Monday, July 30, 2012

Using an iPad in a Grade One Classroom

Since November I've had the privledge of teaching with an iPad in my grade one class. Along the way I have discovered a lot of great ways to use it to help my students have their individual learning needs met.  Having just one iPad did bring about its own set of challenges but we were very lucky to have access to some additional iPads in the final term of school.  Next year we will have  iPads again thanks in part to my participation in my school's successful innovative learning grant application and another special project I'm involved with at the school district level.  Needless to say my head has been spinning all summer with ways I can integrate this technology into my classroom with out losing sight of the important non technology based teaching and learning my students need too.

So before I start the next school year I think it's important for me to review some of the apps we used this year and how we used them. To begin with here is a screen shot of my student's page on my iPad.  You'll notice that I have their apps neatly organized into folders which I find really helps when we are looking for a specific app or they are trying to decide on a specific type of app to use. Their folders include productivity, voice recording, story makers, show and tell, fine art, word work, phonics, spelling, abc work, science, math tools, math, books, board games, photography, movie making, and flash browsers. I have the Teach Me 1st grade app too but to perfectly honest we've barely used it.


Productivity

This folder is a little more for me than for my students. At present it contains the Google, Dropbox, CloudOn, Evernote, Google Earth, Qrafter, and Google Drive apps.  While my students use Qrafter to scan into our class blog, and I'd like us to use Google Earth more to discover the places we are connecting with, the reality is most of the apps are in there for when I need to save or access their work.



Voice Recording

My voice recording folder contains the following apps: Audio boo, Say Hi, Active Voice, Dictation, and Audio Memos.  It used to also contained Talking Tom but for some reason it has been removed. Our most frequently used app here is AudioBoo.  We have used it to record reading.  Say Hi is a new app and it's great for my limited English speakers. If the app has their language on it then it will translate their first language (say Korean) into English - both in text and in sound.  Since I work in a high ELL school this app has been a lot of fun to use.  Dragon Dictation and Active Voice are two different speech to text apps which with our newly installed wireless work a lot better. I like to use those apps with my students that struggle with written output but have so much to say. Here is a sample of us using AudioBoo.

Story Makers

These apps were quite popular with my students and different students preferred to use different apps depending on the job required.  Having only one iPad most of the year did bring about its own set of challenges though as only one (or two) student(s) could create with it at a time. With an increase of iPads this became less of a problem. The apps that you can find in this folder include Scribble Press, My Story, Book Creator, Sock Puppets, Comic Life, Puppet Pals, Strip Design, Toontastic, Story Wheel, Story Dice, and Little Book Maker.  Here are some examples of my class using Sock Puppet,  Scribble Press and Puppet Pals.

Show and Tell

These apps are probably my most favourite because they allow my students to demonstrate their learning through pictures, and/or words. They are very open ended and can be used across a variety of content areas. For the most part they are great for any student k - 7. This folder contains Explain Everything, Screen Chomp, Show Me, DoodleCast, Draw and Tell, Idea Sketch, Popplet Lite, White Board (allows you to work on two iPads collaboratively), Skitch, Voice Thread, and Sonic Pics Lite.

Here are some samples of us using Screen Chomp, Show Me, Draw and Tell, Skitch, and Voice Thread.

Fine Arts

This folder contains the following apps: Draw Stars, Doodle Buddy, Virtuoso, Suess Band, Pottery HD Lite, iDraw HD, Sparkle Paint, Singing Fingers, Glow Colouring, Drums Light, Mini Piano, Peg Free Light, Mirror Paint, Read Fireworks.  These apps have been used to help my students practice their word wall words or for just plain creative purposes.  While I have taken photos of my students using these apps I only have one blog post that mentions one of them.  Here is a sample of Pottery HD Lite.



Word Work

This folder seems to be changing constantly as I discover new apps that help my students  either learn their word wall words or learn  some  sight words.  This folder contains Magnetic ABC, Word Wizard, Touch Write, Word Builder, Sight Word Bingo, PopWords, Bluster, Sight Word Touch, Little Speller Sight Words, Sight Words, Sentence Maker, Word Collage, Sight Word Hangman.  Unfortunately these apps were never talked about on this or my  class blog.

Phonics

Phonics apps are also used during our word work time for those that require extra practice in this area.  This folder contains Pocket Phonics, Phonics Genius, Rhyming Bee, Phonics Awareness, Phonics Vowels, Tic Tac Toe Phonics, Phonics HD, and Rhyming.


Spelling

I found later in the year my students loved to use the spelling apps during their word work time.  This folders contains Chicktionary,  Express, Rocket Speller, SpellBuzz, and Simplex Spell Lite.


ABC Work

My ABC work folder contains three apps LetterReflex, Movable Write, and Sound Sorting. I have several other go to ABC apps but they are not on my iPad at this time.  Sound sorting was particularly great for my new to Canada, never been to school before students.  The LetterReflex app is fantastic for those students with letter and number reversals. Here is a blog about my class using Letter ReFlex.

 



Science

The science folder contains the following apps National Geographic Explorer, Colour Uncovered, National Geographic Weird But True, Science 360, Weird Facts, BrainPop, Plants HD, and ButterflyHD. Specific apps, such as Plant HD were used we were studying plants.  Many of the "reading" apps were used during "free read" time in my class.





Math Tools

The math tool folder contains the following apps Ten Frame, Hundreds Chart, Base Ten Blocks, Calculator, and Visual Timer HD.   I must admit that they weren't used too often for most of the year because with only one iPad there are a lot better tools to use than the digital ones. However when we had access to more we utilized the digital tens frame a lot.  I also know when we look at numbers and skip counting the 100s chart tool will come in a handy.  Here is a post about us using the Tens Frame app.


Math

This folder is filled with a variety of different math practice concepts. I have tried to chose apps that are not strictly drill and practice apps.  I also find we do a lot more hands on math but I do have students that love to practice math facts on iPads.  This folder contains the following apps Monkey Math, QCount, Marble Math Jr, Math Drills Lite, Bugs and Button, FingerCountLite, Hungry Fish, Top It Addition, Subtraction Sardines, Squeeze, Adding Apples, Zoom, Caboose, Rocket Math, Math Bingo, PopMath, What's Next, KidCalc, and Find Sums.


Books:

To be perfectly honest as much as my students love interactive books, they are just as excited to read traditional paper books.  I have several iPad books not available on this iPad at this time as I find I tend to add and subtract books as needed. For example during our Fairy Tale study the iPad was filled with Fairy Tales.  At present my books folder contains Monster 1, Chocolate Attack, Bo's Bedtime Story, Slice of Bread, Morris, Cinderella, iRidz 4 Kids, Puss in Boots, I Like Books, The Snow Ball, Bizzy Builds, and a direct link to Tumble Books.

Board Games

When my students have free choice time they are free to chose what ever they would like to do. I like to keep this folder filled with games for them to use if they'd like. Right now this folder contains Blokus, Four in a Row, Game Centre, Checkers, Sudoku2, SimpleS, Scrabble, Jenga, Unblock Me, Fur and Feathers, and Water?.

Photography

My class didn't use these photography apps all that much as they relied heavily on the camera feature of the iPad.  I most definitely can see us using the Photo Booth app as we study feelings and emotions.  I tend to use the PhotoSync app as a way to get their photos off of the iPad and onto a computer.  Super Impose and Snapseed are the final two apps in this folder and I can see great potential with both of them but my class will need a big buddy to help with these.
Movie Making

The movie making app includes Videolicious, NFB Pixstop, iMotion HD, Action Movies, iMovie, and Splice. While I made most of our class iMovies this year on my personal laptop I feel quite confident that next year we will be able to utilize all of these apps.  Here is a link to the Videolicious video they created.

Flash Browsers 

Flash browsers are great when you are trying to use a web based site that relies on Flash since the iPad does not work with Flash.  These two apps help you use those websites. I must admit though I was more likely to sign out and bring in the school's set of macBooks then fiddle around with these Flash Browsers. It is nice to know when the macBooks aren't available I have additional technology I can rely on.





Already just by sharing what's on my iPad I can see so many uses for the apps that I have, and for the apps that I don't have here.  I also know that I need to be mindful of what I have on the iPads as space is limited.  In addition as always I need to remember that technology should not be used for everything that I do in grade one.

It's exciting to know that I will have more than one iPad in my room next year and I can't wait to see what we are going to discover as a class.

What iPad apps do you use that you feel are "must have" apps?  I can already think of many myself but I'd love to have your input too.


*Additional information -  I realized that I forgot to talk about the apps I have on the bottom shelf of my class iPad.  You can read about them here if you're curious. Added Aug 4, 2012*

44 comments:

  1. I use IPads with my firsties too. I just added a few apps from your list - Base Ten Blocks, Hundreds Chart, and Ten Frames. For some reason I use these tools online, but never thought to look for apps. These will be a great addition to math stations!

    Some of my favorite apps: Scribble Press and Doodle Buddy, Zoom, Squeeze, Name That Number, and Sail Through Math, ABC Magnets, and Word Wizard. I also like PBS Kids. I use Evernote for student reading records.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. I can't seem to find a PBS Kids app but I know my students do like their website. As for Evernote now that I don't have to share my iPad with my students I will be using it a ton for so many different reasons. I'd love to see what you're doing with your students are doing with their iPads.

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    2. One of our favorite ways to use iPads is for our Twitter classroom account. We are @CAFirstGrade and we exchange tweets with other classrooms around the world. We were lucky to be able to share Twitter with Rebecca Jarvis from the CBS Saturday Morning tv show. Here is a link to the segment: Reading, Writing, and Tweeting http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7409044n

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    3. Thanks 1D Kids. We also have a class twitter account - @MsLsClass but we tend to tweet off my personal laptop. I think our classes are following each other. Congratulations on making the CBS Saturday Morning tv show. I'll have to check out your link. Karen @lirenmanlearns

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  2. Hi! I found this absolutely facinating to read and to watch what your students are doing. That's really great! I am a new teacher and I am working on getting a class of my own and would love to teach using some of these apps. I guess the first stumbling block would be to get the ipads into the classroom then it would be 'off to the races' with all that is available! I am thankful that you have shared all of this information. I find it very helpful and hope to be able to use these in my hopefully soon to be upcoming classroom!

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    1. I'm glad you've found this post helpful. The one thing is that these folders are constantly changing as I discover new, better apps for what my students need. Wishing you the best of luck obtaining your own classroom. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. :-)

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  3. Great! Super! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you've found it helpful. :-)

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I love it you share examples too. I am having fun playing with sock puppets app. By the way, here is a link to the PBS Kids video app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pbs-kids-video/id435138734?mt=8.

    I also like the Mad Math Lite app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mad-math-lite/id389099317?mt=8 because you can write with your finger on the white card space. You can also limit the numbers to just 1 thru 5 and what computation.

    My two kids love the Storykit app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storykit/id329374595?mt=8 and have had fun creating stories with voice, pictures, and text. The Gingerbread app is a fun app for creating a gingerbread at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gingerbread-fun!-free/id403707775?mt=8

    There are lots of good free money apps. Two of my favorite are Cash Cow http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cash-cow-lite/id331877727?mt=8 and Sticker Shop http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sticker-shop/id368069666?mt=8.

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    1. Wow, thanks for all the app advice. The one I'm most interested in from this list is the PBS Kids one and the reason why I couldn't find it is because it isn't in the Canadian itunes store. :-( Need to find them on twitter and get that fixed ASAP. :-)

      I'm glad you enjoyed my examples. It made me realize that I was missing a lot of other uses that I didn't document so next year I need to get even better at capturing my students while they are learning. Thankfully they can easily help me, and with evernote on all our iPads we can all easily share our "proud" work with each other. Karen

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  5. The PBS apps show up by the show they are associated with. So there is a Martha speaks app and a word girl app I would recommend. Word ball is also good. So you need to look under the name although I'm sure PBS should get you there too.

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  6. Unfortunately while the Canuckland iTunes store has a few PBS apps (yes they have Martha Speaks) they don't have all of them available for us to download/purchase.

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  7. Thank you for sharing. I hope that you and your students will have a great school year filled with learning and fun.
    Terje

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    1. Thank you Terje. I am excited about the up coming school year but I am in no rush for it to start either. I love having time to reflect and learn with out the craziness of the beginning of the year. I hope you find this post helpful. I know what I know because people have shared with me over the past year. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. Karen

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  8. I'm bookmarking this! Thanks so much for sharing! I only have one iPad, but am planning to use it with Splashtop app. Have you heard of it?

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    1. I've never heard of it but it does look quite interesting. It seems to be on special right not too because of they Olympics. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Hi there :) I was hoping that you could explain how you organized each folder...thanks!! I just got my first ipad and want to use it in my classroom. I love the idea of each "area" having its own folder.

    Thanks,
    Jen

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    1. This you tube video explains how to create folders on an iPad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2p0h7q00jw

      Enjoy that new iPad of yours. They are a ton of fun and I'm certain your students will LOVE using it.

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  10. I love your post! It's super useful. Ive had my iPad for a year but never thought of using it in my room. I love your idea of tweeting with the kids, too. BTW, I live in Victoria! It's nice to "meet" a BC blogger. I'm following you now:)
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

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    1. Hi Barbara,

      I must admit I was lucky enough to get a district issued iPad into my hands late 2011 so I had some time to play and figure things out. I also have an AMAZING group of friends on twitter that I am constantly learning new things from. I love that you're from BC. There are a lot of amazing educators here in our province. If you ever get off the Island let me know. I've always keen to meet people face to face. It makes the connections that much more real. Karen

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  11. Hi! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas. Our school brought in 30 ipads for the first grade teachers to share. It's been wonderful. The only thing I can add to what you are doing is an app called apps gone free. It alerts you to apps that are free for a limited time. Many of them are educational. Have fun!

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    1. Thank you. I actually have the apps gone free app on my iPad but it isn't on student iPads. I must admit I don't check it often and more often than not I rely on the awesome twitter peeps to tweet out great apps that have gone free. I like the price of FREE!
      Karen

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  12. I was googling 1st grade and Ipads and came across your site. Thank you for sharing how the ipad can be used in the classroom. Currently, I have 2 that are available for use all day, but they tend to sit there because I'm not confident in how I can better use them during our instruction time. I like how you organized folders on the ipad and with great resources listed under each heading. Thank you! I confidently can see how I will better utilize the technology given to me!

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    1. Heather thank you for your kind comments. In Dec 2011 I was lucky enough to receive my first iPad in my classroom and made it work with 18 children. There is so much you can do with one. Here's a post I wrote back in January when I had just one iPad in my classroom. http://learningandsharingwithmsl.blogspot.ca/2012/01/day-in-life-of-one-ipad-in-my-grade-one.html

      I found organizing in folders really helps my students find what they are looking for and I can't imagine it any other way. The more independent my students are, the less grey hair grows on my head. Everything is rated by a grey hair factor. :-)

      You'll have to let me know how you are using the iPads you have available to you. I'm sure you'll do great things with them. :-)

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  13. This is a great post which I will continue to refer back to. Thanks for sharing. We are about to embark on an ipad program for our junior classes, so this post is a great help for us. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Glad you've found it helpful. The more I get to know my iPad the more we are able to do with it. I wonder how different this post would be if I did it with the iPads my students are using now. Things, as they should, are always changing in my classroom.

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  14. Thanks for sharing! I will soon start using iPads with my students here in Brazil and your post will be very useful!

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    1. Strange, I just responded and MY comment is gone. Hmm. Anyhow I'm glad you've found this post helpful. Things are constantly changing in my classroom. Please feel free to get in contact with me here or on twitter at @klirenman I'm always willing to share what I'm learning. Also please do stop by my class blog. We love visitors, and ones from far away places such as BRAZIL make us smile.

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  15. Im very interested in this area of teaching and have nicked a few of these ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions on how the ipad can be used in post 16 education?

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    1. Thanks Chris, I hope someone can help you out. My area of expertise is little people. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog.

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    1. I am glad you've found this helpful. Thank you for the comment.

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  19. Having only one i Pad most of the year did bring about its own set of challenges though as only one or two students could create with it at a time. i like the i pad.

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  20. Thanks for sharing this very informative post!

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  21. Hi, this blog actually made bit calm for now. I was bit worried for my daughter because her school is going to introduce a iPad program. http://www.sunnybrookschool.com/blog/school-life/eight-reasons-to-implement-a-11-ipad-program-in-our-elementary-school/
    Hope it is good for the kids.

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    1. iPads can be used very successfully in a grade one classroom. This does not mean that we are always head down into our iPads not does it mean that we use an iPad for everything we do. What is nice about being 1:1 with iPads is that it allows students to use them as an extremely powerful tool, when it's the right tool for the job. That's key. If you are still concerned snoop around here a bit more and see some of the incredible things my amazing students are doing with access to iPads. Check out their student blogs and see some of the innovative ways they can practice, show, and share their learning.

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  22. Great plugin, as soon as i hit the page , a little voice in my head said … hmm I need to do that for my emarketing community site as well

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  23. Hi! I found your post today and many of these apps aren't available anymore. Do you have new apps that you've found and your kids are benefiting from?
    Thanks,
    Lisa
    schmidlj@milwaukee.k12.wi.us

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    1. I'm curious to know which apps are no longer available. Thanks for letting me know. This post was originally written in July 2012 which could be why apps are difficult to find. You may also want to search under the iPhone section as some were not made for the iPad specifically. Karen

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  25. Great post! I just implemented the use of iPads into my curriculum (AP Human Geography) and it has been working amazingly. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. The introduction of iPads to my classroom was a game changer for me. I hope you and your students see their benefits too. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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