Thursday, June 28, 2012

I get a POD!!!!!!

So our school has 12 ipads and next year we are creating 3 pods of 3 ipads!  I am so excited because for the first term I get to use this pod every afternoon for the whole afternoon with my kiddos.  Plus I have my own 2 classroom ipads which I purchased for my class which makes 5!  Oh the potential of 5!

How do I plan to implement the pod?  Well I imagine I will be doing a lot of exploring over the summer but as of right now I have COMPLETELY rearranged my schedule from how I normally operate!  

  • I am going to move my guided reading to the afternoon, the 5 ipads will be a center during guided reading time.  My plan it to create a profile for EVERY student on Teach me Grade One and have them work through the profile.  I also plan to use some spelling apps at this time and possibly listen to reading using books I have purchased!
  • I also plan to use the pod during my Math /Buddy time.  Math Buddies is when both grade one classes mix up ability wise and learn through fun and games.  The lessons are tailored to enrich the higher level students and to support the weaker group.  They will get to use many of our great math apps during this time.
I am sure I will come up with many more great ideas over the summer, but today ?I was SOOOOO excited to get the news I just had to share it!!!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Building My Bank of Math Apps

It's June... what can I say we are all tired, bored and ready for a break but we still have 12 days of school left! So I have been on a quest for some new math apps.  Apps to revive their interest and hopefully inspire them to use over the summer to reinforce the concepts they have learned.

The first new one I found is:  The Counting Game
iPhone Screenshot 1
This app lets you count in a variety of ways, anything from 1 - 10!  It times you and lets you select how you want to practice counting from the menu.  It is a 99 cent app and will be great in my grade one classroom.

The next one I found is:  Jungle Math Bingo

iPhone Screenshot 3
This app lets you choose from any of the 4 operations and has 3 difficulty levels for each.  My kids love math bingo from ABCya so I thought a different twist on an old favorite might be interesting.  If I was only going to buy one, it would be math bingo as it has more games within the app, but like I said I was looking to spark interest and survive 12 days!  Both of these bingo apps are 99 cents!

Finally in my quest for a measurement app: 3 Snakes (thanks Cynthia) and Measurement HD
iPhone Screenshot 2

3 Snakes uses grade one vocabulary such as longer/shorter/longest while asking you questions about the snakes.  You have to use the arrows to change the sizes of the snakes to create what the game asks.  I am sure there is some strategy/skill involved in changing the size of the snakes (I have not yet figured that out), but the kids enjoy the challenge and I like the vocabulary building element of it!  This app is also 99 cents.

Measurement HD teaches 5 measurement concepts:  
iPad Screenshot 5

  • time - setting a clock to the time the app tells you something is happening
  • volume - measuring liquids into containers
  • weight - using a scale to find what is heavier/lighter
  • length - comparing 2 objects looking for long/short
  • months - calendar activities to learn the months of the year
This app is $1.99 and I can hardly wait to introduce it to my kiddos!   

Normally I love to introduce free apps since 3/4 of my class have their own idevice.  They often take my app recommendations home and install them on their own devices.  But for $5 dollars, I just introduced you to 4 great math apps sure to inspire your budding mathematicians!  Enjoy!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Arithmetic Invaders

We have been using a pod of ipads for 20 minutes a day during math class for a few weeks now.  Each student has a day of the week that is their iPad day.  During this time they can play ANY game in my math folder I have created.  After 2 weeks it seemed to me that all the kids were choosing the same apps all the time.  They were great apps, but I had so many apps that no one was exploring.

One day we hooked the iPad up to the lcd and decided to try out 5 new apps together.  Our great find was Arithmetic Invaders!  It is a counting game arcade style.   As you progress through the levels the counting switches to counting backwards, then to addition and eventually multiplication!  The kids LOVED it!

iPhone Screenshot 3

And it's FREE!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


This app was gifted to a special needs child in my classroom, so the whole class took advantage of trying out this "book making" app.  

In social studies we are learning about our community and buildings in our neighbourhood.  We decided to go for a walk and take pictures of the buildings near our school.  The students used our class digital camera and we later converted the photos on to the iPad using my apple memory card reader (I did not want to walk with my iPad since I do not have a great case for it).  

Today we began using pictello.  We used the wizard mode where it walks us through the app step by step.  The app allows you to record your story using your voice or to type a story and to have a "person" read it for you.  There are 2 voice options for the reading and as long as you use proper punctuation they read the story very well.  The app is SO easy to use I am certain my kiddos could now create their own book independently.

I stumbled upon a few glitches that I plan to figure out later, but nothing that prevents me from publishing my book as it is.  I just need to explore the app more without 8 antsy faces staring up at me!  (We broke into 2 groups and created 2 stories!)  The stories are saved to my iPad, they can also be saved to ibooks and I can create a sharing site where my books can be shared with whoever I invite to the site.  I have not yet shared my story in anyway, it is still saved within my app.

The app was designed for special needs students which is why it is so easy to use.  It is expensive - $18.99.  However the ideas for book publishing in grade one are endless!