Sunday, May 4, 2014

Confessions of a First Time iPad Cart Teacher

I will have to admit I was nervous about implementing a class set of iPads in my classroom this year.  Would I use them enough, would I use them effectively, and how would I manage the students’ use of the iPads?  Despite this nervousness I was very excited for this new experience, and am so glad I have had this opportunity.

One of the first ways I used the iPads was for whole group literacy lessons.  Nearpod is a great way for all students to use the iPads and be engaged in lessons.  I found it very convenient to find power point presentations that were already created online and modify them for use in Nearpod or make my own.  Students could follow along as we reviewed setting, learned about character traits, or conflict in stories.  The quizzes, polls, and other feedback Nearpod allows students to give were a valuable part of the lessons as well. 

Students were able to use the iPads for writing in lots of ways.  For our first quarter writing samples students integrated science in their writing through projects using Tellagami, Popplet, or StoryKit.  Once students had a final draft they chose one of the apps to publish their writing.  We had a variety of samples that I e-mailed to our class account, and then printed.  Some students worked to create their own “Gami” with Tellagami and recorded themselves reading their final project, while others made Popplet designs to present their writing.  Still other students enjoyed taking pictures to add to the pages of their books about the moon, sun, and Earth with the StoryKit app.  These writing samples were great.

In literacy stations students used the iPads to record themselves reading and then listened for accuracy and fluency during Daily Five in read to self or read with a partner.  They also used Tumble Books and News-o-matic (a new favorite I learned about at tech tens) for reading or listening to reading.

During reading groups we would always keep an iPad or 2 on hand to look up vocabulary and science or social studies information for topics we were reading about. 

For math some of our favorite apps were Educreations, KidTime, Geoboard, and a variety of apps for multiplication.  Students were so excited about getting to use the iPads through out the lessons.

I have highlighted some of the ways we used the iPads this year.  I know this is only the tip of the ice berg for the ways to use iPads in the classroom and I hope to have the opportunity to do so much more with them next year!  This has been a great year working together as a class to integrate iPads into our daily activities.

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