1) Montessori Crosswords (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/montessori-crosswords-spelling/id384334005?mt=8)
This app was SO COOL! Basically, the child is given an image and scrambled letters and the child is expected to spell the word. What sets this app apart from others is the fact that it helps students with phonics because it will pronounce the sounds of the letters. This game will most certainly help students' reading, writing, and spelling skills.
2) Lakeshore Tic Tac Toe Phonics (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phonics-tic-tac-toe-interactive/id465184366?mt=8)
This is another app that works on phonics but in a different way. Two students could play against each other as they work on their reading and spelling skills. The app opens and asks which team should go first and then you can see all of the questions. The mostly deal with the sounds of letters, so it's a great game for phonics. Since it's free, why not check it out for yourself? After all, it puts a new twist on an old favorite. (And you'll get to work on sharing and taking turns, too!)
3) Mad Math (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mad-math-2/id363485649?mt=8)
Have students work on their math skills (specifically addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division) while they play a game of Bingo or Bubble math or even just working with flashcards. It also keeps track of students' scores so you can see how they are improving.
4) Star Fall (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/starfall-abcs/id395623983?mt=8)
Yet another chance for students to work with the English alphabet and to hear the sounds each letter makes. They get to hear the sounds in words, sentences, and games. I'm pretty sure they would like that, right?
5) Vocab-a-splat (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vocab-a-splat/id517271626?mt=8)
This game is meant to help students improve their site words. The words are grouped into categories and context clues are given as students build upon their vocabulary. They say there are 400 words in the game, so that would be a great start for anyone ages 4-6, don't you think?
So there you have it--teacher-tested and approved apps for Kinder and lower elementary. I hope you find them to be a great tool in your classroom. But as always, if any of you have any other suggestions, do let me know. I would be happy to feature them on this site so we can all learn and benefit from your success.