Saturday, December 3, 2011

28 iPads, 28 students: Full implementation

This week I started with full implementation: every child had their own iPad.Wow! I had already set up their recording folders. To expediate the distribution of iPads, I created structures that the students could be independent on setting up their own iPads and applications. It would just take too long to help 28 students.

Set up: I have 7 tables with 4 students at each table. A few students are assigned to one of the 7 tables for group and partner work but currently sit at a small table to be the most successful. Each table is numbered and the students know their table number. One of the assigned responsibilities is to distribute the iPad tub (responsiblity chart, i.e. job chart). In the tub is each child's folder. Each child has a colored take home folder. The color of the take home corresponds to the cubbie the child has for book bags and coats. The color of the take home folder is the same color of their iPad folder. Their name is one their folder along with their assigned numbered iPad. On their folder is a piece of velcro, attached to the velcro is the icon of the specific game of the smarty pants app. I anticipate adding addition velcro pieces for their math apps for math time. On the back of the iPad is the number of the iPad. The number is written on the color that corresponds to their colored take home folder. For example: green take home folder, green iPad folder with iPad number, green number on back of iPad. Also inside the tub are pencils. The iPad helper passess out the tubs to each table. Therefore: iPads, pencils, and folders are in the numbered tubs.

Since the students come from a special (music, art, etc). I give my direction in the hall to get their headset and begin working. The iPad helper had already put the tubs on the table during the transition of lining up to go to the special. The students walk in one at a time, grab their headset, and walk to their table to their materials. The students sit down, plug in their headset. They have to take off the black cover around the corner where the headset plug is and then plug in headset otherwise, the headset doesn't fit all the way and it doesn't work. It would be easier not to have the cases but it is more important to have the iPads protected. In reality, the students have figured out the routine and it isn't difficult. They then click their app and begin.

Guided Reading lesson: So while the students are doing iPads, I called certain students to work with me in their guided reading small group. I can call students but also have to tap some on the shoulders as they are engrossed in their app and have headsets on and can't necessarily hear me. When they are done, they go back to their iPad.

Recording and clean up: When our time is up with guided reading, I flick off the lights twice, their signal (since they can't hear me) and they raise hands and take off head sets. I state for them to record their data and clean up. They stack their iPads next to their tubs and put their folders, pencils, and headsets in the tub. They wrap their headset cords around the headsets to avoid tangling. They then sit in ready position to go to the next activity. I call students to the rug to start the next activity while the iPad helpers take a cart and go to each table to place the iPads in a cart. They are able to do this independently so I can begin the lesson. Clean up and recording sheet efficiency has decreased immensely. Day 1, 7 minutes. Day 2, 5 minutes. Day 3, 4 minutes. I anticipate it taking 2-3 minutes for recording and clean up which is probably consist with literacy center clean up and sharing products.

What I have changed and learned from 3 days of implementation:
1. I originally put the headsets in the tubs so they had everything in the tub. This created problems as all four students were trying to get all materials at once. I simplified this process by having them pick up headsets that are kept in one big tub. I actually works better because the students are randomly, based on their hallway line, coming to their table to get their materials and working as opposed to having all 4 students getting all materials at once. They also help each other with materials because of the color coded folders and iPads.

2. I have the students wrap their headset cords. Even though the wrapping is not wrapped like an adult would do but with practice I anticipate not having to rewrap any headsets. Currently I am wrapping about 6 out of 28 headsets. At the end of the day I put the headsets back in the tub. Originally, I wrapped all of the headsets. It just wasn't time efficient for me. I also called a student during the day on the first day to try to wrap a headset. She could do it decently so I decided to make this one of the students' responsibilties.

3. Pencils in the tubs. My crayons and pencils and other supplies are shared with all students so I have pencil baskets. I found that having to put the separate pencil baskets out was not time efficient nor space condusive. By putting extra pencils in the tubs, students can easily use them.

4. Recording sheet-I haven't changed anything except that I am double checking all the iPads to make sure their data is correct. We have gone to each table at clean up to also assist with recording giving a little one-on-one attention to clarify the recording sheet. One the first day, we scanned and double checked almost all students. On the second day, we had to assist less but still scanned everyone's recording sheet. We changed about 10 iPad results. On day 3, we scanned and only fixed 5 students recording sheets. I anticipate we won't have to do this daily by the end of next week.

5. Because we use some of the student tables for guided reading (we have 3 teachers in the room and use 2 student tables for guided reading lesson) we have assigned some students to a different location in the room. They take their iPad and headset but come back for recording.

WOWs! I have nejoyed sitting and just watching them work on the iPads. They just love it. It is quite amazing. Every once and a while, you hear an "awesome" or "yeah" when they finish a level or achieve the diploma. They get so excited and are dying to show me.

Behavior management: I have had little incidents of management but I also have set it up with very clear and concise structures due to the amount of money in the room (iPads are not cheap). I had one student who put the iPad in the tub a little rough. She sorta tossed it in but definitely did not do it on purpose. She was excluded from using an iPad the next day. I also did not let a student use the iPad for one day because of his behavior prior to the activity. He was angry and not following routines and exhibiting unsafe behavior. I explained that one must exhibit responsible behavior in order to have the privilege to use the iPad. I also had a few students that were arguing over a headset and were excluded from using the iPads for that day. By the third day, I have had no issues with iPads and headsets. In fact, they are helping each other and encouraging and reminding how to care for the iPad.

FINALLY, my biggest problem is that they are blowing through the apps and I have to have a game plan for the next app soon! I guess that it not a terrible problem to have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Smarty Pants recording sheet

I am using the smarty pants app during literacy centers while I pull other students for guided reading. I have created this smarty pants recording sheet. The first column is for teacher information (mainly the game that the students has been assigned to complete). The second column is the date; the third column is the level; the fourth column is the student's score. I think by making this assessment information available to the student, even a kindergartner, they will take ownership of this information and have a goal to complete each level. It will be their responsibility to fill in this information. I have noticed when doing progress monitoring on Mclass (or DIBELs for reading) that showing the students their previous scores and identifying a goal (surpassing previous score) they have this "buy-in" to doing well. They can also see their growth, big or small. They get very excited when they meet their goal.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Find Sums Recording sheet for students

By taking 3 screen shots of the different screens of the app Find Sums and adding the chart, I created this Page and then saved it as a word document. I printed it out for each child (and a couple of extra for when I have a student transfer in) and stapled it inside a file folder. The color of the file folder corresponds to the color of their homework folder which corresponds to the cubbie that they keep their coat and bookbag in.

Specifically, here is what I did.
  1. I took three screen shots. I upload them to the Mac.
  2. I highlighted them in iPhotos and then dragged them to the desk top.
  3. I had to rotate them left (go to Tools, rotate left and then save).
  4. I then opened a Pages and dragged the desktop image (IMG_010.PNG, an example of the image) to the Pages.
  5. I clicked Shapes (located at the top of the page, it is a green icon) and scrolled down to the arrow. You can change the angle of the arrow by clicking the end of the arrow and moving it. You can change the size of the arrow by clicking 2pt. I changed mine to 10. You can change the color of the arrow by clicking the black box located to the left of the 2 pt scroll box. I changed my color to red. I also changed the style of the arrow by clicking Endpoints: scroll box.
  6. To insert the text ("click play to begin"), I clicked Text Box (located next to the green Shapes. I typed in my text. I did this for each picture/arrow.
  7. Finally, I inserted the table. I filled in the table with date and accuracy.

The students will fill in the date and the accuracy. For older students they could also fill in the time (or fluency) of completing the exercise. My students currently show me the accuracy percentage before they begin another game. Our school goal is 90% so we have related that goal to this one. When a student completes the activity with lesson than 90% we talk about what we can do to achieve 90%. The percentage can assist me in determining what they are actually doing while they play Find Sums. A very low percentage tells me they are probably just pushing the numbers and not really "learning" anything. I would then watch them do the app to help and explain and give immediate feedback on what they are doing.


My first site (and hopefully not my last!)

I just started my first site--iPads in Kindergarten. Yah! Ugh! I feel like this is my chance to write a tutorial of how to use a Mac (I am a PC user) and the iPad (first time user this year). My goal is for this site to help me keep track of my progress implementing iPads with my kindergarten class, my learning, my mistakes and provide me with written notes on how to do ALL this stuff.