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Available for Purchase Now!

In “Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom” primary teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen provide a complete selection of clearly laid out engaging open-ended lessons to change the way you use iPad in the classroom.

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Connect, Collaborate and Create with Twitter in the Classroom

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of ETFO Voice.

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Course Description

In this grade two 3-D Geometry iTunes U Course, students will explore attributes of 3-D objects using concrete materials and drawings. Students will also build and construct 3-D objects and models as well as develop language to describe geometric concepts.

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One Best Thing

Discover how to keep parents informed, connect globally and link to your curriculum. This One Best Thing leads your primary classroom students through the creation of a learning network on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Keep Your Fingers Crossed!

Today Mrs. Belanger, Mrs. Galvan and myself sent in an entry for a technology story contest.  If we win, we will be awarded $5000.00 to spend on technology in our classroom.  That would amount to quite a few new iPads!  We decided to write about our iPad inquiry project and about Destinee.  Keep your fingers crossed, we will be hearing sometime in April.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Using The Show Me App on the iPads in Math

We have started a new action research project involving the iPads.  We want to see if using the Show Me App will increase creativity and higher order thinking when solving word problems.  The students are given an open ended problem to do in their math journals, while the iPad group (2 girls and 2 boys) are given the iPads to record and playback their finding to the problem.  The problem today was:
MaCayla found frogs in the pond.
Some were green and some were brown.
How many green frogs did she find?
How many brown frogs did she find?
Use pictures, numbers, and words to show the frogs.
See the example below and let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grade 1 iPad Inquiry Project

Student Need

In November, 39% of the students in grade 1 scored in the yellow or red on the DRA test.  We found that many of the students knew few or no sight words.  We were searching for an answer that would help us fill this gap in student learning.  We thought that the Apple iPad would be a tool that may be able to help us by guiding student learning, offer instant feedback and allowing student led, collaborative learning.

Overview of the Project

To initiate this project, we borrowed 2 iPads from another Windsor School to use for one month.  We decided that through the use of iPad applications focusing on Dolch sight words, the device would be used to augment instruction, provide differentiation, and allow the opportunity for inquiry learning.  By using the Dolch Sight words as a baseline, it would give us an accurate measurement of student growth.

Student Criteria

We chose 8 grade 1 students working at a level 2 in reading and scored a level 3 on the DRA assessment.  All the students that were chosen were working at the pre-primer level Dolch words.  We chose students with similar attendance patterns and chose 2 boys and 2 girls for each group.


We pretested the students on the pre-primer list of Dolch Words on December 16th. To ensure accurate data collection, we had very specific success criteria.  The expectation was that the word would be counted as correct if the student was able to identify the word immediately without having to sound it out.  Students were tested using flashcards of the Dolch pre-primer list.

We regularly worked with the students in small guided groups. The students were also given the designated words on flashcards to take home with a note to parents encouraging them to practice the words nightly.  When the students were able to read all the flashcards they would bring them back to school and the next list (primer) would be sent home.
The only variable between the test group and the control group was that the students in the iPad test group were given five minutes each morning to work on the iPad when they came into class. The following apps were used:

1.       Word Bingo
2.       Ace Learn 2 Bee: Sight Words
3.       Photo Touch Sight Words
4.       Blackboard Sight Words


After one month, on average the students in the control group made a five word increase.  After the same amount of time the iPad test group made a 57 word increase. See graph below:

The students were also given the DRA tests again.  After the one month test period, the students that were in the iPad test group were all able to move to Level 8 (Benchmark)  DRA  for their reading or above.  The students in the test group made little or no gains in their DRA scores during the one month test period.


Our multidisciplinary approach in the use of the iPads has led to the demonstration of student growth not only in Literacy, but also in Math, (through the use of applications such as Show Me, Top It, Butterfly Math, JetSki) and Digital Literacy (through student directed blogging and use of Twitter.)  Through our board sponsored Professional Development fund we were fortunate enough to be able to attend the Florida Educational Technology Conference.  The FETC  helped us gain many insights and ideas that will help us to fully implement and take advantage of all of the benefits the technology of the iPad has to offer.

Aside from the benefits our students have gained, we have been granted additional benefits for ourselves as educators.  We have found applications for the iPad that have been able to augment our assessment and evaluation of students at an entirely new level.  Now included in our anecdotal notes are photographs of student work, audio recording of students reading and video of student presentations. These tools enable our students to pause, rewind and replay their learning in order to identify errors and comment on their work, and for us to be able to give them authentic feedback.

We are very excited about the results we have seen and the knowledge we have gained.  We are more than willing to share our learning and experiences with other teachers who may also want to take advantage of this technology.

Our iPad experiment gave us results beyond our expectations. The students who were fortunate enough to be in the test group were empowered in their learning. To harness our students potential and educate them to compete globally, it is vital for them to have access to devices such as iPads that enable critical thinking, differentiation and problem solving. We believe that the technology in the iPad can do this for every student in our class, just as it has for our test group.  We are truly excited for the student growth that is possible, and limitless for our students.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Using iPads in the classroom

This past week the students wrote non fiction paragraphs on penguins.  We then used an iPad app called Book Creator.  The students were able to record themselves reading their paragraph and then I took a photograph of them and their finished piece of writing.  This was a great way for the students to hear how fluent they are in their reading.  We will be working on fluency using the iPads in the next week.  Students will record themselves reading a "just right book" and will play it back for themselves to hear it and to critique themselves on fluency and intonation.

A page from our Non Fiction Writing Book about Penguins

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

100th Day of School and Valentine's Day

It was a very busy day in grade 1 today!  The students and I decided to try to tweet 100 tweets about things we love in honour of our 100th day of school.  I am proud to say we accomplished and surpassed our goal!  There are over 200 tweets under the hash tag #vd100 (Valentine's Day 100).  We had classes and or people responding from Guatemala, Nebraska, British Columbia, Texas and California to our tweets.  The students typed their tweets on the iPads and we periodically checked our tweets and the responses on the smart board.  I loved what one of the students said while we were watching the tweets on the smart board. One student said, "It sure makes the world seem small when you can talk to anyone in the world on twitter."   I love how twitter has engaged my students in a meaningful way that is relevant to the world we live in.
Students using the iPads to tweet the things they love.
Here are a few more pictures from today:
 We dressed up like we were 100 years old.


Some of our 100th day stations:

We wrote our numbers to 100.

We looked for number words in a word search.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Using Technology In Our Classroom

I'm sure your child has been telling you about all the great things we have been doing in the classroom. The students have been independently using the smart board during math stations and literacy centers. The students have also been using the laptops daily to post on their blogs or to work on raz kids. Lastly, the students have been using the iPads to tweet on twitter, work on sight words, work on math problem solving and have been making their own stories on puppet pals. Mrs. Belanger and I are working hard to help our students critique and create media that prepares them for the future. We are trying to foster a classroom that promotes students to be able to find, sort, analyze, create and collaborate in new media environments.