Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogging Our First Year with 1:1 iPads Week Three

I cannot believe that my kiddos have had their iPads for almost a month. We've come so far in such a short time. It's hard to believe that three weeks ago they had a hard time taking off the covers, and now they can send e-mail, but more about that later... In fact they are getting a little to good with the iPads, and I had to use guided access this week :P

We started off our week with a new spelling app:

It's okay for a free app, but not perfect. The built in dictionary option makes it easy to add words...even random words that are NOT on your spelling list.  It gives test and practice options where the words can be read to students.

Here is a video of the practice option

We loved both those options, but not the record option. At some point we may try the option that allows students to take their spelling test on the iPad and e-mail it directly to me. Right now they need the practice actually writing their words. The best part about the spelling app is the improvement my kiddos have made. Last week we took our first spelling test. They had their words in the notes section of their iPads for paper and pencil practice at home, and during daily five. Only one of them had a perfect score on the Friday test. This week six of them got a perfect score, and several others were close. Some went from getting one or two right to getting eight or nine correct (out of ten). The iPads made practicing fun and engaging, and even though they practiced almost exclusively on the iPads they transferred the learning easily to pencil and paper!

Our next move was to join forces with our teacher librarian to create our Popplets.

After our exploration time last Friday they were all set to go, and the Popplets turned out great. They also showed that my munchkins really understand what living things need to survive! A big thanks to our teacher librarian " Mr.T" for getting our Gmail accounts set up, and being the an extra set of fingers to help my "littles" navigate their iPad screens. We couldn't have done it without you!

Here it is... our very first e-mail (I didn't send my first e-mail until high school).

The others followed suit quickly and easily. I also had them type up some of their sight words and send them to me from home in an e-mail as homework.

I even got this sweet surprise in my in box this morning! I have one little friend who thinks e-mailing her teacher is the coolest thing ever!

In math we've been working on finding different ways to make the same number. I found another free app  I needed one because someone "borrowed" my two color counters last year, and never gave them back!

I paired this app with a worksheet I created, and it was a nice combination of traditional work and technology. I saw great results all around, and this turned out to be one of their favorite apps! I would hear little shouts of "yes" whenever they got an answer right on the iPad.

Well, we have another successful week under our belts and I couldn't be prouder of my class full of amazing kids. As a teacher I am finding that important balance between the iPads and more traditional  paper and pencil work. That in itself is huge! Next week... a different spelling app with even more ways to practice, and planning a full week of online, and iPad learning for a student who is going out of town for a week.

This is Fabulous in First Grade signing off ...

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