Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How I'm Using 1 iPad in my Classroom!

About a month ago each classroom in my school got an iPad!  I was so excited!  The more technology available to me the better, the students are so engaged and excited when technology is involved.

Many might ask, well what can you do with just one iPad?  I have a long ways to go before I can answer that completely, but I do have a start.  There are some simple things that I love using the iPad for. 

I pad cameras are great for saving information for kids who are absent!
If you have written something on the board you can take a picture of it with the camera on your iPad and then pull up the picture at a later date to review or to give directions or instruction to a student who was absent.

I love being able to pull my students grades up on the iPad when we are reviewing grades at collaboration.

I love being able to make notes on my I pad and also make to-do lists that I can then check off. 

One of the first apps I got was an app called "TechChef4u".  It is a free app that lets you search for free educational apps and sort them by grade level and subject!  Need I say more? Check it out.

Now how do I use the I-pad with the kiddos?
Let's start with small groups. 

Small group are a great place to use the iPad.  If you find the right apps, you can easily let all of the kids participate and they love it!  Some of the apps I have used with small groups are:

Sight Words - This app has sets of flash cards for kindergarten through third grade sight words.  If the volume is on it will read the sight word, if the volume is off then you can have the kids read the sight words.  I have used this app with some of my lower readers at the beginning of guided reading and whoever can raise their hand and tell me the word gets to tap the flash card to switch to the next word.  You can also add your own words to the preexisting lists which is great! 
My Math App - This app has flash cards for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Students type in the answer to the problem and then press a button to submit it.  if they get the answer wrong it will make a beeping noise and have them try it again.  I love that!  This is great for kids who just need practice mastering math facts.  You can also spend a little more time and talk through strategies with them as they do each problem.  If you wanted to use this as a fast finisher for high kids they would also be motivated by it because it times you so they could see how fast they could do all the math facts, and then try to beat their time. 
Storia -  Scholastic has books that you can download to your I-pad and let students read.  I have downloaded the 10 free books that you get when you download the app but have not let the kids read them yet, still figuring out how to incorporate that one.  Buddy reading as a reward for good students potentially?
O.k. so maybe I have convinced you that you can use one I-pad in a small group setting, but the whole class?

Here are some ways that I have gotten my whole class involved in using the iPad.

Skitch -
Skitch is an app that allows you to download a picture from your photos on your I-pad and then use drawing tools to draw on the picture.  I have used this app multiple times in math with the whole class and they loved it!

Since we were talking about place value I took pictures of pumpkin seeds (we had been learning about pumpkins for our informational writing unit).  I then had the students come up and circle tens and ones and even some hundreds.  Then after each one we would count the number of seeds using the hundreds tens and ones that we had circled and then used that information to write the number.  During this lesson every student got to circle something and they were so quiet and engaged because they wanted to be picked to come circle. 

Later on I took pictures of hundreds tens and ones blocks and did a similar activity with them. Here are some pictures of what the final products looked like after the kids drew on the pictures. 

Scribble Press -This is a free app on which you can make books!  I made one that I shared with my class when we were talking about informational writing and learning about pumpkins.  They loved it.  You could also let students potentially make their own books on this app which could be fun. 

Homophones App  - My co-worker found this one and told me about it and it's great!

This app shows a pair of homophones and then has a sentence at the bottom with a blank.  The students have to determine which homophone will complete the sentence and drag it into the sentence.  One thing I liked about this app was that the homophones repeated so the first time they came up we were able to talk about the differences between them and the second time they came up the students knew quickly and easily which word would complete the sentence without me having to say anything.   

Almost all of my kids love read aloud time (for a lot of them it is one of their favorite part of the day), but last week when I told them that we had to stop using the App so that we could have real aloud there were many audible sad "awww"s.  I'm pretty sure that is one of my favorite sounds!  When the kids are enjoying something so much that they are sad you have to stop you know you have done something good. 

Watching Videos - Occasionally I will show a short you tube video that helps to teach one of the concepts I am covering in class.  My school computer is pretty slow, but the i-pad works quicker so I have used that instead of the computer.   

When there is just one iPad do the kids ever get to use it individually?

We have been studying place value in math and I found a fun place value game app (for free of course).  It is called Cookie Factory Free.  Today during math while the students were doing an assigned page from their math workbook I told them that I would look for students who were working quietly and I would let them come to the guided reading table and play the place value app on the iPad.  My kids worked very quietly and I chose kids to come play for a couple of minutes, they loved it!

I have a couple of kids who struggle with basic addition and subtraction facts.  Today I had a helper in during centers and I had her work with one of my girls and do addition flashcards using the My Math App that I talked about above. 
I have a long ways to go, and there is still a lot to learn.  I am so grateful to have my one iPad though!  Now I cannot only enter grades and watch a movie on my laptop at the same time, but I can engage small groups of students and my whole class in learning through the use of technology.  Not to mention, using the Ipad in lessons is great for management.  When I pull out the iPad all of my kids sit tall with arms folded and lips zipped because they want to get to come participate in the lesson by using the iPad. 

I hope that this has been helpful to any of you one iPad classroomers out there.  If anyone has any other great ideas for a one iPad classroom I would love to hear them!


  1. I have found a couple of apps that have great non-fiction reading, like a free Presidents app from Encyclopedia Brittanica. I gave the kids a graphic organizer, and made a checklist. During reading centers, I choose the first person to come up and then they get the next person on the checklist when they've finished. The iPad is in a specific spot, which helps a lot.

    I also use ShowMe to work on visualizing with small groups, and then I let them take turns reading to go along with this.

    Toontastic is great for story elements, too!

    Phonics Genius is great for flashcards working on specific sounds (like aw or oa).

    Make sure you look into ScootPad, too! :)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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  4. Sometime, its become so handy to use your honor 20 pro specification phone for taking notes.I usually use it for recording a lecture.