Thursday, March 22, 2012

iPad Magic--It's More Than Free Apps

Ever since I held my first iPad, I knew deep down that this was the perfect tool for primary grade students.  I knew this with all my heart but I didn't exactly know why.  Now I think I do.  In fact, I can explain it in one word--audience.

As you know, first graders love to share what they learn.  They enjoy becoming experts in whatever it is we do.  Six and seven-year-olds live to talk about what they do well and what their pals do well.  I'll bet they've kept you up-to-date on their reading levels, their latest big book story, which math triangles are the easiest (probably the doubles), and what we're studying in science.

Did you know that every student in our class scores a self assessment at the end of each unit in Everyday Math?  Five or six skills are described and for each skill, the students determine if they can (1) use the skill independently AND explain how to do it, (2) use the skill independently (but cannot explain how to do it) or (3) use the skill with help.   

I believe that our challenge as educators is to structure authentic sharing experiences between students and their families all year long--not just at the end of a unit or at conference time.  The iPads can certainly help us to do this.  Many of the apps I am most excited about are those that allow students to document their learning through the use of pictures and video.  Your children will be able to practice explaining their thinking AND how they do what they do as they are working and learning throughout their school days at Rowe.

Our classroom blog will truly begin to breathe when we are able to embed snippets of video.  Stay tuned as we learn to use images with words and/or voice-overs, as well as, video to show you what it is that we work so hard to do.

P.S.  Tomorrow I will post a list of quality apps that we are beginning to explore.

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