Expanded use of the iPad

23 Oct
Response To Intervention or RTI is a way to provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed in school. The school district I am working in uses this method to reach as many students as possible. Everyday the Reading Specialist pulls four of our lowest students for 25 minutes. During this time we are not allowed to teach the remaining students any new material. So far we have done things like The Daily Five and Math workshops. This week students read to self, read to someone, or made post cards. I also pull students aside to use the iPad. I pick an app based on the students’ needs.There are a couple of students who are struggling with their sight words so I allow them to use one of our word work apps. Sight Words by Photo Touch tells them to find a word and gives them a couple of options to choose from. I noticed some of my students just guessing. I reminded them to listen to the first sound of the word and try and find a word that starts the same way. The other app for sight words is Sight Words by Little Speller. This app gives the student one word and the letters of that word are mixed up. They have to move each of those letters to the right place and then the iPad says the word and spells it. I like this app better because the student is spelling it and hearing the word said multiple times. The best part is both of these apps are free!

I also got the VGA Adaptor this week! Now I am able to use the iPad for whole group instruction. During RTI time we went over story problems. I used Educreations which is an interactive whiteboard. I could have easily written the same thing on the whiteboard and not used the technology but I believe this engaged the students so much more. They are used to a document camera, so they were amazed that they couldn’t see my hand drawing the images. Using this app also allowed me to face the students even while I was drawing. The one thing I wish I would have done was record the lesson. It would have allowed me to go back and evaluate my teaching and how well the students were understanding the material.

When we have a couple minutes before lunch or the end of the school day I read them a fun fact. I have a free app called Facts that pulls up a random fact each day. The students love it! One of the facts was that an Elephant has fingers on the end of their trunk. There is a fun picture to go with the fact as well. It is a nice way to relax before lunch or the end of the day but still learn.

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