Wednesday, January 13, 2016

So far, so good...

I had two questions before unleashing iPads in the classroom.

     1.  Will they understand how to use the apps/iPad without taking up too much valuable learning time?

   Sometimes I have gathered the class on the carpet to teach a new app.  Students follow along on their iPads as I guide them through the app.  Other times, I have shown a small group of students how to use an app.  They will then teach their peers what to do.   The students enjoy this way because they get to be the “teacher.”
So far, students have picked up on how to use the apps during the first lesson.  The main time they need guidance from me is when popups invade the screen.  Those popups are annoying!  If they hit the wrong button, I have to go into settings to allow access to the microphone, camera, etc.  Most of the time I have seen students being able to help or remind one another rather than come to me.  So I have found that teaching new apps has not taken up as much instructional time as I first feared.

 2.   Will kids stay on task when they are using the iPads?

  I have been pleasantly surprised that this has not been an issue.  The students stay where they have been directed.   The majority are very good about taking turns.  At the beginning of the year we modeled how every student needs to complete their part of the activity to come to the finished product.  Students are now good about deciding who goes first and who is going to hold the iPad to complete each step of the assignment.   

  My favorite way to use the iPads is Kahoot.  It’s like a game show in which students get to compete against one another to answer questions.  They love when I say it’s time for a Kahoot.  I love that I can go on the Kahoot website to search for pre-made Kahoots that are available for anyone to use.  I can usually find one that works or switch up a few things on one that is pre-made, but I have also made my own.  Recently, it took me about 20 minutes to make one for science.  It is a fun way to review previous lessons.  The enthusiasm is apparent in this video.

  I also like Popplet because it is a great way to get kids writing during math class.  In one lesson, I had students choose a number for the center bubble.  They then had to write and label it in standard form and expanded form.  Last, they had to write a sentence telling how many rods and how many ones it takes to build the number. 

  Overall, I have been impressed with how quickly my first graders have picked up on the use of the iPads.  Both of my initial concerns turned out to be a big worry about nothing.  This technology experience is definitely reminding me to keep an open mind about what my first grade babies can accomplish.


  1. Staci, I love how you jumped in and have taken the lead on trying new things with the iPads. And, you're so right! The kids have been able to teach each other and help each other so much! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for sharing your reflections and some specific examples of the iPads in action in your classroom.