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Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

Freebie Pick of the Day: Barefoot World Atlas

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Today’s free app choice is available in English, Catalan, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish! In fact, that’s why it has been chosen for this honor!

I honestly haven’t had much time to test it out, but because it is available in multiple languages, including French and Spanish, I’m downloading it for future use with my children and students!

Thank you, Touch Press!!!!! 🙂

App Resources and Collections

Apps for Education Pinterest Board

Elementary Apps Pinterest Board

Apps pour enfants 0-6 Pinterest Board

Apps: Special Education Pinterest Board

The 55 Best Free Education Apps for iPads by Teachers with Apps

iPad Lessons Pinterest Board

4 Excellent iPad Apps for Creating Classroom Posters

Studies of iPad Use in Education

Les Histoires Farfelues

People have asked me why I don’t rate the apps that I blog about. Truth is, most of the apps aren’t for me…they are for my kids. To truly rate the apps my children use, I feel  I need to give the apps the test of longevity. My children may love a new app once, but then not seek it out ever again. To be honest, I have not been able to successfully predict which apps my children will like best. For example, when I purchased and tried out “Les Histoires Farfelues” I did not think the kids were going to like it. In fact, I thought I had just wasted another $3 on an app that would go untouched, along with dozens of others.

I was wrong.

This is one of the first and only French apps that the kids seek out even when they are allowed a few minutes of free-choice on the iPad. They think it’s hilarious. You get to choose the characters and backgrounds. The characters can have either matching heads and legs or unmatched. It has fun sound effects and the stories are short. During story time, I usually tell them they both can have two stories but they always ask for more and I usually want to create my own mix-up after their turns are over as well. It has become kind of addicting for all of us…in the best sense of the term!

One thing I’d love to see added to the app is subtitles. I always like seeing the written word in my children’s apps. It gets them used to seeing the text and it helps them start to associate the sounds with the words.

We are all learning more French with this app. It includes vocabulary that is even above my head! Sometimes this may be a hindrance, and I fear the kids aren’t truly understanding everything that is being said, but I am not going to worry too much about that because they are having fun with French!

Why, though, do they love this app so much? Especially when initially I thought it was another wasted purchase!?!


Now that I think about it, this app gives them something the others don’t. It gives them control over what the story becomes. They are the creators, so to speak, of their own story. As an educator, I understand the power of providing choices for learners. The smart people who created this app have very cleverly incorporated the users choices into every story. It is addicting and fun and I am sorry that I doubted its ingenuity!

If I had blogged and rated this app before giving it the test of time, I would have scored it low. Now that we have had it for several months, I see that the children are seeking it out ON THEIR OWN! (That is huge!) The rating has gone through the roof and I now recommend this app very highly to families learning French! The Sunny Earth kids love it! (Ages 4 and almost 6) Hope yours do, too!!!!!

Enjoy! C’est vraiment amusant!


Explain Everything

If I had to choose just one favorite creation app, it’d have to be Explain Everything. My husband, Kevin Misiano, is using Explain Everything to create his flipped class videos. Here is his YouTube channel. He is using Explain Everything to make his flipped lesson videos that his pre-calculus students watch as homework.

Kevin started using Explain Everything way before I started using apps. He kept talking about it, so I knew I had to give it a try. I ended up using it to create video tutorials for AIM Language Learning’s online teacher training. I was looking for a way to create a video using screen shots and Explain Everything had everything I needed for the tutorials. It was extremely easy to use and edit. I normally use iMovie and I was reluctant to take the time to learn about Explain Everything. After I figured it out, though, my only regret was not having tried it sooner.

I immediately thought of how I could use this with my children for some fun with French. The first creation is called “Mimi la souris” and you can read more about this project here or simply check out the project below.

Currently, my four and five-year-olds are helping me create an alphabet project about one of their favorite books. What I really love about Explain Everything is the ability to work on the very portable iPad. This gives flexibility, especially when creating with young children. I can meet them on the floor in their bedroom and they can help add slides and sound with ease. As you work within the app, it autosaves and it is not “bulky” to open or save. Only at the end when you are completely finished will it take some time, just as all videos do.

To see a tutorial I made with this amazing app, check out this blog post. I have not even begun to scratch the surface as to what Explain Everything can do for my children and students. I cannot wait to see what else we will use it for!

If you’re interested in a screen casting tool for your iPad, then look no further!

Check out this tutorial to see more about how it works…and enjoy!!!!

Click here for another blog resource for Explain Everything.

Today’s French Freebie: Stella & Sam

Today’s freebie choice is called Backyard at Twilight: A Stella and Sam Adventure. It is available in English and French.

Take a look:

It’s free today. To learn how I find out about these great freebies, check out this previous blog post.

I think the kids are really going to enjoy this app. It’s interactive and fun. It will definitely peak their interest about the stars and constellations.

The only wish I had for this app on first sight is French subtitles. I prefer my children to see the written word along with the dialogue. They aren’t quite literate yet, but I still like them to get used to seeing the words as they listen. My favorite type of subtitles (or writing on a “page” in a story app) highlight the proper word as it is being read aloud. I wish there were more apps with this feature! It’d probably be even better if you could turn that feature on/off according to the level of learner.

At any rate, this app looks like a good freebie catch! Enjoy! 🙂

Change iPad’s Language

This little tip may be well-known to many, but it was new to me. Plus, making this short tutorial gave me another chance to practice using an amazing app called “Explain Everything.” I will have to blog about that one at some point because it is just awesome!

Here’s the tutorial on how to change your iPad’s language settings:

You might be pleasantly surprised to find that this helps change some of your apps to your language of choice! You can also check by googling the app title with “iTunes” to view the languages available. See picture of this in this blog post. <—Look down to the second picture. If you find the language you want when you research, and you don’t see a way to change the language in the app itself, try changing the entire iPad’s language settings.

That’s all for now! Hope you have an appy day! 🙂

Today’s English & French Freebies

Here are few apps for kids that may be of interest to families with younger children. All are available today for free.

The English freebies are:

Montessori ABC for Kids HD: Learn and Trace Alphabet Letters

Here’s a YouTube video that give you a sneak peak. Oh how I wish this was available in French!

and The Trip Little Critter GamePac

Here’s a YouTube video of the Little Critter app. This would be a great find for children learning English! Once again, I really wish this was available in French.


The French freebie pick of the day:

Expand It! More information and a sneak peak available in this YouTube video. From the looks of this video, there unfortunately doesn’t look like today’s only French freebie will provide my children with much language input. It does look like there will be some written text, but I don’t seem to hear much language in the app. It does look like a fun thinking game for young ones, though.


I’d love to see more apps available in multiple languages that provide language input! I’m alway disappointed when I see an app available in French (or Spanish), but then find that there is very little language involved once launched.

If anyone can point me in the direction of more fun French or Spanish apps, please send them my way! Thank you!

Today’s Multilingual Freebies

Just found a few multilingual apps on Apps Gone Free, so I thought I’d share!

Viking Rudi has a 4.5 star rating and is and educational entertainment app available in a whopping 25 languages!!! (See picture below for languages). It is available for free today only and normally costs 99 cents. Here is more information about this app!

I have downloaded the app and have yet to figure out how to change the language. I have tried the parents section of the app and changing the entire iPad to French. No luck so far, so I have contacted the company. Will update with the information when I figure it out!


Pepi Tree is an adorable educational game app available in 15 languages (see picture below). Pepi Tree is free today, but normally costs $1.99. I have downloaded this app and the kids love it! The only thing I’m not liking about it is that there is no language input. I am always disappointed when an opportunity in L2 passes us by. The kids, ages 5 and 4, adore the app, so a little bit of language would be awesome! Here is a YouTube video of a young child playing the app.


Also of interest could be Word Book and Puzzle Box: Kids Favorite Activity. Free today, normally $1.99. This one is available in English, Greek and Spanish.

We will see which of these apps above deserves a future blog post! If you have any input, please share! Thank you!

Today’s Freebie App

I found a freebie today on Apps Gone Free that might be worth a look. It’s a creative app called Makanim – Multi-touch Generative Art. It is available on iTunes for free, for a limited time. (Thank you Apps Gone Free!)

I tried it out with my four-year-old Geo for a few minutes. Geo was able to figure out the interface and he had fun checking out the different themes. In the few minutes we spent, we created the pictures you see below. I spent some more time tonight and found that it is very easy to use the other options at the bottom of the screen to further edit the creations. I can see this app being fun for the kids, but I don’t foresee them seeking it out like some of their other favorites. I do think, though, that if I remind them it’s there, they may have some fun making creations on a rainy day or on a long road trip! We could then talk about the creations and all the beautiful colors we see en français!!! 🙂

I may also use this app to create backgrounds for presentations and videos. In the past, I have used the “Ripple HD” app for things like this video “Verbos de cambio de raĂ­z.” Soleil painted pictures, then we used the Ripple app to create the images you see in the background.

What other uses could you see for this app?

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French Apps for Kids by Sylvia Duckworth

Whenever I’m searching for something new and exciting in French for my children (a.k.a. “The Sunny Earth Kids”), I start by checking Sylvia Duckworth‘s links. Sylvia has become a household name around here! Soleil and GĂ©o have benefitted immensely from her generosity in sharing the amazing French resources she creates. If we had to pick just one household favorite, it’d probably have to be “Comment ça va?” by Juli Powers. We go around the house singing that song and both children use their knowledge of the song to respond in French when asked “Comment ça va?”!!! 🙂  A close second would have to be “Je suis une pizza” by Charlotte Diamond. The kids ask to sing that song in the car on trips! What fun we have had learning with these two, and many, many more songs on Sylvia’s YouTube Channel!

Sylvia has not only been an inspiration in our family life, but also in my professional life as a French and Spanish teacher. If you’d like to know more about how and why, please visit this blog post I wrote after a visit I made to her classroom.

french apps

Therefore, I am not at all surprised that Sylvia has once again created a blog worth following. It is called “French Apps for Kids” and it reviews apps for children in grades K-8 who’re learning French. Sylvia has done it again! A wonderful resource for all of us teaching and learning French. We cannot wait to see what other apps she recommends!!!!

Merci beaucoup, Sylvia!!!