Note: This year I am blogging weekly reflections at my school site (weskids.com) in order to provide more transparency in my teaching for parents, students, and the community (local and global). I will be cross-posting most of the entries here at Bit By Bit as well. You can see the original posts at the “Reflections by Mr. S” blog.


Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to acquire 5 iPads in the Computer Lab. These are, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, a big hit. Students learned how to take care of and treat the machines with respect a few weeks ago, and everyone has the routines down. The iPads are perfect for a Center station and offer a myriad of learning opportunities, able to engage students at different learning styles.

Students with iPads

Presently, the Grades 1 and 2 have been using them for reading non-fiction books (primarily the app, “Lulu in the Amazon“(https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lulu-in-the-amazon/id571916239?mt=8). Grades 3 and 4 started off with a challenging Math game called, “SubtractionTop-It” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/everyday-mathematics-subtraction/id425203268?mt=8) which makes use of solving for the difference between two numbers mentally instead of on paper (with “regrouping” or “borrowing” as we used to call it).

4th graders are now starting to use the iPads to create! They are learning how to make Movie Trailers in “iMovie“(https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8) and Audio/Video/Written books in “BookCreator” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070?mt=8) and will soon learn how to take digital photos and digitally manipulate them to create mood. All three projects connect with our CORE integrated unit, “Many Ways to Tell a Story.”

Things you can do at home with your students:

  • Ask them what rules we have for taking care of the iPads at school. Are they the same or different for rules you have for iPads at home, if you have them?
  • Ask them what they like/don’t about using an iPad instead of a Desktop Computer?
  • Ask them what they think future computers will be: more tablet based, or more desktop machines.


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