Saturday, July 20, 2013

Guest Blogger---Brittany!!! Say Hi!

**Hey everyone---Today is the first round of Guest Bloggers for this week!! Please show some love to these ladies---some of them have just started blogging and honestly, guest blogging is kind of scary (at least--it is for me!) So show some love---leave a comment, stop by their blog and say hello! :)

Enjoy the week and the awesome resources these ladies have brought you! :)

Hi there, everyone!  I’m Brittany from Mrs. Banister’s Kindergarten Kids.

I’m pretty new to blogging, having started in May, but I am LOVING having the chance to share what I love to do every day with the world.  I have made new friends, gotten so many fantastic ideas, and documented what I do in my classroom.  What’s not to love about that?!?! 

My school district is in the process of going completely 1:1 (with a mixture of iPads and laptops) from kindergarten to twelfth grade.  We have rolled out MacBooks and iPads to high school and middle school kiddos, and next year, grades 4-5 will be 1:1 with iPads.  The following school year, K-3 will receive iPads.  Way back in March, our principal purchased seven iPads for each classroom in grades K-3. 

So we were given these iPads.  I had a general idea of what I wanted to do with them, but I have a whole new game plan for next year after a few months of having these iPads in my classroom all day, every day.

My Kindergarten Kids have done AMAZING things with our iPads this school year.  We integrate the iPads into every component of our day.  We use them during wake-up work time.  We use them during literacy and math stations.  We use them to practice spelling words.  We use them for listening to reading.  We use them to create iMovies for projects in our class.  We use them to create story problems during math journaling.  You get the idea. :)

I think it is important to say that, when working with iPads, what you put into it is much more valuable than what you take out of it.  Letting students use apps is wonderful, but there is so much more students can do with these little boxes of fun.  I have compiled a list of my favorite apps for young students here.

This year, my students did a lot of fun, engaging things with the iPads.


Students used the app KidBlog to blog during Writing Station and Writer’s Workshop.  KidBlog is a free, user-friendly blog site for kids.  It’s extremely simple to set up and manage.  I highly recommend it!

Students used Doodle Buddy to write math subtraction stories in small groups.  These guys came up with the problem, “There were 8 jellyfish.  Two swam away.  How many are left?”  For this activity, I gave the kids the number sentence, and they created the story.  Doodle Buddy is a fantastic app for young kids--user friendly and fun!

My little sweeties also used the Spelling City app a lot during station time as well as for practice before tests.  In this particular picture, I chose one student to be the teacher (hold the iPad) while the rest of the class played Hang Mouse.  The Spelling City app also allows students to take their weekly tests.  I don’t use this feature, but probably will when we become 1:1.

For their big, end-of-the-year zoo animal project, students worked in small groups to create iMovies on their given animals.  Students from our New Tech High School came to our class to help the students stay focused and maneuver their way through the creation process.  The app is so simple to use, and all six presentations turned out absolutely perfect.  I will definitely incorporate iMovie into my curriculum much earlier next year.

There are so many more wonderful apps and programs out there for students.  Some of my favorites that I didn’t highlight here are Explain Everything, Storia by Scholastic (you can get eBooks with your Scholastic points!), Pic Collage, Educreations, and Book Creator. 

I have discovered a lot from having a limited number of devices in a class of 25+ little ones.  First, I have learned that, when using this technology, it is necessary for students to know the rules and expectations of using these devices up front.  Secondly, there must be a management system in place for students to share the iPads when given a limited number of devices.  Finally, students have to be able to find their device easily, even if you are working in a 1:1 environment. 

To help you, I am giving you some things that have helped me in my classroom!  My first freebie is an iPad rules poster that I use in my own classroom.  We go over it nearly every. single. day. until they know the rules, and then we randomly go over them fairly often still!  

                                    Click on the pic to take you to google docs!

 The second freebie is backgrounds that I use for my student iPads.  I name each table a color in my classroom, so the backgrounds show the table name as well as that color.  These backgrounds *might* even have a chevron flair. :)

On another note, my BFF and I are starting another blog all about tech integration!  Follow my blog---Mrs. Baniter's Class to see all the details about when we will open! 

Also make sure to follow me on:

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