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K-5 Apps to Use to Promote Bloom’s Taxonomy

Diane Darrow is an artist, Reading Recovery teacher, and library media specialist at Bel Aire Elementary in Tiburon, CA. You can follow her on Twitter at@dianedarrow.   She has developed a set of six series that highlights apps that are helpful in developing higher order thinking skills in grades K-5 classrooms.

Below you will discover apps that address the “applying” stage of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  When locating these “applying” apps to help struggling readers in the classroom, consider asking yourself the following questions.

Does the app help the user …

1. Construct designs? 2. Generate possibilities? 3. Compose ideas? 4. Propose hypotheses? 5. Produce solutions? 6. Brainstorm solutions? 7. Design products? 8. Assemble plans? 9. Re-arrange operations? 10. Imagine possibilities?

 APP’s to explore to meet the needs of students learning how to apply knowledge learned.

Toontastic is MUST HAVE storytelling app for every Kindergarten through 5th grade classroom. A few features that make this app stand out from other storytelling apps are it’s flexible graphic organizer, tools for drawing unique settings and characters, screen animation, audio recording, and a safe online environment for publishing. As a member of a global audience, students can share and listen to stories on the Toontube site. In addition, a wonderful, interactive globe shows the approximate origin of every story. Toontastic provides fantastic opportunities to generate ideas, construct story outlines, and produce unique communication with a worldwide audience.

Book Creator
Book Creator provides a quick and easy way for students to create eBooks and instantly share them on iBooks. Book Creator fits in perfectly with Bloom’s insistence that students produce unique forms of communication. Story creation also provides opportunities to practice designing story structure, assembling content and creating a final product to share with an audience. 

Storyboards will help budding filmmakers, and screenwriters produce plans for upcoming movies. An excellent tool useful for the planning and designing camera shot sequences, students can pick from a range of camera angles, action poses, backgrounds, characters, props and costumes.

iMovie is by far the best app for movie creating on the iPad. All aspects of the cognitive level creating exist within this app. Students can merge photographs, film clips, sound tracks, artwork, audio files, and sound effects into unique combinations. The timeline allows opportunities to learn how to construct compositions, and arrange content. When the process is complete, the final product is available for the world to see.

Garageband does for music, what iMovie does for film. With this app, students can generate, compose and produce their own music. There is a wide selection of “smart” instruments within the app, app plugins, and built-in microphones. Students can arrange and design up to eight soundtracks. When finished, email or upload completed songs directly into iTunes. With this app, anyone can play with the band.

TinkerBox HD
TinkerBox HD is a free app that gives students an opportunity to invent machines that capitalize basic engineering concepts. The goal is to manipulate the organization of a wide array of mechanical gadgets so that they solve a given problem. Using trial and error, students can arrange and re-arrange elements until they design a successful solution. The invent mode lets users create their own machines.

iBrainstorm is the perfect tool to use for idea generation and focusing on possible solutions. Sort ideas recorded on post-it notes into groups or hierarchies. Assign colors to each post-it while separating ideas. Electronically collaborate with iBrainstorm with up to four iPhones. Draw or notes additional notes on the background. View video of app in action.

Juxtaposer is the ideal way to demonstrate how the combination of divergent ideas can create new products. It is incredibly easy to overlay and merge images. With transparent brushes, stamp tools and layering options, students can playfully generate ideas for story characters or product designs.

123D Sculpt
123D Sculpt lets users create virtual sculptures. This is another great tool to build products designs and construct models for plans. The app also has an entertaining function that allows users to paint photographic images directly onto a sculpture. This app may be a bit difficult for younger students to manage but is perfect for upper elementary and middle school students and of course, adults.

Faces iMake
Faces iMake merges images of everyday items into collages. There are 20 different categories of images (school, food, kitchen, etc), frames, head shapes, soundtracks, and art tutorials. Apps like this can help students develop flexible and fluent thinking necessary for creative problem solving. Consider asking students “How many different images can be created with a pear?” Opportunities to generate as many ideas for the possible use of an image are excellent exercises for productive thinking.

To learn more about how to meet the needs of your students with Bloom’s Taxonomy using apps, visit this site.


About Tammy Brown

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