|Practicing ABC's in reading group.|
|So excited to use the iPads!|
|iPads are stored on table until needed.|
It also means that when there's a minute here or there that they are waiting on me or their classmates the iPads are in reach and they can work on learning goals instead of twiddling their thumbs, or getting into mischief as only a kindergartner can do. In the beginning I always reminded them to press the home button before closing their cover- this turns off any active app and eliminates any unwanted noise (except for the iPod music app, which runs in the background). The kids discovered the music on their own and it took a quick mini lesson to teach them to use the double click of the home button shortcut to locate and turn off (pause) the iPod music app.
|TeachMe K models correct responses|
|Using my homemade stylus to write.|
|It's a guitar too, or drums, or xylophone, or...|
|Drawing circles during math.|
After reading groups we practice math skills, sometimes using the iPad as an independent center using some of the awesome math apps available, as a whiteboard for writing numbers, or to practice a specific skill. This year I did not purchase any workbooks- all practice is done on the iPad or with classroom materials. In past years I purchased reading, math and handwriting books to practice skills with. The iPad is far superior to the workbooks- instant, self correcting, gives immediate feedback, kids progress at own levels and can be working at differentiated levels. A workbook page would have 3-6 questions per page and take about 5-15 minutes to get through. If they didn't understand only the kids I am close to would receive feedback and support, and a lot of time is wasted passing out booklets, writing names, waiting for others to finish, being on the wrong problem, waiting for the teacher to check work, tearing out the page and putting away... The iPad makes it simple, fun and so quick to practice the same skills, to say nothing of the opportunity for advanced or remedial instruction and instant feedback. I also love the element of choice it affords my students; they can choose from several apps that work on the same skills, thus increasing engagement. Just the other day we went on a 3D shape hunt with my iPad2 (how I wish all the kids had them instead of the original with no camera) and my aide had hers as well. We split into two groups and the children took pictures of cones, cylinders, spheres and cubes as well as 2D shapes all over the school. Then when we all got back to class the children took turns sharing the pictures they had taken and the name of the shape.
|Using iPad2 to find 3D shapes around school.|
|Using storykit to describe science activity.|
|Discussing time zones.|
Similarly, for making words lessons, I would pass out 6-10 letter tiles to each child (which takes time to organize, pass out, orient letters correctly, they fall on the floor, etc.) Now I use Word Wizard instead, which saves lots of time, doesn't require storage, and will actually give children feedback on whether they spell words correctly.
I do not think I can overstate how much I LOVE iPads in my classroom. I think they are powerful and engaging, and yes, fun. They are also a great way to help each child succeed, no matter their readiness for school in September. Call me appnoxious or addpicted... it's ok. I just DARE you to try using iPads with young children and tell me you think they don't belong in their hands.