In the spring of 2013, the multi-age classrooms at the Cole school submitted a grant to BEST asking for 6 iPads for each classroom. In the grant they wrote:
The multiage teachers frequently teach the students in small groups, while other groups of children or individuals are working independently. The iPads would fit easily into this format, so an easy transition is likely. Having the opportunity to work with a small number of iPads will enable the teachers to learn how best to use them, find Apps that are worthwhile, and get ready for a full class set if the 1:1 initiative is successful.
At the time, this was a pilot – no other classroom in the district had iPads dedicated to the classroom. This model has been so successful that Ms. Suther also asked for iPads for her classroom, and ultimately the school committee funded iPad carts for each grade at the Cole school. Recently, we asked the multi-age teachers to tell us more about what they do with the iPads during the school day.
Students use the iPads in small groups during WIN block, science, as a literacy choice, for math practice, discovery time, and social studies blocks. Once the iPad is in the hands of a student, they are off and running.
Some specific examples are:
- Creating books and stories via Scribblepress, Puppet pals, Educreations
- Listening to reading via Tumblebooks, BookFlix, Storia
- Creating videos of student work
- Student demonstrations of apps and how they work
- Geography: students used Google Earth to find and locate features, landmarks, and places in their home town and state and then learned about them
- Research of animals via National Geographic kids, Wikipedia, iknowthat.com,
- Independent skill practice via ixl, Spelling city, Razkids, as well as several dozen math and phonics apps
- Phonics games, spelling games, math games (number sense, time, money, problem-solving and more)
- Publishing student work to make books in non-fiction study of Continents
- Sharing and engaging students in their learning eg volcano video, taping of their Caine’s Arcarde projects
- Articulating and sharing their learning strategies eg triple digit addition in math using Educreations
- Researching for science projects using Discovery Education.
We are so happy to be able to support our teachers, as they bring new educational tools into the classroom. We couldn’t do it without your support. If you have not given to BEST this year, would you consider becoming a supporter?