Monday, July 30, 2012

Love Your Ipad: We Are In A Digital Age of Learning

Do you have ipads in your classroom yet? Ipads are changing the face of American education and our Transitional Kindergartens are getting ten of these in each classroom. Woohoo for my school district! I am so excited but with this comes the "old school" thinking. How am I going to use them effectively? How will I build in systems so that kindergarten students handle them carefully and use them effectively. I am not interested in letting everyone do their own thing. I want to use this technology in a purposeful way. So I have been taking a lot of training and everyone offers up different app suggestions. Some are free and some are a few dollars. I hear a little voice in my head saying,  "Hummm I can handle 99cents." Then a buzzard went off in my head. I bet parents would be happy to support this habit and it would only cost a dollar! You could have an app fund raiser or even suggest donations at your Back to School night. Parents really want to help and this is such an easy way to make a difference in a classroom. Imagine how kids would feel when you thanked them for the app their parents bought for the classroom. Your wish list can look a little different this year. My school had Jeans Day once a month this year (we are a uniform only school)  and students had to bring a dollar for this. Everyone participated enthusiastically  and our PTA raised all kinds of money for things needed. It's just a thought... How do you manage ipads in your room? I need all the help I can get!


See Me Teach said...

what a great idea to fundraise to buy apps! you could fun things within your classroom- like for 25cents you can wear your PJs for the day, sit with a friend, etc.

Camille said...

Good morning Fran!
I received 26 iPads in my class in April and have found tons of free apps for young children. There are several webpages/feeds that list free apps. My favorite is Smart Apps for Kids at
I am on their email list so everyday they send me a brief synopsis of an app they recommend that is free. Often, these apps are free only for a day (to boost sales). If the app looks good, I quickly add it to my iTune library while it is free.
Something to keep in mind is that 99 cent apps are 99 cents PER iPad. So those 99 cent apps will actually cost $10 for a class with ten iPads. On the other hand, Apple has a special discount which is half off for most apps if you buy in bulk. You can buy apps for multiple schools so would easily qualify. Here is the address for my blog posts on organizing iPads and my favorite apps for K/1. Hope it helps!

Have I told you how personally excited I am about your new position????? I AM!!!
An Open Door

Allison said...

Great idea! We have a set of ten
I pads for classroom use. I typically use them during literacy stations or center time in small groups. Check out the app called Monkey Math School Sunshine. It is a favorite in my kindergarten classroom.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this resource. I recently got an iPad and I have been trying to find as many ways that I can use it in the classroom as possible.

Mrs. Gorbe said...

Very cool! I don't forsee my school getting ipads ANYTIME in the near future..:(

Mrs. Vander Wilt said...

I too am getting I pads for my classroom this year. I am going to create bookmarks with app icons that the students will be required to work on during Centers. The bookmarks will be specific to the child's needs. For every app I download I also save the icon to easily place on my bookmark. I too also love the idea of having the parents help with purchasing.

Fran Kramer said...

Thank you wonderful women. I will check out all these amazing tips! I love hearing from Camille again!

Sue said...

I use my ipad during daily five. I have download as many stories as I can find for free or 99 cents and that is what they listen too. They love listening to stories on the ipad. I also have some ipads for word work at well.


Sarah said...

PreK / K just got 10 ipads to use within our 6 classrooms!! I would LOVE for it to be MORE, but its a GREAT start!! LOVE the idea for parents to donate funds for the itunes gift cards!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!


Shoemakekindergarten13 said...

I take a screen shot of the apps and then blow them up and cut and laminate the apps I give kids a libaray pocket with three apps in them. they can play any of those apps. this way you can have the lower kids work on phonics and higher kids working on reading. if you have anymore questions email me. I have lots of ipads and tons of apps. I just asked parents for itunes gift cards and I got tons.

Fran Kramer said...

One of my TK teachers suggested the screen shot idea and I love it so much. That is such a simple idea but highly effective. I will definitely
keep in touch with you. I really appreciate your willingness to help me.

Pam Hyer said...

The thing I LOVE about the ipad is that even the littlest learners can be successful, (unlike using a computer mouse which can be very frustrating for some kinders.)

You may want to think about earphones for your donation list too if you don't have them.

I'm always amazed at how mezmerized they are just watching each other "play". I have them work in teams - you just have to be clear when it's time to switch. They are good at keeping each other on track with the specific app they've been directed to use that day (can you say tattle?)

Our favorite apps are:

Lakeshore Learning (sound sort and letter of the day) they are still free I think.

Starfall ABCs (unfortunately 2.99I'd only have this on a few for the students who have underdeveloped mouse skills and can't navigate on the free website)

I Write Words (2.99) great and customizable for the different styles of letter formation - also self correcting.

Little Writer, Little Reader, Little Speller, etc. Like someone else said, sign up for "free the apps" to get some of these free when you agree to review them.

We like the kidztory interactive books a lot too.

There are so many great apps coming out all the time it can make your head swim.

There's a pretty good doc about getting started for educators at

mscoachk said...

You may want to check out this blog of a kindergarten teacher in our district that is 1:1 with iPads...

Shoemakekindergarten13 said...

I take a screen shot of all the apps I have... then divide them by math english, spelling etc... I have a chart with library pockets on it. Each kid has their own pocket. I put the pic of the app that they can play in their library pocket. usually give them 3 a week. they can only play those apps