This morning I visited Mme. Morisette’s grade 3 EFI class to see what they were up to with the ipads. For an English lesson, focusing on Reading Power, Mme. Morisette read the students the picture book Meanwhile, which is in comic strip format. In the story, the main character Raymond gets transported to all sorts of adventures.
After reading part of the story, the students were given the choice of three apps to use:
Puppet Pals, Flipboom or Strip Designer
The students were asked to create a few more frames, showcasing Raymond’s next great adventure. The students eagerly went off in pairs and decided which app they would use. I was surprised how fluent they already were with these apps.
Students using Flipboom drew images and added text to their stories.
Students using Puppet Pals were able to select their characters and background screens and narrated their story using the built in audio recorder.
One pair of students used Strip Designer and searched online for images to use for their story of Raymond scoring the winning goal in the Olympic gold medal game!
After about 15 minutes of creating time, the students gathered on the carpet and a few groups of students shared what they had done so far.
In this particular lesson, the students were connecting, questioning and predicting what would come next in the story. As teachers, we often ask students to write or draw their predictions…this was just the iPad version of that kind of lesson!
This morning I visited Homma to see some of the ways the ipads were being used and to talk to the teachers involved in the project. Ms Wilson and I shared some app ideas for the library and then I visited Mme Morissette’s grade 3EFI class. I asked the students what they liked about the ipads – of course they thought they were cool and fun and awesome! One student commented that the ipad made math easy. When I asked her how the math was easier on the ipad (because really, the actual math is the same whether in a text, on a worksheet, on an ipad, etc), she said it was because she didn’t have to do the writing part. This made me think that for many of our students, many of the math apps on the ipad will help them to focus on the actual math and not the often tedious and laborious task of writing the math down on paper.
I went down to the kindergarten classroom to talk to Mrs. Regan. She told me that she has been finding all sorts of great apps for her K classes and that so far she has been using them at a centre, with 5 or so ipads at a table with a specific app chosen for the students to work on. The five year olds are of course, very comfortable with the technology!
I went back to the library to hear Ms Wilson finish reading the picture book, Freedom on the Menu, to a grades 6/7 class. The students then worked in partners or triads with the ipads to explore images from the Library of Congress related to racial discrimination in the American south. Many of the images connected directly to the picture book.
The students were asked to investigate the photos and many soon realized they could use the touchscreen to zoom-in and read the signs more closely and many students also found that there were written explanations accompanying each photo.
This was a great lesson focusing on curriculum content and the use of primary sources/photos while students explored using the ipads.
Can’t wait to visit again!
We are very excited to be receiving the iPad lab today at Homma. Students and teachers involved are eager to get started and full of great ideas. Check here for updates on what we are up to over the next two months.