Our district has begun an iPad initiative and at several schools, entire grade levels will be getting iPads. At other schools, every teacher will get one for their classroom. I teach at one of the school where all teachers will be issued an iPad, so you guessed it..that means I will have two...yes TWO to use in my classroom!!
In preparation for all this technology greatness...I have been searching for great resources for using the iPads in my classroom. When I first started looking, I was in app-overload. You have heard the saying " There's An App for That"...and they are not kidding. Right now I am wondering how I am going to get any teaching in, because I am going to be so busy showing my kiddos all the new apps for the iPads!
I have started a board over on Pinterest with lots of links to apps for the classroom. You can click on the "Follow Me On Pinterest" button over on the left side of my blog and take a look. But I am going to highlight a few of my faves here in today's post. But before I talk about apps let me share a few links to some cool gadgets I have/am planning to purchase for the classroom for my iPads. These are truly MUST HAVES if you are going to be using iPads in the classroom....
1. Belkin Rockstar 5 Way headphone splitter...this can be used with an iPod Touch too..I got mine for less than $10 plus shipping from Amazon, but I have seen them as cheap as $7. Can plug in up to 5 pairs of earbuds...voila...instant listening center!!!
2.Cheap iPad/iPhone chargers....I don't know about you, but we have tons of these around the house...but the colored ones are way too cute...and then are less than $3 each! Since one of my iPads will stay in my classroom all the time, I will need a few of these handy to keep it charged up.
3. Camera Connection kit... this $29 kit comes with two components: a USB adapter and an SD card adapter. Like its name implies, the intended use of these adapters is to transfer media from your camera to your iPad.
Now to the really good stuff...the apps! Here are just a few I plan on adding to my iPad as soon as I get it. I know my kiddos are going to love these!!
1. Go SkyWatch Planetarium for iPad- Easily and quickly identify and locate stars, planets, constellations and more by simply pointing to the sky. Your personal telescope to the wonders in the night sky. Go outside and explore the night sky.
2. Rocket Math Free- This program has multiple levels and is very interactive. The space theme keeps kids highly engaged...the Build Your Own Rocket feature is also lots of fun!
3. Stack the States- Really fun geography game! As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level.
4. K12 Timed Reading Practice Lite- Free version. K12 Timed Reading Practice Lite lets readers in grades K-4 practice fluency, the ability to read smoothly and quickly.
• 25 short, engaging stories for K-4 readers
• A variety of fiction and non-fiction
• 10 Flesh-Kincade reading levels between
• Track one reader's stories read, words per minute, percent above or below average reading rates, and what's next on the reading list
• View recommendations for moving up or down in reading difficulty based on recorded Words per Minute scores
5. Toontastic- Lights, Camera, Play! Toontastic is a Creative Learning tool that empowers kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons through imaginative play.
1. K12 Timed Reading Practice- $1.99. Like the free version above but with more features than the free version. It lets readers in levels K-4 practice fluency by reading short, timed stories. Improving fluency allows readers to read smoothly and quickly so they can focus on comprehension rather than on decoding words.
2. MathBoard- $4.99 a fantastic math learning tool for your iPad. -- MathBoard is appropriate for all ages from kindergarten (with simple addition and subtraction problems) to elementary school where learning multiplication and division can be a challenge. You can control the range of numbers you want to work with, the amount of questions you want to answer and even assign a time limit per quiz. MathBoard will make learning math fun.
3. Mad Libs- $3.99- The fun fill in the blank activity we all remember is now an app. Great practice with parts of speech and as a jumping off point for writing!
These are just a few of the great apps available. HERE is a link to the Apple Store- Education to look for those must have apps....now I am off to load up on iTunes cards....I have a feeling I am going to go a little crazy once I get my new iPads!