Our school is getting ready to roll out ipads to Year 7 and 8. I’ve had my ipad for a few months now and have started exploring apps that might be useful in class. Over this very rainy north coast weekend I tried out Haiku Deck and ShowMe.
We are working on descriptive writing in Year 9 and I want to run some mini lessons this week. These will brush up their skills and ‘prime the pump’ for their own descriptions of an imaginary world they have created using Michael Pryor’s Walled City exercise.
Here is a Haiku Deck on using similes and metaphors:
and a ShowMe on writing similes.
The beauty of both tools is that they are linked to websites. That means I can use them on the interactive whiteboard without hooking up the ipad to the board. (I don’t know how to do that yet – small steps!). The apps are so easy to use that I know the kids are going to love making their own.
And I’ve finally had a go at embedding something into my blog!
Looks like the embedding didn’t work!
Ended the first week tired but inspired. Worked hard on establishing those teacher student relationships that focused on real conversations and not name games. Year 9 are going to need a lot of team building. They don’t seem to know how to talk to each other. Best lesson was year 11. I managed to introduce them to all the things I do in the classroom that they need to get used to (and that also tell them a lot about what kind of classroom it will be, without a powerpoint!):
- seating plan
- check the board
- start immediately on a task
- team work
- take responsibility for your learning
- Stand Pair Share
- feedback slips
- enjoy learning
- Be interested
Enough about that. The title was ipad mania. Enjoying my ipad more and more. I’m having lots of fun finding apps that I can use that move me away from paper diaries and lists. Although still under construction, Diarycentral is my favourite. It picks up gmail calendar and drops things into your schedule. The main page is set out in blocks that are easy to read and includes adding notes and tasks. A bit of a bug in the “week” format but the builder is working on it.
My other favourite app at the moment is Flipboard. Found more great lessons to ‘fit’ current units of work from the feeds I have added to my flipboard.
I’ve downloaded about 5 sticky note apps that I’m trying out before i decide which one will work best for me. I discovered I prefer to ‘sticky note’ my ideas and pre-planning for meetings etc than use the ‘list’ type apps like Paperless. I think I like the colour and moving things around.
Also discovered “padagogy”. Lots of ipad apps and tools reviewed that I can see will work well in lessons, once kids have ipads, which is planned for our Year 7 and 8. My role this time will be to assist teachers. After the roll out of laptops where I ‘led the way’ using them with my own classes, I found I had little time to actually get in and help teachers, so I’m not taking a Year 7 and 8. I want to work beside my teachers as they start working with the ipads in classrooms this time.
I haven’t blogged since October because my Dad died early in November. I can just about type this without crying.
After some time out and school holidays I am just about ready to go back to work. Over the break I’ve played with my ipad and read 30 books totally unrelated to school in ibooks. So easy to download a book when you have just finished the last one and I love the backlighting. I’ve had a “medieval murder mystery” start to the year
I’m starting to get the hang of it. Yesterday I found an app called Flipboard. It was free and I have already found it useful. As well as a news feed you can add your own content. I added ABC OPEN, ABC news, Children and teens books, Brain Pickings, and Jim Bourke’s feed (English Companion Ning). A quick flip today and I found three things I can use in class next week.
I thought this one, Family Rituals, https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words-family-rituals-18ab0ae#/about would be a great ice breaker with Year 10 and they can also enter. It might prompt them to bring their laptops!
We’re starting Year 8 with a unit called Resilience so I sent the link to my Year 8 teachers for Aftermath https://open.abc.net.au/projects/aftermath-08vh8ac/collections/aftermath-features-85vg9us It would also be useful for a unit on natural disasters.
My favourite was this story https://open.abc.net.au/posts/sharing-my-loo-with-a-frog-59hb5jx about sharing a loo with a frog. It seemed particularly apt on Australia Day. I plan to share this story with Year 9 and tell them my story about the python in the chook house on Christmas Day.
I like the way this app gathers in one place things I’m interested in and lets me send the link to others.