Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First Graders rock the iPad

The first graders had been waiting patiently for their turn with the iPads, and this week they got their chance. I modified the sight word video format to include only 10 words instead of the 25 I had given the second graders, and this was a good move. I am going to stick with that format for both first and second graders. It's much easier and more pleasant for the kids to complete a 10 word video and start a second one if time permits than to start a 25 word video and not finish. You can subscribe to download our sight word videos here.

I was especially excited by how the kids are interacting with the content in the videos. They were reading and writing the word, then listening to the word, and cheering quietly for themselves when the movie confirmed that they had read the word correctly. I heard repeated exclamations of, "I read that one right!" and "I knew that one!" It's always tricky to design materials that will have kids engage actively with the content, rather than just clicking along, and it seems that these videos have worked for this group of kids.

I'll also say this about making media for kids: use music. Danceable music. I deliberated about this a little bit, but I found that having a little beat running through these videos really kept things fun and engaging for the kids and seemed to help them focus. Plus, who doesn't like a good beat?


  1. This is really exciting! I just love all the links for us to see how you're doing this. I've subscribed to the 1st grade sight word videos in it! Great job!!

  2. Such a great idea, what did you make the videos in? They are very well done and I'd love to duplicate the concept!!!

  3. Thanks for your comments. The videos are created with Keynote, then exported with Quicktime and scored/narrated in GarageBand. Once you have a template in Keynote with timing that works (all transition and animation timing is automatic, not manual), all you have to do is swap out the words for a new video.

  4. This is a fantastic resource! I've shared this with my 1st & 2nd Grade teachers, each of whom have a mini-cart of laptops in their classrooms. I could see using these videos with iPads, laptops, or as a whole-class activity on the interactive whiteboard. Thanks so much for documenting your experiences! We will be following your iPad pilot with great interest.

    ~Barbara Cohen, Director of Technology
    Marin Country Day School