App Smashing Your Digital Portfolio

Compiled By: James Stoy School Teachers

Chapter 1

Grade 1

First grade is a dynamic learning experience where apps need to be easy to use and accessible to the varied and creative ideas of each student. On the following pages you will find a list of apps that we have enjoyed using this year.

Apps to use with Grade 1 Adobe Spark Video/Adobe Spark Page


How we use it: Digital Publishing, Retelling a story, Sequencing Steps in Science, How To Stories Why we like it: This app is very easy to use and my first graders have learned to use it independently. They choose photos (often a photo of their own drawing or writing), orally narrate a story, and decide on a background theme and music. The finished piece is beautiful, easy to share with families, and gives the students a sense of having a truly published piece of writing. I especially like this app for beginning first graders who struggle to express themselves in writing.

Link to iTunes Store: Video: Page: Link to student sample (Video):


Link to student sample (Page): item_id=item.d9ec19aa-c6f1-423eb770-580003ffdf5c&share_token=cj9eWZulQje2JkM1zFF04g&mode=share


Chatterpix Kids How we use it: As a creative way to express learning. Why we like it: Students can take a picture of anything and make it talk. My students have taken pictures of everything from a character in a book to an exclamation mark to illustrate their understanding of the topic. Link in iTunes store:

Link to student sample:


Pic Collage Kids How we use it: As a visual representation of learning Why we like it: This may be my kids favorite app. Our favorite way to use this app is when we are learning about Mo Willems and speech bubbles. My students take a picture of their favorite page in a Mo Willems book. They then take a picture of themselves. Piccollage has an option to cut yourself out like a sticker. The kids then paste themselves onto the picture of the book page and add a word bubble pretending that they are in the book. Link in iTunes store:

Link to student sample:



Tiny Tap How we use it: To Produce and Play Learning Games Why we like it: We feel really smart when we create our own games about the things we are learning in the classroom. In addition to this, we can also find and play games that other kids have created with their teachers. Link in iTunes store: id493868874?mt=8 Link to student sample:'

ThingLink How we use it: To show interactive learning Why we like it: We can make pictures interactive! It is fun to click on a picture and have something pop-up. Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample: 990a7a97-220b-4ce0-aee9a43cb2694dfa&share_token=GKSSGGEhQqyC165dwPtqnw&mode=share 4

Seesaw How we use it: Seesaw is the platform that we chose for the digital portfolios for our students. This year, I had three accounts. The main account I shared with students and parents so that the students could share important learning in the classroom. Another account was used for formative assessment (such as running records) of the students and was not shared directly with parents. The final account I shared with a teacher from another state that we had worked with during Global Read Aloud. This made it easy for students to collaborate with each other quickly. Why we like it: Students are proud of the learning they are doing and have a visual representation of their growth throughout the school year. Parents now have a clear understanding of what we are learning in the classroom and are able to comment on their children’s work. We even used this to share video lessons teaching how to segment words or add making a ten for parents to use when helping with homework. Link in iTunes store:


Link to Parent Portal:


Link to Student Sample: 1aa011a1-0613-4302-91a6bf10d3aa8ff6&share_token=O4nJkkxXTzmdFWtpUSRn_w&mode=share

Chapter 2

Grade 2

In Second Grade, iPads are used as a teaching tool the same way one would use a textbook or math manipulatives. Apps are chosen to enhance learning and publish work. After an app is introduced and modeled, the students work independently or in pairs to show, augment, or demonstrate their learning.

Apps to use with Grade 2

Seesaw Why we like it: Seesaw is the most important app in our classroom. Students use it post work and use it as digital portfolio to look at work they’ve done How we use it: Students reflect on work and document what they’re proud of and focus on a “working” goal. Students also record themselves reading and working in small groups Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample: 7

PicCollage Why we like it: It provides students with the ability to create a visual model of their current understanding in any subject area. How we use it: Students choose a topic and create a collage to share with others. Students will publish poems and add pictures to enhance the meaning 
 Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample:


Adobe Spark Video Why we like it: It allows students to create clean, thoughtful projects How we use it: Students retell familiar stories using the parts of a story map for each slide
 Students write and publish “How To” presentations
 Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample:


Geoboard Why we like it: It allows students to easily create geometric shapes without the hassle of rubber bands and we can take a screenshot to save it. How we use it: Students create various geometric shapes and describe their attributes
 Students partition shapes using different color bands to show fractions and arrays
 Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample:


Chapter 3

Grade 3

In terms of technology and using the iPads, being in 3rd grade is exciting, rewarding, and filled with new ways students interact with the device. In our school, 3rd grade is the first year students experience the 1:1 iPad initiative. We spend a lot of time in September discussing what it means to have an iPad for the entire year. The conversation focuses on responsibilities and how to use the iPad as an educational tool. Since my students take iPads home each night and weekend, I try to incorporate homework that allows them to use technology to demonstrate learning. As a teacher, I look for apps that support the curriculum, lessons, read alouds, and novel studies; in addition, I feel apps are most loved by my students when they are hands-on, engaging, and developmentally appropriate. I also love apps, such as Seesaw, that encourage children to be proud of their work and reflect on it. Students love to show their uniqueness and creativity, and apps such as iMovie, Pic Collage, Padlet, Popplet, ChatterPix, and Keynote really help kids shine, produce quality work, and stay focused!

Apps to Use with Grade 3 Seesaw Why we like it: Real time personal student journal where students can reflect on and post work; parents can view their child’s work and make comments; teachers can use Seesaw as an assessment tool and during conferences; the student portfolio can show year long growth; gone are the days where parents ask their child what they did in school and the response was “nothing” because Seesaw virtually invites parents to join our class and see what we are doing How we use it: We use it in each subject as a way to demonstrate our learning and also share what we are most proud of. Saying “Seesaw it” has become part of our classroom vocabulary. Students have recently been using Seesaw to upload creative spelling homework such as skits and songs using their words and the app PicCollage to depict their words. Link in iTunes store: Link to student samples: Reading Workshop Class Lesson Shared with Families item_id=item.c0f2657d-4231-424b-9cd1-26a85bb72b97&share_token=aWg5zNNfTZarhR3RadqfOg&mode=share Student Work (drawing conclusions) and audio reflection


Piccollage Why We Like It: Students can easily customize photos and text to creatively show learning. How We Use It: We use piccollage to make our spelling homework more fun!

Keynote Why We Like It: This app is used as a presentation tool, similarity to how PowerPoint is used on a computer. Students love picking from the variety of templates, fonts, and styles to synthesise their notes and create slides. My students love to add pictures and animations to each slide. Once the presentations are completed, we share in

Link in iTunes Store:

small groups, have a museum gallery walk, or use the SmartBoard


and AirPlay to show presentations to the whole class.

Link to Student Sample:

How We Use It: Our big Keynote project of the year ties into our

Spelling Homework

biography unit. After reading and researching a famous person, students create slides on their person’s life. While each slides must

have specific headings such as Life Growing Up, Career Highlights,


and Impact on Society, students are able to design the look and


feel of their presentation. The end result is being an expert and teaching others about their person. Link in iTunes Store: id361285480?mt=8 Link to Student Sample: item_id=item.21ceab3e-33e1-4c53-88daf38df3492898&share_token=WljEAAa6Scys3kuFfML2xQ&mode=share 13

Chapter 4

Grade 4

In fourth grade, we use apps as a platform from which the students can more authentically express themselves. It is my hope that the apps we use in class encourage creativity and thoughtfulness. It is important that I find apps that are developmentally appropriate and lend themselves to crosscurricular experiences. We appsmash with Seesaw in order to document the great work of our students and to facilitate student reflection.

Apps to use with Grade 4

Padlet Why we like it: It is a virtual bulletin board. Post your virtual post-its and share your ideas with your class or partner classes around the world. How we use it: We have used to it to respond to reading comprehension questions with a class in Australia. We also posted our current book selections/reviews for others to read. Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample:


Adobe Spark Video

PicCollage Why we like it: The possiblities are endless with this app. This is a fantastic app to aid in student reflection.

(formerly Adobe Voice)

Why we like it: Adobe Voice allows my students to create polished, professional final products. Adobe Voice gives the student very structured formats in which they can create their projects, or there

How we use it: There are thousands of ways to connect PicCollage

are blank templates that allow for students to design their own

and portfolios. One of my favorite ways to use this app is to have


students create a pictorial representation of the sequence of steps using during their writing process. Students can then reflect verbally on the process with the help of the photos. Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample: item_id=item.cd8533e0-23a3-4cfe-a7c2cd30a283bb18&share_token=7fQvBZcsQTCcpUwLQcIfvg&mode=s hare

How we use it: We have used the app to publish narrative fiction pieces by adding text, illustrations and student voice to the finished piece. We have also used Voice for something as simple as a story retelling with a focus on sequence of events and summarizing. Link in iTunes Store: Link to student sample: item_id=item.fee78439-df9c-4acca5e9-048cfe8f937f&share_token=jOrBoJeQQhGNn7NBTQPTiw& mode=share


Do Ink Why we like it: This app is a great introduction to green screen production. It is user friendly and allows students to create their own world! How we use it: We used this app in order to reflect on our electrical circuits unit with Little Bits. Students created a model city, and we used DoInk to allow students to jump inside of the city and explain their thought process behind each step of the process. Link to iTunes Store:

Chapter 5

Grade 5

In fifth grade, the goal is to integrate the use of technology into our everyday learning and experiences, rather than make the focus be on a particular app or program. We explore a variety of apps and tech tools to develop a “Tech toolkit of ideas/apps”. Students have the option of choosing the best way to present their information, idea, or project based on their knowledge of the things we have explored. Seesaw allows us to share our creations and digital projects with others in an easy and organized way.

Apps to use with Grade 5 Seesaw Why we like it: Seesaw has transformed the way we share learning, make reflections, and communicate with others. How we use it: Digital Learning Portfolio We put samples of work, projects, evaluations, book talks, music lessons, pictures, etc. into our Seesaw Journals. We often reflect and comment on the items. Then these items are made available to parents to enhance and strengthen the connection between home and school. Link in iTunes store: Seesaw The Learning Journal - Seesaw Parent Access - id930565469?mt=8 Link to student samples:



Link to student samples:

Pic Collage Why we like it: PicCollage is our “go-to” app. We use it in a variety of ways. It can be used in any subject area and about any topic. We love to combine Pic Collage with other apps and presentation choices like Keynote,

• Concept Map: item_id=item.f41f7a71-25e4-4bea-8959adb763dd05d1&share_token=H2XjLVG4SZ2mGM-DfQbjWw&mode=share

PowerPoint or iMovie. How we use it: 4Pics, 1Word (Spelling); make four pictures that all relate to one • spelling word, share and have classmates guess word. •

We created real estate ads for Native American homes. Students included a picture and the description of the type of home shared in the ad.

We use it to make graphic organizers, and concept maps.

Students like to make PicCollages and then import them into Keynote, PowerPoint, or even iMovie as our pages or slides.

• Native American Real Estate Ads:

Link in iTunes store: id448639966?mt=8


iMovie Keynote/Power Point

Why we like it: We use iMovie to film and share our learning and explain our thinking in a variety of ways.. How we use it: Presentation - Book Talks, Science Lab Experiments Link in iTunes store: Link to student samples: •

Why we like it: We like Power Point and Keynote because it is easy to use to share information. Pictures, graphics, drawings, and tables can be included . How we use it: Presentations Link in iTunes store: Keynote - id361285480?mt=8

Book Talks 3c1fb755-5555-4431-9247-2ee5d7093ac7&share_token=Iih0yrX6Q aSZGrsImsji4Q&mode=share

Power Point Link to student samples: •

Genius Hour Presentations are


Do Ink


Why we like it: Do ink is any easy to use app to use with a Green

Why we like it: We like Touchcast because it makes our students appear

Screen. It is very easy to use and works well with other apps; such as

in a newscast. They can embed videos and pictures into their


presentations. It looks very professional and authentic.

How we use it: We used Do ink to create presentations in a variety of

How we use it: Presentations; Explaining a Concept; Newscasts;

settings. We used our green screen and photos to create the backgrounds. Do ink was very easy to use.

Link in iTunes store:

Link in iTunes Store:

Fictional Newscasts/ Exploring Green Screen: Student Sample 1:

Student Sample:






are Student Sample 2: item_id=item.091f1dbc-2083-44c3b0ac-65b245a1acdc&share_token=3oz5zcrrSpy2JSNUENXJg&mode=share

Chapter 6

Speech Therapy

Apps are an essential part of my Speech Therapy practice. Apps provide diagnostic information, student practice, parent communication, progress portfolios, and teacher collaboration. I try and stick with apps that are easy and versatile. I don’t want 50 apps hogging storage on my iPad….I want 5 apps that do 50 things!

Apps to Use with Speech Therapy Phonics studio How we use it: To practice and record articulation sessions with students, while building vocabulary skills. Why we like it: Phonics studio features 2,500 flashcards of phonic words grouped by sound. It supports in-depth scoring and user tracking. Stores student’s progress, including audio, for an unlimited number of users. It generates a detailed summary report (including audio) in email form to mail to parents after each session. You can even add your own cards, categories, and sound groups. Link in iTunes store: Link to Student Sample:


Word Pack How we use it: Allows you to create pictures by packing words into a shape. There are many shapes, colors and fonts to choose from. Why we like it: Students create a list of words then input text into a shape. Text is weighted in that the amount of times you repeat a word during inputting, the larger the word becomes. This is great to work on many language concepts such as: vocabulary, main idea/supporting details, character study, and social pragmatic skills. Link in iTunes store: Link to student sample: are

Decide Now! Why we like it: Allows creation of spinning choice wheels with various information. How we use it: Students and therapist input lists create choice wheels. Works great for turn taking, role playing, choice activities, reinforcers, vocabulary building, category building and more. I can find a different use of for this app every time I use it. Link in iTunes store:!/id383718755?mt=8

Chapter 7


App Index Adobe Spark Video/Page (Formerly Adobe Voice/Slate) Chatterpix Kids Do Ink


17, 22




13, 21





Piccollage/Piccollage Kids Powerpoint

2, 9, 16

3, 8, 13, 16, 20



5, 7, 12, 19

Tiny Tap


Thing Link





Image Attributions


App Smashing Your Digital Portfolio.pdf

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