Friday, August 31, 2012

Using a Stylus

There are so many great apps to support letter formation and fine motor development and the kiddos love them.  However tracing things with your finger is a lot easier than using a pencil and does nothing to support pencil grip.  This summer I made it my mission to find styluses to be used for these kinds of apps, making the practice more meaningful!

My good friend Cynthia happened to find these at Best Buy.  The package cost $15.

I happen to be fortunate enough to have my own little soon to be first grader living in my house!  She was my  tester today.  We discussed how I should set up the ipad (post on that coming soon) and then she attempted to use the stylus.

What did I learn from watching her?  
  • Well she still wanted to hold the stylus incorrectly.  I had to force the pencil grip.
  • She had to press harder than she would with her finger and I saw her banging on the icons a few times before they turned on.
  • Tracing letters is still tricky because there is resistance with the stylus.
  • When playing letter school she was bending her whole hand really awkward to form the letters, perhaps she needed to be standing or have the ipad on a slant.
So now I know training is needed... like anything else in grade one!  Time must be spent showing them how you want it done and reinforcing proper usage.  Will it be worth it, I think so! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Vocabulary Spelling City

One of my most favorite classroom websites now has a free app!  Vocabulary Spelling City!!!!  I was super excited to see that it was free and even more excited to see that all the spelling lists I had created on the website were accessible with the app!  All I had to do was search for my name and voila all of my lists came up!

The downfall I have noticed so far.... there are not as many games to play as there are on the website, especially since I prefer to use it for spelling purposes rather than vocabulary.  The kids can take the test and practice word by word or else play hang mouse (which is their favorite)!  All the other options are geared at vocabulary building using sentences which is a little tough at the beginning of grade one.

iPhone Screenshot 1