Thursday, September 24, 2015

Introducing iPads ~ The First Day

I seriously can no longer imagine teaching without iPads. They make my life so much easier! Here's how I got them into my kids' hands:

1) Super explicit teaching on how to get them out of the cart. We practiced unplugging them correctly and how to use two hands ~ one to hold the iPad and one to hold the plug to unplug it.
2) Then we learned how to use our log-in loops to log into the internet. Apparently I forgot to get a photo of that.

3) Last we learned how to use Vocabulary Spelling City. I always, always, always, preteach a few things about an app or site, then give the kids about 10 minutes to explore. They usually figure out how to use the app really quickly and they remember more because they figured it out themselves. We then gather back together and share what we learned.
 I post which app we'll be using in the morning and which app they can use when they finish ALL their work. This helps with fast finishers and provides time for additional practice.
We have the rule that the volume must be set to half or less when using headphones. Gotta protect those ears!

Check back tomorrow when I'll share how I use QR codes to access websites, do listen to reading, and for research projects! Happy teaching!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Introducing iPads ~ Prep for Success

 Today was iPad day!!! I have to say this is the earliest I have ever introduced iPads to my kiddos. I hit the class jackpot this year! After they moved silently to the carpet for 4th time today, my student teacher leaned over and whispered, "Is this normal?" Nope! Totally not normal, unless apparently it's my group of 2nd graders. Thank you, teacher gods! And now I'm totally knocking on wood so I don't jinx it.

Here's what I did ahead of time to get ready:

1) My kids all have a number. They hang their backpacks on their number in the hall. They have a headphone pocket with their number on it. I write their numbers on their nametags and I have them write them on their papers. Once the number is ingrained, I let them know it's also their iPad number. This makes getting and returning iPads much easier. I bought these supercute iPad numbers and backgrounds from Erintegration's TPT store and loaded them onto the iPads. So much easier when someone forgets their iPad or grabs the wrong one on accident.

2) We have headphone pockets! This was a brilliant idea I had this year (which happens occasionally). I had this pocket chart thing I used for mailboxes last year and I hated it. Seriously, I glared at that thing every day. Headphones drove me bonkers last year with cords hanging out of cubbies, headphones left on desks no matter how many times I asked people to put them away. Grrr! Enter the headphone pockets!!!! Kids put their headphones in their numbered pocket on their way to putting away their iPads. Genius! I also created a job for it, so someone stands at the pockets and makes sure everyone's headphones get put away and they tidy up any cords hanging out. I'm such a happy camper now!
Good grief my back door looks nasty! We're moving into a new building next year. Yay for clean doors and no asbestos!

3) I used this freebie from 4th Grade Frolics and made Log-In Loops for all my kids. We started with just our wifi and Spelling City usernames and passwords and we'll add cards as we add websites. I used to just use a tech card, but these are cute and I'm a sucker for cute and functional. For now they'll sit on their desks. I think they'll eventually get stored in a baggie in their iPad parking spots. What's that, you ask? I'll tell you tomorrow :)

4) Next, I printed and posted my iPad rules. I grabbed these rules as a freebie from Kristi Swearengin. Super adorable and useful. They're in the front above my alphabet for easy reference and reminders.

5) I copied off our school tech agreement, which one of our fabulous 3rd grade teachers updated this year.

6) I worked out the flow. Kids will get their iPads and headphones when they come in each morning and put them away in the last 10 minutes of the day. I needed to make sure the cart - we call it a calf - was in a place that was easily accessible, but out of the way. I also wanted it near the headphone pockets, so I moved some work station tables around and parked it near a back wall. Now kids can flow straight to their headphones and iPads, then walk toward the front of the room to get to their seats. I know, I know. I'm picky and controlling, but life seriously works so much easier when you've got 27 kids all trying to get to the same place at the same time.

Once all that was done, we were ready to go! Check back tomorrow to hear how I introduce iPads and set high expectations from the start. See you tomorrow!

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