Pioneer Middle School

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When we started this journey this year my first thought was what did I get myself into? How am I going to use the iPad's in my classroom? Are they going to really my job easier or harder? To be honest, the answer to that question is both, however, as the year progresses, I am growing as are my students.

The first thing that I did when the iPad's came to my classroom was to reevaluate my teaching methods. I asked questions like what kind of activities (projects) would I like to see the students doing with the iPads? Will the students be using the iPads all the time? How will I distribute the iPad's? And as someone who gets frustrated easily with technology - How am I going to fix technological issues as they arise? Amazingly enough, now that we are into the month of January, and I have had the iPad's in my class for 4 months, my confidence is growing, and my students are getting the opportunity to explore and learn about concepts that they did not have the opportunity to before.

iPad's for Learning
The two main subjects that I teach are Math and Science and my goal was to incorporate the iPad's into the lessons, and give the students alternatives for demonstrating their understanding of the concepts that they have learned. Through researching different Apps, and getting suggestions from kids we are develping quite a collection of Apps that we use.

1. Reporting on TreesThe first big activity that we did as a class was to put ourselves in the role of a reporter and report give a brief newstory on the parts of a tree trunk. On my weebly ( I had posted the lesson that we were doing in class as well as the accompanying videos that we would be accessing. I am not on top of my weebly everyday as it is a work in progress, however, it is very user friendly especially when instructing with the iPads. I will have the weebly up on the SMART board, and the students can access it on their iPads and when they go off an do independent work they can go back and refresh if they need to.

  • Download Teleprompter App - model for the students how to use it effectively
  • Access the Weebly - as a group - learn about proper reporting techniques via videos
  • Research the different parts of the tree trunk and their roles
  • Write the news story on the Teleprompter App
  • Video tape with the camera function
  • E-mail video to be assessed

2. Factor Rap
Learning about Factors is often confusing and tedious. The students were given the opportunity to identify Factors and then to reinstruct what they were through song.

  • Weebly - discuss factors - show videos that people have created
  • Encourage the students to come up with creative lyrics for their rap with criteria that is relevant to the assignment
  • Students can choose a music selection through their research on the net (youtube - awesome site)
  • Students video tape their raps
  • E-mail raps to the teacher

3. Journaling
In Science we have been studying the Sky - there have been soooooo many different Apps that we have accessed. This is the first year that the students are demonstrating more of a basic understanding of the Revolution and the Rotation of the Earth. It is wonderful to see them excited and talking about downloading the Apps that we have been using at school on the iPod's or parents iPads at home. The students have gained a better understanding of the constellations in the sky and the concept of the suns apparent movement in the daytime sky as the reasons for the seasons.

  • Clibe for creating a daily moon journal
  • Apps: Orbits Pro HD, Planets, SkyORB, Planet Earth 3D, Solar Walk, Solar Systems HD, Star Walk