This coming week I will be introducing both my morning and afternoon classes to the iPad. Among the students in my multi-level seniors' class, two of them own or can borrow an iPad from a family member. Those who don't have access to one often gather curiously around the iPad users. They are eager to learn about this tool in so as to decide whether purchasing one would be a worthwhile investment.
I have developed some worksheets to get our week started and have put the language activity pack on my FREE RESOURCES - COMPUTER page for you to download. As usual, the resource is a Word document, which allows you to easily edit and tailor for your learners. As our week progresses, I will get a feel for what is working well, what additional resources we need, where they want more focus, etc. So I will go back into that activity pack and add, correct any errors we discover, etc. If you find any problems with it or have suggestions for enhancements, feel free to leave a comment.
In my afternoon (literacy) class, I have been using one iPad with the newest student for about two weeks. I am amazed at how her self-directed, self-paced practice with the app iWrite Words has trained her to form each letter of the alphabet perfectly. With this app, you have to trace each capital and each small letter with your finger or stylus. If you try to write any stroke backward or out of order, it won't let you proceed. You have to follow the little crab fellow (or is it a ladybug?) as it leads you through the strokes. Having spent about three hours per week for two weeks using this application, the new students now models wonderful penmanship when she comes up to the board to fill in a blank. I am impressed!
I am thinking that we will do something like stations to introduce a handful of classroom apps. I could ask each partnership to familiarize themselves with one of six applications. Then we can do an "each one teach one" activity in which one partner stays at the station to teach others who visit that station. At halftime, I can ring the bell, at which point the itinerant student returns to his/her station, becoming a teacher and allowing the formerly stationary student to travel around to learn about the other apps.
I have uploaded a nascent iPad language activity pack for literacy learners to the FREE RESOURCES - COMPUTER page back on my website for you to download and enjoy with your class. I will be shaping, improving and adding to it this week as learners give me feedback.
What are your ideas for other activities I can facilitate around the iPad?
Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you'll leave a comment, even if it's just to tell me whether the snow has yet melted where you are. ;)
P.S. Check out my WORKSHOPS page. I am excited to announce that I'll be facilitating a webinar in May on creating a blog for the ESL literacy classroom. I especially want to encourage teachers who are not terribly comfortable with technology to give this webinar a shot. We are going to take it slow and easy, step by step.