That’s why I choose to select 10 free applications you can try:
- to learn or practice the French language
- to develop creative thinking
- to study the natural world (my signature – as a Science Teacher!)
Time to practice!
1- Useful applications to practice the French Language
Duolingo is a great tool to learn or review French vocabulary, build sentences, practice verb conjugations, word spelling, translation, pronunciation... with short and various exercises. The modern workbook!
Your level and previous activity are used to customize the exercises and to help you track your progress.
Just like in a game, you earn points when you succeed, that you can use afterward to be allowed to skip one day of practicing or to dress duolingo’s mascot with a special outfit!
Of course you can learn French with Duolingo, but also many other languages. You also have the opportunity to view your friends’ profile and compare your progress, even if your are not studying the same language!
A cartoon-like reminder of French grammatical rules regarding past participles, the nature of words and homophones. And yes, we know some of them are not easy!
For each of these subjects, you will also find a series of exercises to help you check your understanding. If you think you need more practice, it is possible to upgrade and buy more series!
1.3- La conjugaison par l’Obs
Pick up a verb (900o+ are listed) and this app will display its group, infinitive form ad conjugation in any tense!
When you think you are ready, take the test (and be careful with the 3rd group, some are tricky even for the French native speakers…)
No more mistake are allowed 😉
1.4- A+ spelling
A very useful tool to have our kids practice their spelling tests independently !
Create your list by recording and spelling each word to be studied (please take time to double check the spelling if your child is typing at this time !!). Then it’s time to practice by unscrambling the letters, writing the word as you know the number of letters, and eventually taking a real spelling test ! And be aware that some of us became addicted to A+ spelling test!
2- Applications to develop your creativity
2.1- Shadow Puppet Edu
With Shadow Puppet Edu, it is very easy to create a video from your own pictures or from some amazing databases like the MET, NASA, British Library…
Then add your comments, some music, record your voice and bring your production to life by using symbols and emoji that can be moved easily.
Possibilities are endless!
Start with a picture, a screenshot, a drawing you made or a pdf document, and edit it with line and arrows, comments, shapes, stamps…. You can also conveniently pixilate a part of the picture. When you are done, you can share your production.
2.3- Tayasui Sketches
A drawing app with a nice design and many tools and colors. It’s easy to undo and redo, pinch out a zone to zoom and work on some details for example. We also like the website where you find a detailed tutorial regarding everything you can do with this application.
3- Applications to study the Earth and the living world
3.1- Google Earth
Even if the app does not offer all the functions of the version for computers, it is an amazing tool to view our planet from the sky and explore continents and oceans. Using the zoom, it is really fun to find your building, your school, your grand-parents’s house in France, your destination for the next vacation… I even know some avid readers who need to search every new place they read about, in order to feel more involved in the novel!
I also really like to show small children the size of the Atlantic Ocean compared to the distance between London and Paris for example (the duration of the transatlantic flight makes more sense to them afterward) and to help them understand the idea of time zones (and jet lag). Endless hours of learning!
3.2- Classify it
Another app that looks like a game to learn about living organisms and classification. With three levels of difficulty, your goal is to find and sort, among the organisms displayed, the ones who share an morpho-anatomic or physiologic feature (like using the light to grow, laying eggs or being warm-blooded). A fun way to remember that plants, fungi and bacteria belong to the living world, and to learn about species you may not have heard of before! Even if most groups used are not linked to evolution (which is how classification is taught in the French curriculum), we really had fun playing this game and really appreciated to see our efforts rewarded by several great and informative creature cards (you earn one when you achieve a level without a single mistake; not that easy!).
4- Last but not least, if you are fighting every day to get them brush their teeth !
I am really not encouraging children under 6 to use apps on a regular basis but I thought Toothsavers Brushing Games may help some families: this app encourages kids to brush their teeth with games and informations related with tooth brushing, a 2 min timer with funny character helping the little hands. As a parent you can track on a monthly calendar the days the app has been used, and even set the a time for 2 daily reminders.
Would you like more informations about one of these apps? Would you like to share another one you find really useful? Please let us know!
Photo credit: dolgachove © 123RF.com