Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

Posts tagged ‘IPad’



Last year I used Linoit with my 2nd graders. It was very easy and they loved it. I started by creating an account at http://linoit.com Then I downloaded the app to my class Ipads and set up the account on each ipad.

I would give them a topic that we were going to study. The students in their groups would create sticky notes about the topic. The kids loved how they would type something in on their ipads and it would appear on the website displayed on the board. My tables were assigned colors and would use their color on their sticky notes.

Sometimes I let them go on for several minutes creating a huge number of stickies. I would use this as a parking lot type board, making sure to answer their questions as we explored the topic. Other times I would sort them into different thinking maps as we went. In that case they would give me their answer verbally and get permission to put it up.

I haven’t used Linoit yet this year, yet. I’m glad a friend e-mailed me asking me to do a post about using Linoit. I think we will use it next week.

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How do you remember all the tools you can use?

Earlier this week I read this post by Paul Wagner. I had set up linoit on my Ipads, but my 2nd graders weren’t quite ready. So I had dropped it and forgot about it. Well we tried it again this week and they were ready to give it a try. The result is below.


I have my students organized in 4 groups. Each group is assigned a color. Their remotes and Ipads are stored in cloth bags with those colors. So they made their posted notes their group color.  The kids used an app on their Ipads. I am fortunate enough to have 1 Ipad per 2 kids. So they sat with their partners on the carpet and typed in their Jan Brett questions. (Yellow is currently down 1 Ipad due to an accident – so they have fewer posts.)  For my kids this is much easier than using their promethean remotes, because they can use the full keyboard on the ipad.

So my real problem is how do I make sure I don’t forget about good tools that my 2nd graders need to grow into?

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Math Work Stations – Chapter 1 Reflection and Dialogue

Response to Chapter 1 of Math Work Stations

Math workstations are different from math centers. Stations are more focused on the needs of the students, and are designed to make it easy for the teacher to differentiate for different groups. Students should be engaged in higher level thinking at stations. On challenge I have in a self contained classroom is storing and setting up both literature and math work stations. Another challenge I have is that sometimes if feels like our administration does lip service to the ideas of work stations, but really wants busy work centers. I’ve been told that giving the kids choices leads to off task behavior.  In my observation it is 3 or 4 students that are off task. 1 because he thinks he should be able to play in centers. 2 because they lacked confidence to try new things. That attitude has been improving, because making mistakes is not failure in my classroom but a sign you are learning something new. Then there are 2 students that are so far above the others in some ways it is hard to challenge them.

My students are engage by puzzles, they enjoy problem solving it presented as a puzzle.  They are becoming more comfortable with the idea that there are many different ways to the correct answer. They are also engaged by contests and technology. They love number battle on the Ipad. They are more comfortable making mistakes on the Promethean Board, so they are more engaged in those activities.

I need  to teach more problem solving strategies going beyond what Envision does. My students are held back by the low level of the problem solving lessons that Envision gives them. They need more strategies for higher level problems. They also need to be writing their own problems to challenge classmates with.

My locations work well.

Computers at computers

Ipads in the library area this gives me space to post QR codes.

Promethean at the promethean board. Only problem with this is that kids need to talk and my 1 mile voice kids can be disruptive to the teacher table.

Number sense on the floor at the back of the carpet.

Problem Solving at the Yellow table desks.

Review at the back table/writing center. Since this is going to include several make a movie/Ibook activities for the students to publish having the writing supplies handy will work out.
Using IPads

This is actually a literature station, but students use the Ipads in math stations also.

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Using Splashtop

Our CITS suggested I use Splashtop to control my Promethean Board.  I have a slate, but prefer using the Ipad with splashtop. What I really like is being able to type from the IPad onto the screen. Beats juggling a blue tooth keyboard and slate.
Splash top screenshot

Today I decided to try something with my kids. The way my room is set up, my library and horseshoe table are near my Promethean Board.  I have tried using the Promethean as a center, but the area was too crowded. So today I had them do a flipbook from Green Table using an Ipod with Splashtop. It worked great.

The flipbook was Rainbow Fish. The flipbook first took them to http://www.storylineonline.net/ where Earnest Borgnine read the story to them.  One of the good things about splashtop is it mutes the computer and plays the sound through the Ipad. At first it bugged me, but for this activity it helped. Only the kids in the station could hear the story. Then as a group they completed a list of main characters, a bubble map about the character traits of Rainbow fish at the beginning of the story, a story map, and bubble map of the character traits of Rainbow fish a the end of the story.

I rarely pay for apps but splashtop is worth the $4.99

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Replacing Centers with Menus

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

In order to differentiate more, I’m replacing centers in my classroom with menus of activities. I’m using the series Differentiating Instruction with Menus by Laurie E. Westphal to create the menus. I also found the wiki Dare to Differentiate to be very helpful.

The Good

  • I’m tapping into the different strengths of my students
  • I’m getting good thoughtful projects from most of my students
The Bad
  • Accountability for 2nd graders. I had one boy do very little last week. A 2nd boy threw away all his projects when we cleaned out our desks on Friday. We were able to rescue them.
  • The pull of the tech. I include both  tech and low tech projects. The Tech ones are still new and shiny and the kids gravitate to them even when a low tech project would be a better fit. I’m also getting some nonsense projects because they want to play with the tech.
The solutions
  • Meet more frequently with the kids. Daily check ins with the kids who are having trouble with focus.
  • Take up projects more frequently.
  • Students must submit a plan for tech projects before they get to touch the tech. Then a schedule is set up for the next day. Child A and B have use of the Ipad 2 from Time to time. Then they must give the Ipad 2 to Child C and D.
  • Teaching the kids to video themselves using the front camera.
  • Using the Original Ipads for gathering information. I have to see if the mobile part of Discovery Streaming allows student user names and passwords to be used yet. (Saving the clips on the Ipad doesn’t always work – often there is a problem with the volume on the clip being very low even when the volume on the Ipad is turned up.
If you would like to see some of the menus from last week or this week check the links below
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Heart of a Hero

Each year our principal has a theme. This year it is the Heart of a Hero.  Our first hero is the school secertary, who put in 10 work orders but finally got the school AC working.. They reorded things a bit in light of the AC problem. We were put into mixed grade groups to do a treasure hunt – that got us out of the hot building. Being the Techie person I made an Animoto movie rather than mess with powerpoint. I did it on my Ipad, so I can’t embed the movie. So I’ll link to it. When we got back there was cool air. Relief!

During the day many people were using various tech for the projects. I must have shown a 6 – 7 people how to connect their Ipads and laptops to the guest network. There was certain frustration with the “rules” about guest network. Namely the having to sign on repeatedly and the time limit. I was getting a little frustrated with the “that is a pain” and “it connects automatically at home” comments. Then  I pointed out that if every teacher and student who has a phone that connects with the wifi automatically connected every time we entered the buildings and stayed connected the whole time it would put a huge strain on systems and slow things down. That everyone understood.

We went over the usual procedural type things. Then to finish the day on a high note we had a team building activity. Each grade level team picked a super hero and created a costume for a team member to wear in that theme. This was the results.

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Musts for Next Year

I am making lists for next year. There are things I want to expand on from last year.

  • Blogging both my blogging and having students blog. I’m thinking start out with the students blogging at least 2 times a month. Mypersonal  goal is to blog at least 5 times a week, but not necessarily on school days. Last year we had both PEP and faculty meetings on Wednesday – which made that a bad day to try and blog. I was usually home late.
  • Movie making both live action and stop motion. I like the cut paper version better than claymation.
  •  Photo time lines – especially for our sustained inquiries.

New things

  • Geocaching/GPS reviews. Technically I did try this last year, but the results were terrible. I got some great ideas from the workshop I took at T3. Even better the teacher who gave the workshop is 2nd grade.
  • Popcorn words. I got several ideas from that workshop. I can combined them with …
  • Publishing e-books on my Ipads for students (I am going to do books for each science unit for vocabulary and also for information) I’ve made one. I need to figure out a couple of formatting things. Also I would like to add an auditoryversion for my 2nd graders if they need it. I will do some now. I thinking about asking some 3rd – 5th grade students tocome to my room in the mornings to do recordings. I know several, who would do a great job and would love not going to the gym in the morning.
  • Publishing e-books  by students on the Ipads

I’m sure I’m going to come up with more as the summer goes on. I’m also lucky to have a great network both in my district and outside to bounce ideas off of.

Shows Ipads and GPS

Lower left Ipad shows an e-book I made today about anoles

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