I’ve just discovered an app that has apparently been out for a while. It’s called Shadow Puppet developed by Shadow Puppet, Inc. This is a free app and there are a ton of great things you can do with it. The intent of the app is to tell stories with your photos. My first thought when checking out the app was that students could use it to complete a project about a particular topic. Let’s say they are studying planets. Students could take photos of pictures in books or from posters and explain what they know in their puppet show. They may also want to include models they’ve made and show how and why they chose to do what they did. My second thought was that this is an excellent app for students to demonstrate reading fluency. The app is simple enough that a student as young as second grade can easily navigate it. For reading fluency, the student could take pictures of each picture in the book they are reading. When they get into Shadow Puppet they can create a new book and add the pictures they want. All they need to do is tap on the pictures and they are added to book. If the child needs the pictures in a different order they are easily reordered. From there the student taps record and begins reading the book. Every time they turn the page they need to tap the arrow to advance to the next page. When the story is complete they can stop recording and then conveniently email the creation to the teacher. The book can either be read on the web or within the app and saved to the camera roll. This is a quick and easy way for teachers to assess reading fluency. In most cases, teachers sit with a student and listen to them read and make notes about the accuracy of the reading. With Shadow Puppet, any anxiety a student may have about reading in front of the teacher can be eliminated. You can find additional ideas at their website. Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments section.