Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kindergarten iPad Skill Building

When kindergarteners are beginning to use iPads in their classroom, it is important that they build capacity and independence on important technology skills before they can be expected to use those skills to complete a project. Projects often use more advanced apps where these young students need to utilize multiple technology skills. Here are a few of the skills and activities I would start with. In the links at the bottom of the page, you can find multiple resources for how kindergarten teachers use the iPads starting the first week of school, and peek at the teachers’ classroom management strategies when introducing the students to iPads.

  • Audio Recording 
    • Quick Voice app 
      • Easy to use
      • Record and listen, rename favorite
      • Fluency

  • Photography
    • Camera to take pictures
      • Holding iPad
        • Horizontal (landscape mode)
      • Framing picture if photographing artwork
    • Screenshots to document learning
    • Ideas: photograph colors, shapes, letters, numbers, arrays,  vocabulary words, outdoors for science

  • Adding photo to another app
    • Google Slides app
    • Keynote app
    • Hello Crayon app
    • Doodle Buddy app

  • Following Instructions
    • Sit on rug: 2 students share an iPad

    • Follow teacher’s instructions to complete tasks (teacher demonstrates with iPad projected on SmartBoard)
    • Gradual release toward independence

  • Use acquired skills in apps to complete projects
    • Group Keynote or Google Slides
    • Shadow Puppet (images and recording--no puppets)
    • Educreations
    • Puppet Pals 2
    • Popplet app (one student at a time per iPad)
    • My Story app (tutorial)
    • Story Kit (iPhone app)



  • Accessing Content on Student iPads
    • Bookmark “Favorite” webpages in Safari on student iPads
    • Teach students to read teacher created QR Codes from iPad scanners

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Digital Constructed Responses using Google Forms

Access the Google Form 
I was recently discussing with a third grade teacher the need for students to have many experiences writing constructed responses, similar to those on the SBAC assessments, without having to log in and access a practice, training, or interim assessment.  Using Google Forms is one way teachers can provide students with the experience of composing their responses digitally and give the teacher an easy, concise way to view the students' paragraphs.

ReadWorks.org and Newsela are excellent free resources for teacher to find quality short reading passages by grade or reading level, genre and/or reading skill/strategy. Look for a passage that has questions, particularly an open-ended response, associated with the reading. Scholastic News and Time for Kids would also be a useful resource for passages and questions. 

Once you have a reading passage and question(s) selected, you will open your Google Drive and make a Google Form that your students can access to write their response after they have read the passage. Above is an example of how a Reading Passage Short Answer Response Form might look.

Once the students have submitted their form, you will have access to the students' responses in a Google Sheet. This document will be created by Google as an option when you publish the Form. 


Student Responses Will Populate a Google Sheets Worksheet