We are so excited in 4th grade to be bringing 21st center learning into the classroom with our iPad initiative. Our initiative this year is a little different than last year. This year every student in our classroom will have their own iPad while they are at school. This is a BIG DEAL and we are so very excited. We are looking forward to doing projects and reinforcing learning with technology. As a teacher I am most excited about the fact that my students will have immediate access to this technology all day long.

During the month of September students received their iPads. We began the with the basics, learning how to handle the iPad, how to care for it, where to store it. The rules. Yes, over and over again, the rules. Internet safety, internet etiquette, internet awareness. We have a conversation about it every day, it is important. We want our digital natives to be aware, safe and smart when using technology. Students spent time during the month of September learning and exploring apps. We're off to a great start.

October led us to using our iPad much more often in the classroom. Students began to take AR tests using their iPad. Being about to take the test on their iPad was motivation for even the most reluctant reader. Students also used their iPads during literacy centers to help them complete activities such as, defining words using a dictionary app, reading books on line, and other Language Arts activities. iPads were also used to work on Social Studies and Math facts throughout our days intermittently.

In November students starting using their iPads to complete and email graphic organizers for various reading strategies. Additionally students used their iPads for a book report project. A copy of one of the graphic organizers is below. The most exciting thing we have been working on is our electronic morning message. I email the students a morning message each evening. The next morning when they arrive at school, read their morning message and work on the assignment they have been emailed. This is also a great way for the students to get a personal note from me. They are super excited about this new procedure and can't wait to get their mail. It has worked wonders towards calmer behavior in the morning and more productivity.


We are really getting into the swing of things now and the iPads are becoming a part of our daily routine. Students are using them throughout the day in a variety of ways. In reading we are working on visual imagery to help improve our reading comprehension. Students will hear a story but we aren't always sure of the movie/picture they are creating in the heads based on the words that they are hearing. In order for me to "see" their movie I had them use the Doodle Buddy app and show me their pictures. This is how it worked....students would listen to the word of a book. They would not see any of the pictures in the book, not even the front cover. Students would then open up the Doodle Buddy app and draw me the movie they had in their minds. The words they heard were, "...late one winter night...Pa and I went owling...there was no wind....the trees stood still....somewhere behind us a train whistle blew." Below is a sample of a "movie" one of the students made from the words they heard. This was such a great way to see what my students were seeing. It was a way for me to see who needed intervention with visual imagery. They had a blast creating their movie, I was able to collect good data and target future instructions to meet their needs. It was a win-win. We will definitely be using this again!
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December was a busy month for us, we also worked on a Holiday Around the World project using the Keynote app. Students researched a country and learned about the winter holidays they celebrate. The students had a great time learning and sharing how other cultures spend their holidays.