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Monday, October 18, 2010

Reading Specialist Uses the IPads

I LOVE the iPad! Today was my second day using iPads with my guided reading groups. Each day I teach a phonics or word work mini lesson that corresponds with the guided reading book. Today I used the iPads with three first grade groups and a second grade group using the awesome ABC Magnetic Letters App. I demonstrated sounding out three letter words with my beginning readers in first grade. Instead of using a white board to draw each letter as I sounded it out, I used the iPad App to drag the letters on to the screen as I said the corresponding sound. The students were absolutely engrossed in this routine activity! I guess iPads are vastly more interesting to look at than a whiteboard! The students then used the iPads to sound out words on their own. It was wonderful to see how engaged the children were in sounding out and writing words. This App replaces both the whiteboard and magnetic letters that we sometimes use for word work. It can be frustrating for kids to search and search for a magnetic letter they can't find when creating words. With this App, the time it took to complete the minilesson was nearly cut in half because the letters are in alphabetical order and easier to find.

During the minilesson for a different first grade group, we worked on word families, such as hear, dear, and fear. It was so easy for children to write "ear" on the iPad and switch out the first letter to create new words in the family. During my second grade group, I used the iPads to teach about different endings on base words such as s, ed, and ing. The students immediately understood that the base word stays the same, such and the word "jump" and by switching out the "s" for the "ed" and "ing", it changes the meaning of the word.

In all three lessons, the children were excited to be using the iPads, the iPads had a meaningful and useful connection to the lesson, and their use decreased the total time to complete the minilesson. It's a win, win, win!

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