enough about the iTooch suite of apps across the language arts curriculum. This app combines direct instruction with practice and tests. The questions are both standalone and linked to reading passages. Students can work their way through 13 reading lessons from main idea to tone, mood, figurative language, conflict, theme and more. All materials can be accessed in the free version of this app if the students complete the lessons in order, unlocking each subsequent lesson. Students are scored on each test that they take and their scores are saved within the app, to which users can add multiple players in order to keep scores separate.
Curated by Megan Samarin
Grammar: Figures of Speech ($1.99 Android Tablet)
Though the name of this app is a tad misleading, users will find solace in that it provides plenty of practice reinforcing literary terminology. While most figures of speech are examples of literary terms and techniques, users are confronted with more information than expected. This app allows users to take lessons or quizzes over literary terminology including synecdoche, personification, metonymy, etc. With 300 questions available, students have the opportunity to practice identifying literary terms instead of merely memorizing the definition. Progress is given to students at the end of each quiz, documenting the number of questions answered right and wrong. Users get to see what they missed and how the correct answer is identified. They also have the opportunity to retest missed questions.
Curated by Angela Wagner
Spelling Notebook Free (Free iPhone)
This app replaces old-fashioned spelling dictation and allows parents and teachers to create individualized word lists for each child. Users locate words they want to add to a list in the app dictionary, then either use the built-in recording or record their own voice. Practice with the word visible or hidden, random order or alphabetical. When the player practices a list, correct answers receive a star, and incorrect have the proper spelling beside the word in black ink (good that the correct spelling is emphasized). The incorrect words are repeated in subsequent dictations. Results are stored and can be emailed to parent or teacher with success percentage and specific spellings used. It’s not a fancy app, but it does the job well.
Curated by Ruth McQuirter Scott