Eight days in and I am in love.

The iPads are amazing and my kids are amazing when they are using them.

I have my resource room the first two periods and it is a great way to start every day.

What exactly do I love?

They try harder.

They are more resourceful and better problem solvers.

They are more willing to participate, share, and discuss.

They are enjoying learning.

I found on the first day that all of my students have some experience with iPads, iPods, or iPhones. This helped tremendously in terms of basics.

So far in eight days:

  • We have used QR codes and I-nigma to locate Guinness World Record articles online for reading and summarizing. During this lesson, they were asking questions as they read (“How does she find clothes that small? How tall is that compared to us?”) and searching eagerly for answers. And I probably don’t have to tell you how excited I was when students asked to read additional articles they saw in the side bars.
  • We have used Educreations to practice typing, taking photos, and recording our voices. This was a pretty basic activity but it helped them learn how to use the app in preparation for bigger and better things.
  • We have used Notes to type some responses to the morning Bell Ringer (in lieu of journal writing). It seems like students hate to edit and erase on their papers, but on the iPads, it was a whole different game. I found I can easily raise the bar with some of my higher students and ask them to elaborate and do some more difficult editing. I primarily focus on spelling and sentence writing basics with the others.
  • We have used Tools4Students to complete a few graphic organizers (Compare/Contrast, Vocabulary Word, and Problem/Solution). Again, I asked the 8th graders to do a little more. The girls did some extra vocabulary on their own and I showed them how to switch between apps to use the dictionary.
  • We used Grammaropolis in my study hall to review nouns. Talk about motivation to get all your work done!

This week we are starting our novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, and will be using Educreations quite a bit as we learn about the new characters.

I am really looking forward to getting the right cords to hook up my AppleTV so they can share their work with each other on the SMARTBoard.

I also need to find an analogy activity for study hall this week.

Another thing I want to figure out is a way to work on fluency and decoding. Something not too babyish for 7th graders. Ideas???

Oh, one more thing and probably the best part…..When I got my roster I had less students than I thought I would. I only have eight students right now and I have the six iPads from the grant and my own iPad. A few students have iPhones so we can be 1-to-1 most of the time depending on the activity. I was not expecting that and am so excited about the possibilities of 1-to-1!

Is anyone else just starting out with iPads this year? How’s it going? What do you love? What’s puzzling you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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