Thursday, October 27, 2011

Extra practice with ten frames and number sentences

This week my students began using ten frames in math. Students used math counters and ten frame worksheets to add numbers 1-10. We did a few math practice pages throughout the week, but I noticed a few students still needed some additional practice opportunities.

Using the iPad and the Drawing Pad App, students created their own ten frames to demonstrate their understanding. Initially, students created their own number problems. They illustrated the ten frame and wrote a corresponding number sentence. At the end of the practice time, I asked all students to create a ten frame that represented the number “8″. Students then took a screen shot of their ten frame and sent the photo to me via email.

Today (from the comfort of my couch!), I was able to view their photos and use their ten frame drawings to assess who understood how to use a ten frame and write a corresponding number sentence. These photos provided a quick and authentic way for me to use student work to plan for next week’s instruction. Additionally, I now have documentation of each child’s learning that I can share easily with their families. What a treat to have opportunities for extended practice right at our fingertips! Another fun day of learning with the iPads!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

iPad Organization

Today we launched the iPads in first grade. After several technical delays due to syncing issues, we launched a one-to-one, hands-on introduction this afternoon. My tech coordinator pushed-in to help with this lesson and it was wonderful to have two adults to provide support and also model appropriate iPad behaviors. My amazing tech coordinator taught students how to transport the iPad using a “table-top” carry, how to use a “butterfly touch” to interact with the screen and how to keep the device flat upon the table when working.

For our initial launch lesson we taught students how to use Whiteboard. Prior to the lesson a photo of each child (holding their calendar number) was synced to Photos. On the rug with the whole group my tech coordinator modeled how to open Whiteboard. She then showed students how to use the “Open” feature to locate their photo in the Photos folder. Next, she modeled how to use the Whiteboard tools to decorate the photo. Students were then called to the iPad cart to pick up their device and practice carrying it to their seat using the “table-top” carry. Students then replicated the lesson they had observed on the rug and used Whiteboard to decorate their photo. After decorating their photo, one of the teachers guided each child to save the image in Photos and then taught students to use the “Start Over” feature to clear their screen and begin a new project.

Once the image was saved to Photos the tech coordinator and I saved the image as the “Lock Screen” and “Home Screen.” Now each child’s device opens with an image of the child and their syncing number.

This initial lesson served as an introduction to Whiteboard and also provided an opportunity to personalize each device so they can be easily located, managed and synced. They lesson went very smoothly! I believe that Whiteboard is a terrific app to use for the initial lesson experience as it teaches kids how to touch and interact with the screen in a variety of ways. It is non-threatening and easy to use for all. Students can view their work immediately and gain confidence as they see themselves as competent iPad users.

Most importantly, my students were thrilled to use their iPads! They cradled their iPads like babies as they traveled to their table seats. A hush fell over the room as each child navigated their device. As I looked around, eyes were wide and mouths were open. Ahhh…they joys of engaged learning!